In the past month Oamaru dairy farmers Joe and Becky Laming have saved $1100 in electricity costs by installing a new milk chilling system that will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The pay as you save (PAUS) initiative launched last week in North Otago allows Fonterra farmers like the Lamings to lease new-generation, New Zealand-developed CoolSense milk chilling technology.
The Lamings installed their first CoolSense unit six years ago but added another through the PAUS lease system after buying an adjacent farm a few months ago.
“We have absolutely nothing to do with it. It’s like buying a subscription,” Joe said.
Becky said they hadn’t thought about the impact of hydrofluorocarbons on the environment, but once they learnt about them they were relieved to be using something less harmful.
Information provided with the launch states that combined with the more efficient system, shed electricity savings have averaged 30% and the use of fourth-generation refrigerants instead of HFCs reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to older systems.
A bonus is the 2000L of hot water produced each day through the heat recovery system.
Milk-chilling systems are required to ensure milk gets to the required temperature of 6degC or below within two hours of milking, but this a significant capital investment for farmers and can become increasingly costly as the systems age.
The PAUS scheme offers the full servicing of the chilling units as part of a lease agreement with Fonterra farmers. Lease payments will be deducted from monthly milk cheques with the option to extend the lease when it rolls over, or to purchase the unit.
Information provided with the release states that combined with the more efficient system, shed electricity savings have averaged 30% and the use of fourth-generation refrigerants instead of HFCs reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to older systems.
As chilling systems age they can struggle to meet milk snap-chilling to 6degC or lower, while the new technology provides transparent data and allows real-time remote monitoring.
Anne Douglas, group director of Fonterra Farm Source, said the co-operative was keen to be involved given the project brings both short and long-term benefits.
“We’re delighted to be part of this collaboration because it delivers value to Fonterra farmers through things like improved efficiencies while also helping lower on-farm emissions. It’s an exclusive deal that we can offer in large part because of the scale of our co-operative and strength of our partnerships.”