New pilot grant scheme could save farms €600 on electricity

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Barry Caslin, bioenergy specialist at Teagasc
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

A new pilot grant scheme could reduce dairy farmers' electricity costs by up to €600 a year.

The Energy Efficiency in Dairy Sector Pilot 2017 is a joint initiative by Teagasc and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) which aims to reduce the electricity consumption of vacuum pumps by 60pc by applying Variable Speed Drive technology (VSD).

The addition of a VSD to vacuum pumps in milking parlours can result in savings of more than 10pc on total farm energy costs as the VSD is able to adjust the rate of air removal from the milking system.

Barry Caslin, bioenergy specialist at Teagasc, said that the new scheme will reduce farm energy costs as well as the carbon footprint of the farm.

"Agriculture accounts for 33pc of greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland, so we need to do all we can at farm level to reduce this," he said.

"Currently only 15-20pc of farmers have VSD technology, which is quite low. Unlike solar energy, it reduces the number of kilo-watt hours. Savings on a typical dairy farm that operates at 30kWh per day (vacuum pumps) could amount to €600 per annum with this new scheme."

The grant covers 50pc of installation costs and the maximum level of support is €4,500.

The scheme has currently received 60 applications. Closing date for applications is Wednesday, October 16.

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For further information farmers should contact their local Teagasc advisor or email

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