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Stanthorpe Horticulture Farm - Queensland Farmers' Federation
Energy Savers
Southern Downs

Stanthorpe Horticulture Farm

Energy Savings
Wine Grapes and Wine
Capital Cost


A recent energy audit showed how improving the current systems can lead to energy and cost savings. The recommendations explored in the audit included a tariff analysis, chiller and chiller pump upgrade, install a smart metering device and implement a maintenance program for the refrigeration and solar systems.

 The grower proceeded with a new chiller pump and will be installing a new chiller in the coming months, expecting to achieve 16% energy savings and emission reductions of 10.5 tCO2-e per year. The measurement and verification process is expected to be completed on the new refrigeration system in the coming months.

The farm, near Stanthorpe, produces wine grapes and wine and is irrigated 9 months of the year depending on rainfall. Water is supplied from an on-site irrigation dam which is replenished from rainfall.  

It is a large site consuming 93,000 kWh grid-supplied electricity per year at a cost of $25,500 and crushes 100T of grapes which are grown on-site and sourced from local growers. The site already has a 30kW solar system on the main facility.  

The infrastructure contributing to the energy consumption onsite consists of:

  • Cellar Door  
  • Wine production machinery 
  • Chilled brine system for temperature regulation 
  • Two large cold rooms 
  • A large temperature-controlled barrel room
  • Bottling machinery 

A recent energy audit showed how improving the current systems can lead to energy and cost savings. The energy audit recommended the following changes to improve efficiency and reduce costs:

  • Tariff Analysis.
  • Smart metering on the main shed, to closely monitor energy usage and implement energy-saving measures to prevent excessive electricity costs. The farm will save significant demand charges by keeping the energy usage under 100,000kWh.
  • Maintenance program for the solar system and cold rooms, including solar cleaning, clean cold room refrigeration unit fins and replace fridge seals.
  • Upgrade chiller which is at end of life and undersized for predicted loads, allowing for larger volumes of grapes.
  • Upgrade undersized chiller pump that will match the new chiller, allowing less energy usage and maintenance costs. 

Table 1. Energy and cost savings from audit recommendations

Recommendations Annual Energy Savings (kWh) Annual Cost Savings ($) Emission Savings (tCO2-e)  Capital Cost ($) Payback Period (years)
Smart Energy Meter 1,860 750 1.5 3,000 4
Maintenance Program 5,750 1,154 4.6 11,300 10
Upgrade chiller pump 2,100 874 1.7 10,500 12
Upgrade chiller 8-13,700 4,000 8.8 54,700 14
Total 23,410 6,778 16.6 79,500 10


The grower has proceeded with the installation of the new chiller pump and will be installing a new chiller in the coming months, expecting to achieve around 16% energy savings, 19% cost savings and carbon emission reductions of 10.5 tCO2-e per year. Actual savings will be updated once the measurement and verification process is complete.

Table 2. Pre and post implementation energy consumption, costs, and energy productivity improvements

Metric Pre-Implementation Post-Implementation Reduction (%)
Energy Consumption (kWh) 93,000 78,000 16
Cost ($) 25,500 20,626 19
Energy Productivity (kWh/tonne) 930 780 16


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 on site.  

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  

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.