Farmers use water savings to receive rebates from energy company
Originally published in BakersfieldNow.com
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – As Californians continue into a fourth year of drought, some residents are finding creative ways to save water and save money.
No different from other conservation-minded people from across the state, Lucas Espericueta and his family continue to put into play the many different ways to cut back on water usage. The family does have a unique case when it comes to saving water though. They happen to own a 230-acre nut and grape farm in Wasco.
This past year, the Espericueta family installed an energy-efficient pump onto the farm. The new system helps them control how much water they use and ultimately how much money they save.
“It’s basically like a speedometer for our well,” said Espericueta. “So we can, like, turn it up or turn it down with how much water we want pumped out of the ground.”
The Espericuetas savings have come from their enrollment in Advanced Pumping Efficiency Program with the Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
“The farmer here took advantage of two rebate programs,” said Katie Allen, a spokeswoman for PG&E. “When those upgrades were completed to his pumping system, he received more than $35,000 in rebates from PG&E.”
PG&E partnered with the Kern County Farm Bureau in an effort to get the word out to more farmers about the tens of thousands of dollars the program can offer with its rebates.
“Being that we’re in our fourth year of drought this year you know growers are having difficult times making ends meet, not just financially but specifically with water,” said Beatris Sanders, executive director of the Kern County Farm Bureau.
PG&E spokeswoman Allen said agricultural customers can request to have variable-frequency drives installed on pump monitors to overhaul smaller pumps to improve energy efficiency and savings.
PG&E also offers farming customers the services of account representatives, which help individualize how to manage costs and rebate programs.