Lighting is often a bigger cost than generally realised
There generally is scope to reduce the amount of electric used on-farm, writes CAFRE’s Christopher Breen.
- Make sure you are on the best tariff available. Electricity suppliers can offer more competitive rates to larger energy users;
- Remember to change time clocks. Cheap electricity in winter-time is from 1 am to 8 am. Dairy farms typically use 20-30% of their consumption at the low rate. Change the times on your water heater so that all the water is heated on the night tariff;
- Ensure the plate cooler has an adequate water supply. For maximum benefit, there should be a flow of two-litres of water for each litre of milk. Any investment made to improve the water supply to the cooler will be repaid with lower electricity bills;
- Well-insulated hot water tanks and pipes save money. Many of the old water heaters have a thin metal lid which loses heat to the environment. A 30 mm layer of insulation will greatly reduce this heat loss. Ensure that thermostat settings do not allow the water to boil.
- Lighting is often a bigger cost than generally realised. Installing low energy bulbs leads to real savings on bills. LED lighting is an economic option where lights are used several hours a day. Remove dirt and dust from light bulbs and turn off unnecessary lights.