Farmers have enough to worry about without having to think about energy bills. That’s why your local Touchstone Energy® Cooperative is your partner in power, walking alongside you, dedicated to helping your farm or ranch become more energy-efficient. Because the more energy efficient your operation is, the lower your energy bills are. When your energy bills are lower, it means more of your money stays where it belongs: in your pocket.
With that in mind, here are eight energy-saving tips you can use to make your operation more energy efficient.
1. Swap Your Bulbs
If you’re still using incandescent or CFL bulbs, consider swapping them out for LEDs. These bulbs use considerably less energy and can last up to 50 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and eight to ten times longer than CFL bulbs. If you do continue to use incandescent bulbs, keep in mind that dirty bulbs and fixtures can reduce light levels, and things like moisture and dust can shorten the bulb life to less than its estimated “rated life.”
2. Upgrade Ventilation
Whatever kind of livestock you run, quality ventilation is vital. Even in buildings without animals, such as your shop or storage buildings, replacing older ventilation fans with high-efficiency options can reduce energy use. Whatever kind of livestock you run, replacing older ventilation fans with high-efficiency options can reduce energy use. Be sure to keep your fan blades clean from dust, feathers, hair and other things, which can reduce efficiency. You may also want to add Variable Frequency Drives to inverter-duty fans. This may not only increase efficiency, but also improve the motor life.
3. Insulate Buildings
Even the smallest cracks and holes in your buildings can waste energy, especially in the coldest and hottest months of the year. Adding extra insulation and updating your HVAC to more energy-efficient equipment can save you a lot in the long run. Even doing simple things like minimizing drafts by aligning doors and windows can help reduce your energy bill.
4. Manage Water
Keep your livestock hydrated with low-energy or energy-free waterers. These use less energy while keeping water fresh and preventing freezing. For irrigation, use low-pressure sprinkler nozzles. These reduce pumping demands without limiting water flow. That way your crops get the water they need at a lower cost and your pumps last longer.
5. Use Heat Reclaimer
Reduce energy waste with a heat reclaimer, particularly on dairies where milk collection and storage use a huge amount of energy. A dairy heat reclaimer allows you to capture waste heat from outdoor milk refrigeration units and uses it to heat water.
6 Use Creep Heat Pads
Heat lamps are highly inefficient when it comes to energy consumption. Creep heat pads are essentially blankets that will keep your swine or poultry warm while using much less energy.
7. Keep an Energy Log
Keeping an energy log is an easy and inexpensive method of tracking your energy use. It allows you to study and compare use and costs from month to month. Contact your local Touchstone Energy® Cooperative for any questions on your bill for future use.
8. Contact Your Co-op
Always remember that you can reach out to your local Touchstone Energy® Cooperative at any time with questions, concerns or comments. As a co-op member, you have the power of collaboration with a team of energy experts dedicated not only to providing you reliable power, but keeping your rates as low as possible.