For the first time in New Zealand, dairy farmers are being offered an electricity plan created specifically for their unique energy use.
For Dairy is the latest product from Genesis, which said it recognises the way dairy farmers use electricity is far from standard.
Executive General Manager James Magill said using the product could ultimately result in savings of between five and 25 percent off a farmer’s milking shed electricity bill.
“We know the milking shed is central to a dairy farming business and that electricity it uses is at off-peak and shoulder times of the day, when everyone else is sleeping or at work,” he said.
He said farmers would be rewarded for using energy when no one else was.
“We’ve created a tool to show exactly how For Dairy works and bring its benefits to life for dairy farmers. It graphs and forecasts their electricity use – and savings – taking into consideration seasonal variations and usage patterns during a typical milking day on the farm,” said Magill.
Fonterra Farm Source Group Director Richard Allen says energy represents a significant cost to farmers.
“Farm Source is committed to helping lower on-farm costs and we’ve been focused on finding the best deal for our farmers so it’s great to have Genesis on board and investing in innovations to enable this,” he said.
The new scheme meant there was also the opportunity for farmers to get even greater value by moving more of their energy use to off-peak and shoulder times.
During the development phase of the product, Magill said one of the participating farmers reviewed his usage through For Dairy and realised an immediate cost saving.
“Instead of leaving the water pump running around the clock, we suggested he get a timer so he could set it to turn on when he needed it, which was during off-peak times, getting the pump warmed up right before the milking schedule and allowing it to cool down soon after,” he said.
Genesis would also give dairy farmers greater transparency by splitting out the network charges from the energy charges.