It costs between $4000 and $5000 per quarter in power bills just to run the dairy, so we jumped at the chance to have an energy audit done on the farm by Gabriel Hakim, thanks to GippsDairy.
It showed us where our energy is used and highlighted that maybe we had better look at increasing the flow of water to our milk heat exchanger. Still, there were no massive savings to be made (and don’t we all love a silver bullet?), so I’ve started investigating alternative power for the dairy.
A wind turbine would have a payback period of 60 years! Jeepers! So, I’ve since been looking at solar. You can now lease solar systems with the repayments matched to your electricity savings, making the exercise cashflow neutral. Very nice! The only thing now is to get the right size system.
It’s not as easy as you think because the cows are generally milked too early and too late in the day to capitalise on solar energy, so I think we’ll be starting off small. That’s not so bad because it won’t lock us in to the technology forever and I am sure something even better is on its way!