Energy Savers

All Energy Savers Plus Farms

Energy Savings
All industries
Solar Photovoltaic, Energy storage, Gas, Fan, Heating, Lighting, Irrigation, Pump upgrade, Variable Speed Control
Capital Cost


This case study summarises the outcomes from audits conducted on all 180 Queensland farms in the Energy Savers Plus Program (ESPPE)

The total energy consumption from the measured areas on the 180 farms was 18,666,737kWh, at an annual cost of $4,187,148, resulting in emissions of 15,120 tonnes of CO2-e.  

Opportunities:  the main opportunities identified on all the farms included 

  • Pumping and Irrigation Savings from Variable Speed Drive installation, pump replacements and maintenance, and changes to irrigation design and automation. 
  • Heating Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC)– Maintenance and upgrades of condenser motor, VSD, ventilation fan and heating.  
  • Lighting and General Replacement and retrofitting of lights with LEDs, infrastructure upgrades to facilitate efficiency gains and general management changes. 
  • Gas- Hot water, insulation and general heating improvements to gas systems on the farm. 
  • Solar Systems- Ranging in size from 5-100kW. 
  • Solar and Batteries– Grid-connected and standalone.

Table 1. Recommendations and Savings from 180 Energy Audits. 

Recommendation  Total  Energy Savings (kWh)  Cost Savings ($)  Capital Cost ($)  Average Payback (Years)  Emission Reduction (tCO2-e) 
Pumping and Irrigation  270  3,022,388  1,431,252  6,213,637  8.6  2,448
HVAC  106  823,916  225,735  1,602,001  6.8  667
Lighting and General  150  616,037  246,221  1,010,939  5.1  499
Gas  3  300,836  46,500  90,600  1.3  244
Solar Systems  136  2,646,573  844,687  3,711,130  5.9  2,144
Solar and Batteries  6  49,265  22947  156,363  10  40
Total  665  7,459,015  2,817,342     12,784,670  6.85  6,042

Note: The table does not include a production benefit of $13,825 and potential tariff savings of roughly $213,165 that attribute to the overall cost savings 

Table 1 highlights the total potential energy savings of 7,459,015kWh including gas, identified in the audits.  


Including production benefits, a reduction of $3,044,332 and an estimated 6,042 tonnes of CO2-e could be avoided per annum. At a capital cost of $12,784,670, the average payback was roughly 6.85 years. 

Additional value adding from the energy audits showed how an increase in water delivery, and in some cases energy consumption, shows a potential increase in production and profit with a reduction in energy consumed per unit of output 

 Table 2. Pre and Post Audit Metrics.  

Metric  Pre-Audits  Post- Audits  Reduction (%) 
Consumption (kWh)  18,666,737  11,207,722  40 
Energy Costs ($)  4,187,148  1,142,816  72 
Emissions (tCO2-e)  15,120 9,078 40 


As the installation of the recommendations is made within the industry,  measurement and verification will be undertaken, and case studies will be updated to include the actual energy savings. 

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Energy Efficiency for your Industry and Business 

An energy audit is a great way to cut costs, reduce emissions and boost productivity.  

The audits show that there are significant opportunities in all the industries to improve energy efficiency mainly by investigating the pumping and irrigation systems as well as by implementing solar systems.

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The Energy Savers Plus Extension Program is delivered by the Queensland Farmers Federation with support and funding from the Queensland Department of Energy and Public Works.  


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