Sustainability

On-farm resources: Farm Energy Efficiency

Discover what farm energy efficiency can do for you

As an industry, dairy producers spend roughly $1.4 billion annually on energy use — approximately $.15 per cwt. of milk produced. These resources are designed to help you identify ways to increase your energy efficiency. Then visit our SaveEnergy Finder to locate energy audit funding opportunities in your area or call 1-800-732-1399 to speak with an energy expert.


Take control of your energy costs


Save money with an energy audit


Industry success stories


It pays to upgrade your equipment


Help promote energy efficiency

Take control of your energy costs

Dairy producers spend anywhere from $5,000 to more than $250,000 per year on energy use related to milk production. But there is room to save!  On average, dairy producers realize between $3,000 and $31,000 in annual savings by implementing energy efficiency practices.

On-farm energy use distribution
Best practices guide: Energy savings opportunities for dairy

Learn about energy savings opportunities for dairy producers.

Farm Energy Efficiency FAQ
Frequently asked questions about energy use and energy efficiency on U.S. dairy farms.
Agricultural Energy Management Plan Overview
This Natural Resources Conservation Service fact sheet highlights how an energy audit can help you understand how energy is used on your farm.
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Industry success stories

With such significant energy consumption, dairy producers are especially vulnerable to weather extremes, high energy costs and volatile energy market fluctuations. Protect your operation, and your bottom line, by implementing energy efficiency measures today.

 

Idaho: Energy efficient upgrades benefit dairy and the environment
Ballard Family Dairy and Cheese in Gooding, Idaho, winners of the Outstanding Achievement in Energy Efficiency category of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, share their best practices.
Indiana: Knowing what’s watt

Tony Goltstein of Union-Go Farm, Winchester, Ind., identified potential energy efficiencies in light fixtures, milk transfer pumps and scroll compressors.

Maryland: Installing compressors cut costs

Ralph Shank of Hagerstown, Md., used an energy audit to discover that a high-performance compressor on his milk cooling system would result in $1,670 savings per year.

Minnesota: Energy audit guides efficiency decisions

Bryan Jewison of Janesville, Minn., was able to save 22 percent on energy costs after an energy audit identified opportunities for energy efficient equipment upgrades.

New York: Continuing 219-year-old legacy with energy upgrades
Craig and Linda Stevens of Fort Plains, N.Y., made two major upgrades on their farm, saving nearly $1,600 per year based on reducing electricity use by 13,200 kWh.
Oregon: Lighting illuminates savings

Louie Kazemier of Portland, Ore., saved $13,337 per year by making changes to lighting and the laundry facility, based on a reduction of 214,850 kWh of electricity and 874 therms of natural gas.

Pennsylvania: Farm gets audit and update with USDA grant
Gary Kline of Y-Run Farms in Troy, Pa., is saving $12,000 annually after a lighting upgrade.
Texas: Energy upgrades save dairy 13 percent annually

The Waterlanders of Liquendia Dairy in Dublin, Texas, achieved savings through the implementation of technologies including plate coolers.

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It pays to upgrade your equipment

Continually maintaining or replacing outdated farm equipment is a must for any dairy producer – from installing more efficient lighting, purchasing a new motor, or deciding to invest in better ventilation. Funding for equipment upgrades is available through USDA grants, local utility providers and other state programs.

 

Milking Vacuum Pump Variable Speed Drive

This EnSave fact sheet highlights the energy saving, operational and business benefits of using a variable speed drive to regulate milking vacuum pump speeds.

Milk Pump Variable Speed Drive
This EnSave fact sheet identifies how a milk pump variable speed drive optimizes milk cooling, typically creating energy savings of 30 percent.
Milk Pre-Coolers

This EnSave fact sheet outlines the energy savings realized by installing a milk pre-cooler, which chills milk before it is pumped into the bulk tank.

Scroll Compressors on the Dairy Farm
This EnSave fact sheet makes the case for replacing aging reciprocating compressors with scroll compressors to reduce energy use, noise levels and maintenance needs and increase control over milk quality.
Dairy Farm Lighting

This EnSave fact sheet shares criteria to consider when making dairy farm lighting decisions, including the long-term cost-saving benefits of linear fluorescent and pulse start metal halide systems.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting
This EnSave fact sheet highlights the cost and energy-saving benefits of choosing compact fluorescent lamps over incandescent bulbs.
T-8 and T-5 Efficient Fluorescent Lighting

This EnSave fact sheet notes that T-8 and T-5 bulbs deliver less noise, more light per watt, better color rendering, cooler operation and greater cost savings than more traditional T-12 bulbs.

Qualifying Products High Performance 4-foot T8 Lamps
This document compares nearly 20 brands of T-8 lamps in terms of rated life (hours), initial lumens, mean lumens, CRI and lumen maintenance; and more than 30 T-8 ballast products in terms of NEMA premium, voltage, type, factor range, input watts and BEF.
Energy Efficient Stock Waterers
This Ensave fact sheets makes the case for using well-insulated, all-plastic stock waterers because of their proven ability to keep drinking water from freezing with minimal electricity.
Compressor Heat Recovery

This EnSave fact sheet identifies how compressor heat recovery units capture heat during the milk cooling process to pre-heat water, reducing energy use from conventional water heaters.

Dairy Ventilation

This EnSave fact sheet highlights the importance of selecting highly efficient ventilation equipment and provides key considerations and recommendations for different barn styles.

Ventilation Fan Simple Payback Calculator

This worksheet helps identify potential energy savings realized by switching from standard efficiency ventilation fans to more energy efficient options.

NEMA Premium Motors
This EnSave fact sheet outlines the benefits of selecting motors with the NEMA Premium designation, including higher efficiencies, higher reliability and lower electrical power consumption and costs.
Managing Mercury on the Farm

This EnSave fact sheet identifies the challenges of using mercury-containing manometers, including lower accuracy and the expensive repercussions of a mercury spill, and highlights the benefits of digital options.

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Help promote energy efficiency

It is just as important to share information about energy efficiency as it is to continuously improve your farm. The content below is meant to be downloaded and customized for the audience you are communicating with.

 

Postcard: The Road to Energy Efficiency Begins at the Farm
Printable postcard to promote the Farm Energy Efficiency program
Infographic: The Road to Energy Efficiency Begins at the Farm

An infographic illustrating the process of getting an energy audit and implementing improvements

Farm Poster: Farm Energy Efficiencies
A graphic with facts on farm energy efficiency that can be used digitally or printed large-scale for use as a poster on a farm tour
Graphic: Five-Year Payback

Use this graphic in presentations, in collateral materials and web properties.

Graphic: Percent Savings
Use this graphic in presentations, in collateral materials and web properties.
Fact Sheet: Farm Energy Efficiency

This fact sheet can be used as a handout at your farm or at events, showcasing the benefits of energy audits and introducing audiences to the Farm Energy Efficiency program.

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