Farmers are recognising the value in energy efficiency projects by taking up the recommendations and support offered through the Queensland Government-funded QFF and Ergon Energy, Energy Savers Program.
So far, 50 Farms have gone ahead with energy efficiency projects and another 32 are planning to in the near future according to a recent survey of Energy Savers farms. That’s over 60% of the 130 farms participating in the program.
So far, over $3 million of annual energy cost savings have been identified in the energy efficiency audits with a payback of less than 5 years.
The biggest uptake has been in irrigators improving pumping systems. Growers are implementing other projects such as improving and upgrading refrigeration, lighting and installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. These changes have also been complemented with easy wins identified in the audits such as regular tariff reviews and changes to operational practices.
The audits have given farmers a better understanding the value of on-site energy generation to reduce costs. The audits are showing potential payback periods on PV systems of 3-7 years, depending on the utilisation rate and the current electricity tariff.
A survey of the program participants found that the program has raised awareness of energy management in over 90% of respondents.
QFF, Ergon and the State Government will continue to assist farmers move ahead with projects identified in the audits by providing advice and information to reduce barriers, such as understanding the technologies and accessing financing options.
There are now 45 Energy Savers case studies, including 5 videos covering different sectors from all over Queensland.
QFF energy efficiency case studies, events, technologies and financing information are online: qff.org.au/EnergySavers