Energy Savers
Atherton Tablelands

Tablelands Irrigation Farm

Energy Savings
Nursery & Garden
Essential oils
Drip, Micro irrigation
Pump upgrade, Variable Speed Control, Solar Photovoltaic, Lighting, Solar hot water
Capital Cost

Farm Profile

The two river pumps at a Tablelands farm use nearly 50,000kWh per year or about 85 per cent of the farm’s power. A 75kW irrigation pump supplies several different sized irrigation blocks from the creek and a 4kW Pump provides additional water to the farm for other processes both with an elevation difference of up to 15 metres. 

es076 river pump cropped

An energy audit recommended the irrigation pump could be reduced in size from 75kW to 45kW with a variable speed drive, allowing the new system to pump at the right pressure into different sized blocks. 

The auditor recommended realigning the 4kW pump on its slab so that two right angled bends could be removed, which would allow the pump to deliver an extra 1,000 litres per hour using the same energy. 

The audit recommended several other opportunities, including: 

  1. 10kW of Solar PV with an annual saving of over 15,500kWh and a payback period of 4.3 years.
  2. Retrofit of lights in the sheds and houses with a saving of 1,100 kWh and a payback period of 5 years. 
  3. An upgrade to a solar hot water system saving over 1,500kWh with a payback period of nearly 13 years.

The auditor made a number of other recommendations to help reduce energy consumption on the farm including: 

  • Air conditioning set point temperatures of 20°C in winter and 25°C in summer to maintain comfort levels acceptable to most occupants
  • Replace air filters as necessary in the split system
  • Consider adding external window coverings to block sun where needed
  • Keep exterior doors and windows closed when the air conditioning system is turned on
  • Effective weather stripping on exterior doors to prevent drafts
  • Implement insulation in the ceiling of the house  

The total cost of all the projects is estimated at $40,500 with an annual saving of $7,000 and average payback of 5.8 years, reducing energy consumption and costs by 44 per cent.  

Added benefits include greenhouse gas emission reductions of 24.2 t CO2-e and demand savings of up to 14.2kW. 

As a participant in the Energy Savers Plus Program Extension (ESPPE) the farm is eligible for a grant of up to $20,000 to help fund the improvements. These estimated costs and savings will be updated to actual savings once the farmer has implemented the projects. 

Solution  45kW Pump and Variable Speed Drive  10kW Solar PV System  Solar Hot Water System  Replace all lights with LEDs  TOTAL 
Energy Savings (kWh)  7,858  15,551  1,528  1,095  26,032 
Cost Savings ($) 2,059  4,179  387  376  7,001 
Capital Cost ($) 24,000  10,000  5,000  1,500  40,500 
Payback (years)  11.7  2.4  12.9  4.0  5.8 


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


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.