Safety First! Dairy Farm Rewiring Loan and Grant Program

Wisconsin electric cooperatives have developed a uniform statewide farm wiring program entitled, “Safety First!”  The purpose is to assist dairy farmers with the cost of rewiring projects and to promote safety.

Loans and Grants

SafetyFirst

  • A loan/grant combination for the dairy rewiring project is available up to $30,000
  • Grants are available for 20 percent or up to $6,000 from the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association
  • Loans are available for 80 percent or up to $24,000 from
    Adams-Columbia
  • Take up to 5 years to repay
  • 3 percent interest applies

Requirements

  • Dairy farms only (including cows, goats and sheep which are kept for the production of milk)
  • Existing farmstead on Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative electric lines
  • Pre-program inspection
  • Electrician’s estimate
  • Service agreement for length of loan
  • Credit eligibility requirements

ACEC Rebate Programs

  • Equipotential-Plane Grant Program
    This grant is offered to assist members when installing an equipotential plane in existing animal confinement facilities. Equipotential planes are an effective method of reducing animal contact voltages. The amount of the grant shall be limited to 50% of the final installation cost but shall not exceed $1000. Conditions do apply, for details and more information contact Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative Technical Services Department at  1-866-299-9699.
  • Energy Efficient Lighting
    The purpose of the lighting program is to encourage energy efficiency and provide value to our agricultural, commercial and industrial customers. This program is available to both new and retrofit construction projects. 

Programs do change and some conditions apply. For more details and information on current motor and lighting rebates contact Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative Key Accounts Personnel  at 1-800-831-8629.

Safety First! Program FAQs

How is the grant program funded?
Wisconsin electric cooperatives contribute annually towards the grant money.

What expenses are covered under the loan and/or grant?
Labor and materials needed to rewire the farm are covered. Isolation transformers, rings of life and other systems not defined in the NEC are not eligible expenses under this program. New construction is not eligible.

Can I apply for a grant and not a loan?
Yes, 20% of the total cost of the project, up to $6,000, is available without applying for a loan.

What are the credit eligibility requirements?
Members cannot have more than one late payment within the past 12 months.

How will the loan be billed?
The monthly loan payment will be billed separately from your electric bill.

Can I get a loan for wiring a new barn?
No, only existing structures are eligible. New barns must be wired according to the latest version of the code.

Will funds be available to rewire my house as well as the barn?
Yes, if the service for the barn is served from the main panel in the house.

Will funds be available for partial rewiring projects on the farm?
If an approved state-certified inspector recommends a partial project to meet safety standards and Adams-Columbia Electric Co-operative (ACEC) agrees there is a need to resolve safety concerns, partial projects may be approved. Pre- and post-inspections are required for all partial projects.

Who will do the electrical work?
You may choose your electrician as long as they are a Master Electrician licensed by the State of Wisconsin.

Will I have to sign a service agreement?
Yes. A service agreement is required, indicating that you will receive energy from ACEC for the duration of the loan.

Are there any fees associated with this loan?
Yes. Pre- and post-inspections by an approved, state-certified inspector are required for the loan. However, ACEC will pay these costs. Payment of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing fee will be your responsibility. ACEC will handle the processing of the UCC fee.

Can I pay the loan off early without a penalty?
Yes.

Is there a lien on my property?
Yes. The rewiring project and your capital credits serve as collateral for the loan.
What happens if I default on my loan?
If you’re delinquent on your loan for two consecutive months the loan will become due and payable immediately. The electric service may be subject to disconnection.

How do I apply?
Contact ACEC to schedule an appointment to discuss your wiring plan. After a preliminary wiring plan is proposed by your electrician, a visit with an approved state-certified inspector is scheduled.

What happens next?
You choose an approved, qualified Master Electrician to give you a bid on the project and provide ACEC a copy of the bid. If the bid meets the loan/grant requirements, the project is given preliminary approval.

When will I receive the grant money?
Grant money will be given after the post-inspection, when the wiring work is completed according to NEC and all the invoices and the wiring affidavit are given to ACEC.

What happens after the rewiring is completed?
ACEC schedules the state-certified inspector to inspect the work and they provide written documentation that the work was completed according to the NEC. You provide invoices from the electrician and the wiring affidavit. ACEC will make the payment via a check made out jointly to you and your electrician, up to the amount of the grant and/or loan.