Taking the heat out of farm energy costs

Published 17 March 10

Taking the heat out of farm energy costs

Installing a heat recovery unit (HRU) can help dairy farmers reduce water heating costs by up to 50 per cent by maximising the energy efficiency of milk cooling and water heating, according to DairyCo research. 

An HRU is connected into the refrigeration system of the bulk tank, it takes the waste heat and uses it to pre-heat water before it enters the water heater.

An HRU can cost from £1,500 to £3,000, but with the financial savings to be made there will be a return on investment.  Work by the NFU and The Carbon Trust also means that a new interest-free loan has recently become available from The Carbon Trust to help farmers who want to invest in energy efficient equipment.  To find out more about Carbon Trust loans, call 01865 885846 or visit www.carbontrust.co.uk/loans

To calculate your water heating and milk cooling costs use the DairyCo energy calculators, available online at www.dairyco.org.uk, or to find out about more ways of energy saving order the DairyCo booklet, Energy efficiency on farm, by calling 02476 478695 or emailing publications@dairyco.org.uk.  


Date 17 March 2010

For further information:

N:        Helen Bond

T:        02476 478696

E:        helen.bond@dairyco.org.uk


Notes for Editors:


DairyCo is a division of the statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).


DairyCo's current focus is on improving the profitability of dairy farming by focusing on four specific areas:

  • Provision of high quality market information to help farmers and their representatives make the most of dairy markets and opportunities.
  • Helping dairy farmers increase their profits while meeting regulatory and environmental requirements - through the provision of world class research programmes and practical on-farm tools and services
  • Helping promote the positive perception of dairy farming with the general public.
  • The development of DairyCo activities towards a self-sustaining model.


DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre.  This provides an annual income of around £6.5m.