$3m an­nual power bill sav­ings on farm

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - First in Rural Weekly -

QUEENS­LAND farm­ers are see­ing their on-farm elec­tric­ity use and en­ergy bills re­duced as a re­sult of the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment-funded Queens­land Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion (QFF) and Er­gon En­ergy, En­ergy Savers Pro­gram.

More than 60% of the 130 farms par­tic­i­pat­ing in the QFF En­ergy Savers Pro­gram have im­ple­mented or plan to im­ple­ment part of the $3 mil­lion of an­nual en­ergy cost sav­ings iden­ti­fied in the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency au­dits across dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries.

This in­cludes 50 farms im­ple­ment­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency projects and an­other 32 that are plan­ning to in the near fu­ture.

QFF pres­i­dent Stu­art Ar­mitage said de­spite the ev­i­dent struc­tural chal­lenges with en­ergy af­ford­abil­ity in Queens­land, farm­ers were not wait­ing around on the prom­ise of even­tual price re­lief.

“Farm­ers are im­ple­ment­ing projects to im­prove and up­grade ir­ri­ga­tion, re­frig­er­a­tion, light­ing and in­stalling so­lar pho­to­voltaic (PV) sys­tems,” Mr Ar­mitage said.

“The big­gest up­take has been by ir­ri­ga­tors im­prov­ing pump­ing sys­tems. Crop re­quire­ments, cli­matic con­di­tions, wa­ter li­cens­ing and ir­ri­ga­tion chan­nel con­di­tions mean they don’t have the lux­ury of de­cid­ing when they pump wa­ter.

“A re­cent sur­vey of pro­gram par­tic­i­pants found that over 90% of re­spon­dents felt that En­ergy Savers has raised aware­ness of on-farm en­ergy man­age­ment.

“Most en­cour­ag­ing too has been feed­back from en­ergy ef­fi­ciency sup­pli­ers that farm­ers are ap­proach­ing them for im­prove­ments based on the case stud­ies and in­for­ma­tion pro­vided through the pro­gram.”

The En­ergy Savers pro­gram has de­vel­oped and pub­lished 45 case stud­ies, in­clud­ing five videos cov­er­ing agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries through­out Queens­land all avail­able on the En­ergy Savers web­site. Th­ese case stud­ies have been pre­sented through­out the state.

“As more farm­ers have time to prop­erly con­sider the rec­om­men­da­tions on their unique busi­ness sit­u­a­tions the ex­pected level of sav­ings should in­crease,” Mr Ar­mitage said.

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