Light years ahead - Installing LED lighting has cut energy bills by 60pc on one Midlands farm
Lighting is one of the greatest expenses for pig farmers. It's not surprising then that when one farmer realised that installing more energy efficient lighting options would save him money, he jumped at the chance.
Mattie Moore (41) and his wife Miriam are pig farmers based in Croghan, Co Offaly. The farm, which has been in operation since Mattie's father Patrick began the family business in the 1970s, now rears 1,800 sows each year.
Up until recently, T5 and T8 fluorescent lights were in operation in the farm's gestation sheds. According to Mattie, they were "outdated" and required lots of maintenance, so he decided to do some research and found that LED lighting would best fit his farm's needs.
He then came across UrbanVolt. "LED lights for pig sheds had been talked about a lot for the last few years, so I decided I wanted to upgrade to them as I heard they were more cost-effective," he said.
"There were so many options out there but I chose to go with UrbanVolt to install the lights as if the lights falter within a certain length of time they have a guarantee, so it was reassuring that they could stand by that."
UrbanVolt is based in Dublin and offers a 'Light as a Service' (LaaS) model where it invests its capital to install energy-efficient lighting. The company is then paid a proportion of the energy savings which are generated over a five-year period. The 'pay-as-you-save' means that the farmer has significantly lower monthly energy bills and UrbanVolt is paid monthly as the savings are realised. This means the farmer gets a full LED upgrade and a net monthly saving.
The UrbanVolt project management team oversaw the retrofitting of 164 uniform LED linear fittings on Mattie's farm, which created consistent light levels across the site.
According to Mattie, the UrbanVolt team did a "neat job" and he was delighted with the finished product.