Dairy farming

Energy efficiency measures can help your dairy farm stay competitive by increasing your production while shrinking your carbon footprint.

Technologies

Find energy efficiency advice that’s relevant to the technologies and equipment you use:
Heat recovery
Lighting
Office equipment
Pumping and fan systems
Refrigeration
Renewable energy
Vehicles

Energy saving opportunities   

There are several areas where you could make substantial savings on electricity use in your dairy shed. Use our Dairy Shed Tool to find out how efficient your farm is compared to similar farms - and how much you could save.

Dairy Shed Tool

Water heating

This is the best place to start as it accounts for about a quarter of your dairy shed electricity bill and has the highest potential for savings. Through a combination of clever technologies and tweaks to the way you run your shed you could save up to 75% on your water heating costs.

There are 3 main technologies to help you improve water heating efficiency.

Heat recovery

Heat recovery technology can cut dairy shed electricity bills by up to 30%
Recovering the heat produced during the milk chilling process provides an additional source of energy which can be used by your dairy shed hot water heating system, reducing the amount of electricity needed.

Payback on investing in heat recovery technology typically takes 2 to 5 years, although it can be less than a year for large farms.

Variable speed drive (VSD)

Enable the pump to change speeds to match demand for pressure from the system. If more cows are connected to the milking cups, the speed of the pump is increased to match the demand for vacuum - and vice versa as cups are taken off cows.

VSDs also reduce animal stress during milking, somatic cell count (SCC) and motor wear and tear as the pump is run at lower speeds.
Potential savings: 10% to 15%.

Vat insulation

Insulating your milk vat could increase your refrigeration capacity at minimal cost, and save you money.  Find out how much you could save with our milk vat insulation savings calculator.
Potential savings: 3% to 6%.

Milk vat insulation savings calculator
Milk vat insulation savings calculator factsheet [PDF 180KB]
Quick reference tips for dairy shed efficiency [PDF 310KB]
Improving energy efficiency - a guide for New Zealand dairy farms [PDF 605KB]