Dairy farm energy efficiency tool

It's expensive to run a dairy farm and there are a lot of fixed costs you can't reduce or skimp on, like feed, vet bills and rates. However you can control your energy spend through both low cost changes and cost effective capital investment. Reducing your energy bill can mean substantial savings which you can plow back into your farm, or use in leaner months to keep the farm going.

A good place to start is EECA's Dairy Farm Energy Efficiency tool, which helps you map your energy use against 150 dairy farms across New Zealand. By answering a few simple questions, you can find out how you compare against others, and the savings you could make through improvements in your milking shed.

Do you have a heat recovery system? Heat removed during the milk chilling process is often wasted - use this resource to heat water stored for cleaning, and cut your milking shed electricity bill by up to 30%. Often pays back in less than 2 years, and reduces your exposure to fluctuating milk-solid prices.
Is your vat insulated? Insulate the vat to reduce heat gain, thus reducing the load on your refrigeration system.
Do you have a variable speed drive vacuum pump? Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) enable the pump to change speeds to match demand for pressure from the system. That is, if more cows are connected to milking cups then 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.
Do you have a fresh water irrigation system on your dairy shed bill? Most farms will have separate billing for fresh water irrigation systems, but if your system is included on your dairy shed energy bill, then tick this box, and we will adjust your potential energy savings to suit.
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The dairy farm efficiency tool is designed to provide you with an indication of how your dairy farm compares against other dairy farms in terms of energy efficiency, and estimate the savings that you could make through improvements to your milking shed.

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