Dairy farmers have been told that efficient technology will save them up to 15% on their energy bills.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is collaborating with Teagasc to help dairy farmers reduce their energy use and save on electricity costs.

A pilot scheme is funding high-efficiency pumps which can dramatically reduce electricity consumption on dairy farms. The fund is €250,000 with 80 dairy farms likely to benefit this year.

The SEAI is working with Teagasc to ensure that the growth and development of dairy farming is as sustainable as possible.

SEAI chief executive Jim Gannon said: “Everyone in agri-food has a responsibility to use less energy, and use cleaner energy where they can. Our farming community have been stewards of the land for generations in Ireland and have a key role to play in helping to tackle climate change.”

Teagasc director Gerry Boyle said that, with the present uncertainties in world affairs, there is a need to improve energy security by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

“In the longer term, we need to tackle global warming by reducing the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” said Prof Boyle. “At an individual farm level an investment in energy efficiency or renewable technologies will reduce the high cost of energy inputs.

“It will also give a green image to our production that is of increasing importance in the marketplace.”

The projects funded are providing valuable data and insights to support evidence based policy. The scheme will also help identify the right approach which can be introduced to the broader dairy community.

Technologies covered include variable speed drive vacuum pumps, milk pumps and smart meters.

Grant aid is available for up to 50% of total technology and installation costs.

To qualify for the grant, participants must first apply to and get approval from SEAI. All installation works must be completed and grant request forms received by October 20.

Participants must fit a smart meter or measure electricity consumption for at least one week before and after installation.

 

Source: Irish Examiner