As applications for the Energy Efficient Communities Program Dairy Farming Business Grants opened on 22nd June 2020, a lot of farmers have been left wondering how their farm can run more efficiently, whether or not the grant will cover the cost of installing renewables like PV and PVT solar systems and what an earth a feasibility study will do.
How a farm currently operates will determine where the opportunities lie for greater efficiencies.
Energy efficiency is not just a case of replacing an energy source with a renewable source like solar, (this doesn’t actually improve efficiency) it is about reducing the overall amount of energy used in the operational process.
The strong case for solar
While a solar system does not improve the overall energy efficiency, it will most definitely improve the bottom line through cost savings and a better ROI. Switching over to solar is by far the highest yielding investment with the lowest risk there is.
In addition to the positive financial returns, a solar powered system of course will be better for the environment and a step towards having a smaller carbon footprint. A feasibility study will also include a projection of how much can be saved by switching to solar and how soon the payback will be.
The real business of energy efficiency
The purpose of a feasibility study is to conduct a full review on how energy efficiency can be improved, and this might include reviewing heating systems and cooling systems – water needs to be heated and milk needs to be refrigerated. The feasibility study will look at current systems and how these systems are powered and what systems are recommended to be the most energy efficient. For example, a CO2 heat pump might be a better solution or replacing a gas boiler system with a solar hot water system will most likely use far less energy and be a positive shift away from harmful refrigerants that are being phased out.
At SmartConsult our main focus is on energy efficiency, not just reducing the cost of energy, but installing energy systems that use significantly less energy. The way we do this is through the analysis of data along with a reverse engineering approach and delivering a customised solution.
A proper feasibility study will review of the capital costs involved to install a new system and the running costs into the future as well as other potential costs, so operations can be cash flow positive sooner than initially thought. For an initial free consultation click here to contact us today or call 1300 344 388.
If you are a dairy farmer, it is worthwhile applying for the grant as you may receive between $5000-$20,000 to assist with helping your farm to run more efficiently. You will need to be quick though. Applications for the grant close on 17th August 2020. Click here to apply for a grant today.