Farmers and food processors rely on electric motors for a range of purposes, but they cost a lot to run. In fact, the energy to run an electric motor for several weeks can cost more than the motor itself, so it really pays to look at your options.

High-efficiency motors and variable speed drives may both save considerable energy and have relatively short payback periods.

High-efficiency motors are designed to keep energy losses to a minimum. Variable speed drive equipment controls motor speed to match load and save energy. They are particularly useful for pumps, cooling, and ventilation where output needs vary. Combining high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives, and implementing a motor management system are smart strategies.

Energy-saving actions matter. Start with these resources.

Learn from others — case studies

See how installing variable speed drives on evaporator fans contributed to potential energy savings of 10 per cent for a Bundaberg chilli farm, in this case study from the Queensland Farmers’ Federation.

Read about the vegetable farm in Mona Vale that identified variable speed controls for its irrigator pumps and vegetable wash pumps as a long-term way to save, in this case study from the Queensland Farmers’ Federation.

Act now - fact sheets, guides and tools

Get a good overview of energy efficiency opportunities for motors from the Energy Exchange.

Learn more about reducing irrigation energy costs with variable speed drives, in this Pump Industry article.

Discover how variable speed drives can work well in dairy sheds, in this article from Agriculture Victoria.

Variable rate irrigation is an interesting energy-saving idea. Watch this Dairy Australia video about installing variable speed drives on vacuum pumps for crops to learn more.  

Read more about how variable speed drives can save money for irrigated horticulture, in this fact sheet from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.

Know your options — more help and ideas

Victorian Energy Saver provides tools and information to help Victorian Businesses save energy and money.

Page last updated: 31/07/18