With a six per cent hike in electricity prices on the way, now could be the time for farmers to look at switching to gas instead.
As PowerNI prepares to implement an electricity price hike of six per cent on almost 34,000 farms and businesses, farmers now more than ever are looking for ways to reduce their costs.
On an average dairy farm, rising electricity costs along with expensive day rates for heating water can become a crippling expense.
However, it’s not an area farmers can afford to scrimp on, as a reliable hot water supply is vital for the effective cleaning of milk lines and storage tanks as well as controlling the Total Bacteria Count (TBC) of the milk produced.
As a result, a number of reputable farms across Northern Ireland have made the switch to gas, and it’s proving a success.
Here are 5 ways installing gas at your farm can help increase your productivity and reduce your costs:
1. On Demand Hot Water
Probably the biggest and most effective difference between electricity and gas is the ability to have hot water on demand, as and when it’s needed.
2. Reduction In Storage Costs
According to Paul Ruegg , senior marketing executive for Flogas, many farms using electricity waste money through the inefficient storage of water.
He explained: “This water is heated and then cools, only to be reheated again if it isn’t all used, but with gas, the customer can heat exactly what is required leaving no wastage.”
3. Temperature Control
By being able to accurately control the temperature of water required (from 37oC to 84oC) , there’s no need to waste time waiting for a hot tank to cool if you need to use water for other applications. This allows your farm to have one single system throughout – for example, warm water for your vet to use, mixing milk powder for calves or for cleaning.
4. It’s more cost effective
Recent trials on local farms have demonstrated that using gas for heating water to wash down the milking parlour and tank is a more cost effective alternative to electricity and oil.
5. Helps Prevent Bacteria
By being able to get the temperature of water you need when you need it, it’s possible to significantly reduce TBC levels within the milk produced. This reduced bacteria count helps to keep the product at a high quality.
A local farmer, Andrew Mackey, who installed the Flogas water heating system said: “Prior to installation of the new hot water system, we had a problem with Bactoscan during the summertime. The existing water heater on the farm was too small for our 14/28 parlour with jars. The new gas heating solution from Flogas solved this problem.”
To find out how Flogas could help you reduce your costs and to receive a free site visit by a gas expert, log onto www.flogasni.com/dairy or contact Paul or Michelle and the team at Flogas on 028 9073 2611