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'Farm Tap' Appliance Rebate Program Ends Soon
Michigan Ag Connection - 12/04/2018

Farmers and rural property owners have just two weeks left to apply for up to $1,500 in incentives under the Michigan Agency for Energy's (MAE) Farm Tap Appliance Rebate Program.

MAE is urging people who have free natural gas service through a "farm tap" to discontinue using unregulated and odor-free gas and sign up with a local energy provider. The Farm Tap Appliance Rebate Program ends on Dec. 17.

"Time is running out for users of farm taps to qualify for up to $1,500 in rebates to be used to replace appliances that may have been damaged by untreated farm tap natural gas," said Anne Armstrong Cusack, executive director of MAE. "We strongly encourage those with farm taps to abandon these possibly dangerous hookups and work with an energy provider in your area who can assure safe service to your home or business."

The Farm Tap Appliance Rebate Program offers up to $1,500 to help cover the cost of new, safer, and more efficient appliances. The rebates can be used on oven ranges, hot water heaters, furnaces, clothes dryers, or smart energy devices.

To qualify for the rebate, property owners must show they have permanently terminated their service with a free farm tap natural gas provider and established an account with a local utility, or a provider of propane or wood pellets.

Call MAE at (517) 284-8330 or the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) at (800) 292-9555 with questions about free farm taps or the Farm Tap Appliance Rebate Program. A link to the rebate program application form can be found on the MAE website at www.michigan.gov/energy.

Farm taps are service lines that are connected to natural gas pipelines, equipment, or wells. If the proper safety devices are not installed and maintained on the lines, a farm tap can pose a risk to rural residents:

- Farm taps can be dangerous: In many cases, the gas delivered by a farm tap has not been odorized, so there is not a distinctive rotten egg smell if there is a leak in the line. If there is a leak, using lights, phones, or appliances can cause an explosion.

- Gas lines can be damaged: Devices meant to regulate the pressure in natural gas lines may not be installed or working properly, which could make service lines more susceptible to leaks.

- Appliances could be at risk: Unprocessed gas feeding appliances or farm machinery can damage equipment, potentially causing a fire.

- Insurance may be inadequate: A homeowner or business policy may not fully cover property damage or personal injury that results from a farm tap mishap.

For more information about farm tap dangers, read this column by MAE's Armstrong Cusack.

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