Energy Savers
Darling Downs

Pittsworth Egg Farm

Energy Savings
Fan, Refrigeration, Variable Speed Control, Solar Photovoltaic
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 replace ventilation fans, upgrade refrigeration plant, control system improvements as well as install a solar PV system.

The farm, near Pittsworth, consists of four individual farms with 41 poultry sheds that have a total usable floor area of 45,400m2 and house approximately 2,140,000 birds per annum. This include five sheds that are used for rearing young birds, other sheds for a cage egg production and a dedicated area for free-range egg production. The site also includes a feed mill, farm office and large workshop.

Energy consumption is dominated by the ventilation and feed systems, with an annual energy consumption for the farm of approximately 4,000,000 kWh at a cost of $970,000, which is estimated to increase around 3 times by 2025, based on which energy saving strategies were recommended. 

The sites energy consumption consist of:

  • Lighting system
  • Ventilation system (circulation fans, tunnel)
  • Bore pump
  • Feed auger vats
  • Manure collection belts
  • LPG recirculating heaters
  • Feed mills (silos, grain dryers, dust extraction and compressed air systems)
  • Refrigeration system (air blowers)

An energy audit showed how improving the current systems can lead to energy and cost savings over projected increases by investing around $2,500,000. The recommendation explored in the audit included: 

  • Replace ventilation fans with more efficient units.
  • Upgrade refrigeration plant with variable speed compressors.
  • Control system improvements for dust extraction via sensor.
  • Install solar PV.

Table 1. Energy savings from audit recommendations

Recommendation  Energy savings (kWh)  Cost Savings ($)  Emission Savings (tCO2-e)  Payback Period (Years)  Cost to Implement ($) 
Fan replacement 1,290,000 440,000 1,045 2.2 204,000
Refrigeration upgrade  215,000 34,460 174 3.9 135,000
Mill improvements 22,200 3,525 18 3.5  12,400
Solar PV 1,975,000 313,260 1,600 6.7 2,100,000
Total 3,502,200 817,745 2,837 4 2,451,400

By installing the recommendation in the 
audit, the business could reduce energy consumption by 29%, and costs by 32%, with carbon emission savings of 2,837 tCO2e per year. 

Table 2. Pre and post audit energy consumption and costs based on 2025 values. 

Audit Metric  Pre-Audit  Post-Audit  Reduction (%)
Energy Consumption (kWh)  11,970,000 8,465,000 29
Cost ($)  2,555,000 1,737,255 32


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.