Assisting dairy farmers reduce energy usage and costs 

Saving Energy on Dairy Farms booklet

Dairy Australia’s recently revamped Saving energy on dairy farms booklet is a comprehensive guide to smarter energy use on farm.

Updated in December 2018, it is a step-by-step introduction to better understanding power bills, identifying leaks, reducing demand, improving efficiency and considering options for renewables.

With hot water, milk cooling and milk harvesting accounting for a combined 80% of on farm energy use, the new booklet breaks down how to achieve savings in each of these key areas.

Saving energy on dairy farms – 2018 refresh

Grants for energy assessment (fact sheet)

Energy efficiency -Considering a renewable energy system?

Reducing Energy Costs in Dairy

The Reducing Energy Cost in Dairy project funded by Australian Dairy Farmers built on previous work by NSW Farmers and Dairy Australia. Activities under the initiative included:

  • Provision of fact sheets and calculators addressing dairy energy efficiency, renewable generation and battery storage,
  • Delivery of audits, case studies and seminars.

Click here for an Index of project resources.

Smarter Energy Use on Australian Dairy Farms

Between 2012 and 2015 Dairy Australia received funding from the Department of Industry and Science to provide 1400 Australian dairy farmers access to personalised on-farm energy assessments, workshops and information resources.

The assessments found that while no two dairies are the same, milk cooling, milk harvesting and hot water production are the areas of highest energy use. More than half (55%) of the assessments identified savings of less than $2,000 per year. About 40% of properties had potential to save a modest amount ($2,000–$10,000). Substantial savings (up to $29,000) were identified for a small (5%) proportion of the assessments.

Project information resources including facts sheets on renewable energy, feasibility of battery storage and regional benchmarks can be found below.

Agriculture Victoria: Energy on dairy farms

Agriculture Victoria have a range of useful resources to improve energy efficiency in the dairy shed, including information about heat recovery systems, the cost effectiveness solar voltaic systems and variable speed drives.

Click here to access these Energy in the dairy resources.

Smarter energy use on Australian dairy farms – information resources

Independent analysis of on-farm energy assessments
Lessons learnt from dairy energy assessments

Fact Sheets

Renewable Energy

Is renewable energy right for my farm?
Feasibility of biogas in dairy
Feasibility of stand alone energy systems -2015
Solar energy for dairy farms
Wind power for dairy farms
Hydro power for dairy farms


How does energy efficiency fit into my irrigation system?
How do I build a new dairy shed with energy efficiency in mind?

Case Studies – Milk Cooling and VSD

Van Diemens Land Company Tasmania
Brendan Martin, Banaum, Murray
Victor and Denise Rodwell, Boyanup, Western Australia
Scott and Michelle Weldon, Vasse, Western Australia 
Mathew and Alison Cahill, Rathdowney, QLD
Max and Tameeka Vera, Denison, Gippsland
Mike and Kim Jamieson, Timboon, WestVic
Ian Newbold and Bill Fraser, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia
Fred and Kimberly Veenstra, Swan Marsh, WestVic 

Technical Reports

Anerobic Digestion NIWA Client report
Full Report – Independent analysis of national energy assessment data 
Feasibility of battery storage for dairy

Regional Benchmarks

Energy Benchmarks Gippsland
Energy Benchmarks Western Victoria
Energy Benchmarks Murray Dairy
Energy Benchmarks Tasmania
Energy Benchmarks Subtropical
Energy Benchmarks NSW
Energy Benchmarks South Australia 
Energy benchmarks Western Australia