Energy Savers
Wide Bay Burnett

Mondure Irrigation Farm

Energy Savings
Grains and Fodder
Centre Pivot, Boom, Flood
Pump upgrade
Capital Cost


A fodder producer has the potential to save money by implementing pump and irrigation upgrades from recommendations in a recent Energy Savers Audit.

The farmer has replaced the bore pumps with more efficient units. Savings from the new systems will be updated when the measurement and verification process is complete.

The site has combined water access to up to 400ML of bore water and a 140ML dam and bore onsite which irrigates 40ha to supply fodder for the livestock. The pumps move water through a network of 100mm and 150mm pipes supplying the irrigators which consist of four homemade pivot irrigators (10ha), a boom irrigator (6ha) and flood irrigation (24ha).

The farm uses a total of 150,463 kWh per year at a cost of $34,178 using obsolete Tariff 66 which is due to expire in June 2021. From the energy cost of the irrigation system, the motor contributes 30%, the pump 25% and the irrigator 30%. As water is double pumped through the older pumps there is an opportunity to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and increase production.

Table 1. Pre and post audit motor and pump findings. 


Pump Site 

Pre-Audit  Post- Audit 
Pump and Motor Efficiency (%)  Energy Consumption (kWh)  Pump and Motor Efficiency (%)  Energy Consumption (kWh) 
Irrigation  60-75  74,074  75-85  52,288 
Bore  50-80  27,778  70-85  18,674 
Creek  50-80  48,611  79-90  31,255 


The remaining 15% of energy use is contributed by static head and pipe and fittings, changes will further improve efficiency. A recent energy audit showed how improving the current irrigation systems can lead to energy and cost savings.

Replacing the 100mm PVC pipeline that runs from the dam to pivot with a 150mm PVC pipeline will reduce the friction losses over that 130m from 8m to 2m. With the reduction in friction losses, the site could potentially save 17,429kWh and $4,620 per annum. Further recommendations show that by replacing the 100mm pipe with 150mm from the creek pump to the dam, the friction loss will be reduced 1m, though this is not recommended due to the longer payback period.

Table 2. Costs and savings from audit recommendations.

Recommendations  Energy Savings (kWh)  Cost Savings ($)  Emission Savings (t/CO2-e) Payback Period (Years)  Capital Cost ($)
Replace irrigation pump (bore) 21,786  5,773  17.6 1.4 8,000
Replace bore pump 9,104  2,412  7.4 2.5 6,000
Replace creek pump (bore) 17,356  4,600  14.1 2 9,000
Upgrade pipeline from dam to pivot  17,429  4,620  14.1 1.3 7,000
Replace pipeline from creek to dam  9,376  2,485  7.6 14.1 35,000
Total   75,051  19,890  60.8 4.3 65,000


Implementation of all the recommendations could see a potential site consumption of 75,412kWh costing $14,288 per annum, with a 58% decrease despite the increase in cost from the new tariff.

The farmer proceeded with the installation of the new bore pumps. Actual savings will be updated once the measurement and verification process is complete.

Table 3. Pre and post audit energy and costs, and savings.

Metric  Pre-Audit  Post-Audit  Reduction (%)
Energy Consumption (kWh) 150,463 102,217 32
Cost ($) 34,178 21,393 37


An energy audit is a good investment 

An energy audit is a great way for a business to cut costs and boost productivity. Find out about what’s involved in an energy audit 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 by the Queensland Farmers Federation with support and funding from the Queensland Department of Energy and Public Works.