A farm energy project in Wales has saved dairy farms more than £1,600 from their electricity bills.

Dozens of farms across Wales volunteered for the energy ‘health checks’, an initiative included in the ‘Improving the Welsh Dairy Supply Chain’ project. 

A review of farm electricity, fuel or water use has identified savings that have a pay back period of less than three years, says project officer Neil Nicholas. These include the use of solar thermal systems for heating water in milking parlours.

“On-farm savings identified to date include average electricity savings of £1,670 or 14,195kwh per farm per year. This represents an average annual saving of 20%,’’says Mr Nicholas.

“The average capital investment required to implement the required changes for these farms is £4,300, providing a payback period of just 2.7 years.’’

The highest electricity saving identified to date is £6,929 – or 50,616kwh a year.

Mr Nicholas is now hoping to enlist the help of 10 dairy farmers in Wales as volunteers for a project that will monitor their fuel use this year.

He is seeking five low-cost dairy systems and five higher yielding producers. Farmers can contact the Dairy Development Centre at 01554 748570.

The project is part of the Welsh Government’s £3.3m Dairy Supply Chain Efficiencies Scheme launched in July 2010.



Renewable energy