Morrell Falls, Montana

Agricultural Energy Efficiency

Missoula Electric Cooperative recognizes that energy efficiency is the most cost-effective source of new energy, and works to bring energy savings to our agricultural members. By saving energy, farmers may be able to reduce costs, increase irrigation uniformity, decrease the amount of water and fertilizer required and, according to one study, even increase yield.

Missoula Electric is also proud to partner with the Blackfoot Challenge to help make these savings a reality. Below is a list of ag incentive areas we are currently focusing on. For more information on incentive amounts, call MEC at (406) 541-4433.

Members need to contact MEC prior to scheduling any testing or performing any irrigation system upgrades to avoid negating any potential rebates.

Sprinkler Hardware Program


Sprinkler Equipment Payment
Replace leaking impact sprinkler with rebuilt or new impact sprinkler $1.00 per sprinkler
Replace nozzle $3 per nozzle
Replace pipe section gasket $4 per gasket
Replace leaking drain gaskets with new gaskets $3 per drain
Replace Thunderbird wheel-line hubs $4 per hub
Rebuild or replace leaking or malfunctioning leveler with new or rebuilt leveler $1 per leveler

Irrigation Custom Projects

Custom projects exist for irrigation pumps which are electrically powered and 20 hp or greater in size. Custom Projects must be approved by MEC prior to purchasing or installing any equipment. In addition, irrigators must obtain a pump test/system evaluation from a qualified technical service provider approved by MEC.

Irrigation Pump Testing and System Analysis

The best way to establish a baseline for your system’s efficiency is through an irrigation/pump test or a full system analysis. The purpose of pump testing is to identify ways to improve irrigation system efficiency and performance.

The irrigation pump must be electrically powered, 20 hp or greater and must not have been tested through BPA-sponsored pump testing services within the past five years.

The irrigation pump must have been in operation for the two previous years.

The irrigation pump test must be performed by an individual possessing pump testing knowledge and experience.

Customers and qualified vendors must use the BPA Screening Tool in EE Central to limit the amount of dry holes (i.e., pump tests that do not result in a BPA-approved custom project).

Learn more at the BPA Agricultural Energy Efficiency page.

Variable Frequency Drives

This measure applies to pumping operations that deliver, distribute or transport irrigation water with qualifying VFDs from 20 to 500 hp. Eligible installations are limited to turbine pumps with substantial variation in flowrates (20% variation or more) or discharge pressure requirements (10% variation or more). BPA recommends that all new VFD installations meet the IEEE 519 standard. Rebates for qualifying installations are up to $60 per horsepower.

Ag Lightning Program

Non-Residential custom lighting projects have been an intricate part of the success of MEC energy efficiency program. Commercial buildings by their nature tend to be large, have consistent operating hours and are typically packed with inefficient lighting.

Warehouses, shops, and large ag buildings are often filled with high-wattage fixtures that are noisy, ineffective and take long periods of time to come on. These spaces benefit tremendously from new high-efficiency fluorescent fixtures which have the potential to cut electric bills in half while offering vastly improved lighting quality.

Non-Residential Lighting Agreement Form (PDF)