Energy Savers
South East

Brisbane Chicken Farm

Energy Savings
Solar Photovoltaic, Tariffs
Capital Cost


An energy audit showed how improving the current systems can lead to energy and cost savings. The recommendations explored in the audit included change the current electricity tariff and install a 30 kW solar PV system.

The farm, near Carbrook in south-east Queensland, comprises four chicken sheds, an office and three houses. A usable floor area of 10,200m2 houses around 172,000 birds. Each shed has tunnel and cross ventilation fans that operate via a central control system, as well as lighting systems and LPG heaters for winter, with an annual energy consumption of approximately 183,000 kWh at a cost of $38,000. 

The farm was recognized by the auditor as highly energy efficient since already had a PFC unit installed, a Solar PV system and the better performing fans based on the characteristics of the farm. An energy audit showed how additional improvements to the system can lead to greater energy and cost savings by investing $55,000, the recommendation explored in the audit included: 

  • Change the current electricity tariff.
  • Install an additional 30 kW solar PV system to supplement the system already installed, with the same capacity.

Table 1. Energy savings from audit recommendations

Recommendation  Energy savings (kWh)  Cost Savings ($)  Emission Savings (tCO2-e)  Payback Period (Years)  Cost to Implement ($) 
Change Tariff 2,385 0.5 1,000
Solar PV system 44,000 8,800 35 6.2 54,000
Total 44,000 11,185 35 4.8 55,000

By installing the recommendations in the 
audit, the business could reduce energy consumption by 24%, and costs by 30%, with carbon emission savings of 35 tCO2e per year. 

Table 2. Pre and post audit energy consumption and costs. 

Audit Metric  Pre-Audit  Post-Audit  Reduction (%)
Energy Consumption (kWh)  183,000 139,000 24
Cost ($)  38,000 26,815 30


An energy audit is a good investment 

An energy audit is a great first step in moving a business towards a more efficient future by reducing energy use, costs and Carbon emissions onsite.  

An energy auditor will review your past energy bills, your equipment and the way your business operates. They’ll show you where you’re using excess energy and explain what you can do about it. Find out about what’s involved in an energy audit HERE. 

See our range of agricultural energy efficiency case studies HERE and Subscribe to our bi-monthly energy e-news HERE  

If you have any energy efficiency related questions for the team get in touch at energysavers@qff.org.au.  

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