Energy Savers
Dry Tropics

Townsville Egg Farm

Energy Savings
Fan, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Demand management, Tariffs
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 tariff restructure, replace ventilation fans, install control system in air conditioning, upgrade refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

The farm, near Townsville, has 8 poultry sheds that have a total usable floor area of 11,200m2 and house approximately 275,000 birds per annum. Of these sheds, two are used as rearing sheds and another two are left open for free-range laying. The site also includes a feed mill, farm office, grading and packing floor and stores.

Energy consumption is dominated by the ventilation and feed systems, with an annual energy consumption for the site of approximately 1,340,000 kWh at a cost of $315,000. 

The sites energy consumption consist of:

  • Lighting system
  • Ventilation system (circulation fans, tunnel)
  • Manure collection belts
  • LPG recirculating heaters
  • Refrigeration system (air conditioning)

An energy audit showed how adding energy efficiency improvements to the required renovation of the farm’s ventilation and cooling systems can lead to energy and cost savings by investing an additional $68,600 over Business as Usual (BAU) projected investments. The recommendations explored in the audit included: 

  • Tariff Restructure to reduce billing costs.
  • Replace ventilation fans with more efficient units.
  • Management control system in air conditioning.
  • Upgrade air conditioning and refrigeration systems to have head pressure control.

Table 1. Energy savings from audit recommendations

Recommendation  Energy savings (kWh)  Cost Savings ($)  Emission Savings (tCO2-e)  Payback Period (Years)  Cost to Implement ($)
Tariff Restructure 2,500
Ventilation Fan replacement 91,000 30,020 74 1.6 47,600
AC control system 21,600 4,700 17 1.0 4,600
AC and Refrigeration upgrades 29,200 6,500 24 2.5 16,400
Total 141,800 43,720 115 1.8 68,600

By installing the recommendations in the audit, the business could reduce energy consumption by 11%, and costs by 14%, with carbon emission savings of 115 tCO2e per year. 

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

Audit Metric  Pre-Audit  Post-Audit  Reduction (%)
Energy Consumption (kWh)  1,340,000 1,198,200 11
Cost ($)  315,000 271,280 14


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.