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Archive: When was the last time you looked at your farm’s energy costs?

Published 10 June 09

Racheal chamberlayne, DairyCo Extension Team South West

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Taking stock of your energy use on farm is essential if you're going to keep bills to a minimum.

"Electricity usage on dairy farms can vary between 200 kWh and 400 kWh (kilowatt hours) per cow, per annum, so there is definitely potential for savings to be made," says DairyCo extension officer Rachael Grigg. 

The cost of supplying power to a dairy farm is significant and, like any other farm input cost, needs to be reviewed if you are going to make real savings. Recent fluctuations in the cost of electricity and gas mean that this is now even more pressing.

"The first step is to be able to measure the energy that is actually being used on your farm," says Rachael. "The biggest source of energy will almost always be electricity but gas and fuels such as oil and diesel should also be looked at carefully.

"It is important to take a look at your contract and be aware of when it ends - you'll need time to terminate it.  You should also look carefully at where your main energy use is and see what alternatives there are.

"DairyCo's recently revised booklet Energy efficiency on farm takes you through the different options that are available, and helps you get a better understanding of your true energy costs. There is also guidance on how best to use energy to make savings, and be more efficient for the future."

Dairy farmers and staff can call 01285 646510 or email publications@dairyco.org.uk to order their free copy of Energy efficiency on farm.