The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has selected four leading energy efficiency firms to deliver its Dairy Shed Heat Recovery programme across the country.
By transferring waste heat from one part of the production process and using it in another, less energy is used which reduces costs and improves productivity.
Dairy sheds use a lot of energy to heat water for cleaning. Heat recovery is the biggest and most cost-effective opportunity for improving dairy farm energy efficiency.
“In many instances, the pay-back period is under two years,” says EECA Business Industrial Programme Manager, Rod Treder.
“Heat removed during the milk chilling process is often wasted. It makes great sense for dairy farmers to use this resource to heat water stored for cleaning – dairy farms could cut their milking shed electricity bill by up to 30%,” he says.
The four providers are Climatemaster (servicing the whole country), Maverick Energy (servicing the North Island), Dairycool, and Waitaki Refrigeration (both servicing the South Island). EECA Business selected the four providers through a competitive tender process.
The EECA Business programme, which seeks to raise the profile of heat recovery technology, will provide grants to assist with installing heat recovery systems in around 40 dairy sheds over the next two years.
It will provide financial assistance and technical expertise through the providers, to help dairy farmers buy and install milking shed heat recovery systems.
“The providers will play an important role in outlining the benefits of this technology to dairy farmers. Over time we hope that heat recovery will become a standard feature of dairy shed hot water systems,” says Rod Treder.
Under the programme, EECA Business will cover up to 33% of the cost of buying and installing heat recovery technology.
Rod Treder says EECA views the introduction of dairy shed heat recovery systems as key to improving productivity in a sector that is of great importance to New Zealand’s economy.
“They will apply to EECA Business for funding on the farmer’s behalf, manage system installation and commissioning, and measure electricity savings.”
The initiative is one of a number of EECA Business programmes aimed at helping New Zealand businesses become more productive and competitive through improved energy efficiency.
Collectively, New Zealand businesses could save around $2 billion through energy efficiency measures.
Energy efficiency benefits both the public and private sectors by reducing demand, putting downward pressure on electricity prices and deferring the need for investment in new generation capability.