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No Time Like the Present to Save Energy

by 5m Editor
23 March 2010, at 7:59am

UK - There has never been a better time for pig producers to save energy – and they can claim up to 320,000 for doing so, points out Nick Bird, director of Reading-based energy control specialists, Farmex.

The Carbon Trust – an independent company set up by the government – is offering interest-free loans, designed to pay for themselves through direct energy savings, over a period of up to four years. The Trust says that upgrading heating and ventilation controls on livestock farms typically costs £3,000 and saves over £4,000 and 23 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

"Given this sort of pay-back there is no longer any excuse for wasting energy," says Mr Bird. He points out that in pig production the biggest savings are in the farrowing houses and weaner pens where energy use is the most intensive and, generally, the most wasteful.

A Farmex/BPEX energy survey showed that a typical farrowing house uses 1,500 to 2,500 kWh per pen place annually, whereas a 'good' unit uses as little as 900 kWh – giving a possible saving of between £52 and £141 per year.

Typical weaner pens use 100 to 200 kWh per weaner place a year compared with efficient ones using only 30 kWh, offering a saving of between £6 and £15 per weaner place per year.

Loans of as much as £570 and £60 could be available for saving energy per farrowing pen and per weaner place, respectively.

"Monitoring is crucially important to in achieving energy savings. Our energy survey show that just having the right equipment is only part of the battle," said Nick Bird. "You have to learn to use it well. Monitoring with professional assistance can make all the difference."