The Energy Savers energy audit phase has been completed with 180 audits identifying numerous energy conservation measures (ECM) to assist farmers in reducing annual energy consumption. If all ECMs are implements, farmers could save an average of 40,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of power and costs savings of up to $16,000.
Importantly, many audits have developed energy benchmarks for the farms, such as annual production (tonne) per unit of energy (tonnes/kWh); or if measuring irrigation system efficiency in kilowatt hours per megalitre per metre of head or (kWh/ML/m). Both show the connection between energy, production, and water.
With farms now implementing projects, the Energy Savers team have begun conducting measurement and verification (M&V) where ECMs are now in place. M&V is a structured process to determine how much energy is being saved following the implementation of an ECM. This acts to confirm the accuracy of the initial audit and provide real data on the benefits of certain energy efficiency projects.
There is an international protocol that sets out how M&V is to be conducted – the International Protocol for Measurement and Verification (IPMVP). It should include but is not limited to baselines, accurate data from a calibrated device and the calculations used to show true savings. It can cover savings from a single apparatus or whole of site. The Energy Efficiency Council of Australia has further detailed information about what is involved in M&V and how it should be conducted at a HERE.
As the M&V is completed, the farm audit case studies will be updated from proposed case studies which currently show the potential savings identified in the audits, to implemented case studies that show the measured savings after projects have been finalised.