12 March 1999

Still cheaper powers the target

ELECTRICITY cost savings are being made at Capel Church Farm, but further reductions may still be possible.

Jim Warnocks hot water for morning and afternoon parlour circulation is heated on cheap rate Economy Seven electricity using two water tanks. The payback on a second hot water tank is less than two years.

A plate cooler is also being used to cool milk before it enters the ice bank tank which builds ice on Economy Seven, says Mr Warnock.

But there is no heat recovery unit on the compressor, which could lower cooling costs, adds William Waterfield.

"While we leave lights on all night for security, and they are sodium lights with low running costs, we could add sensors," says Mr Warnock. Sensors would mean lights were not left on once it became light in the morning.

Mr Warnock is also considering installing a new bulk tank. His options are to buy an additional tank and extend the dairy, install a direct-expansion tank or buy an outdoor vat.

Mr Waterfield says that when splitting the cost over five years it normally pays to install an ice bank tank because of its lower running costs. An ice bank tank would be £200 a year cheaper to run than the next cheapest option for the volume of milk Mr Warnock sells. But in circumstances such as Mr Warnocks, an ice bank tank would require the costs of altering buildings to be taken into account before deciding on the best option.

In future, it may also be possible to save on electricity costs by using a different supplier, adds Mr Waterfield.

For copies of the MDC report Controlling Overhead Costs phone 01952-291950. &#42