Horticultural production and packing operations use a lot of energy for lighting, heating, ventilation, air circulation, irrigation, and refrigeration, but most farmers can find savings to benefit the bottom line and the environment.
Improving routine maintenance and adjusting operating procedures to reduce the run-time of equipment are good places to start. Cost-effective upgrades may help too. Could you switch to energy efficient lighting in the packing shed? Or install plastic strip curtains or automatic fruit cool store doors? Would a power factor correction unit, or a variable speed drive on orchard irrigation motors generate savings?
There are plenty of actions you can take to cut your energy costs. Here are some of the best resources to get started:
Learn from others — case studies
Many different actions to save energy are covered in case studies at the bottom of this resource page from Apple and Pear Australia Limited. Case studies cover installing power factor correction units, voltage power optimisation, changing power usage to manage electricity demand, improving efficiency in fruit cool store refrigeration systems, and more.
See how farms are making significant energy savings across Queensland, in these case studies by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation: Bowen (mangoes and tomatoes), Mareeba (citrus and avocados), Mundubbera (citrus), and Bundaberg (tomatoes, figs and avocados).
Learn how Sunfruit Orchards in Tresco, Victoria used variable speed drives for irrigation to save energy and cut costs, in this case study by Apple and Pear Australia Limited.
Act now — fact sheets, guides and tools
Find energy savings fact sheets about lighting, refrigeration, electricity tariffs, fruit grading, irrigation, and cool stores, on this resource page from Apple and Pear Australia Ltd.
Read about a program to help the temperate fruit industry reduce energy use and operating costs, in this report by Apple and Pear Australia Limited and KMH Environment.
Get a full range of resources, including calculators, for horticulture production businesses, with this guide from Growcom.
Know your options — more help and ideas
Victorian Energy Saver provides tools and information to help Victorian Businesses save energy and money.
- access and understanding energy data
- learn about energy retail offers and contracts
- get government assistance through business grants, training and support
- access discount energy saving products from the Victorian Energy Upgrades program e.g. upgrades to lighting, refrigeration fans, hot water and custom upgrades
- explore renewable energy options with Saving with Solar.