Wilco Droppert and Sandra Jefford knew that their dairy farm energy bills were high, but were unsure about which energy efficiency upgrades would be most cost-effective. Through a recent energy-audit, two pumps were identified as consuming more than 70% of the farm’s electricity and 60% of the farm’s diesel! One pump was particularly inefficient and became their priority for an upgrade. Replacing the pump and motor and increasing the size of the pipeline to the bore is saving Wilco and Sandra around $8000 year. The $50,000 they invested in the new system is expected to see a return on investment in 4.3 years.
Their energy-audit also identified that the excess solar energy being generated from their existing 29kW solar system could be put to better use on the farm, rather than going back into the grid. Wilco and Sandra are now doing just that; making more use of the solar power they generate for effluent water pumping. They also plan to invest in more farm-generated, renewable energy to become more self-sufficient in future.
For more information Wilco and Sandra’s energy audit and how other farm businesses are reducing their energy costs, visit the Sustainability Victoria website
You may also be interested to try out Sustainability Victoria’s Energy Upgrades Tool which is designed to help you work through the energy upgrades process, even in the planning and scoping stages. It is suitable for both on-farm and off-farm agricultural businesses and can be run for businesses with or without a current energy audit.