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Dairy Energy Audit

On dairy farms, the main energy saving technologies include well water precooler, refridgeration heat recovery, VFD updating, and energy efficient lighting and heating. The training program takes a hands-on approach to teach the new-auditors several aspects of a dairy farm. This holistic method includes educating the auditors about farm operations, energy assessment, electrical services, potential energy alternatives, and a comprehensive report.

Areas of major energy use are milking, milk cooling, lighting, ventilation, waste collection and treatment, motors, grain dryings etc. The program works to find all the savings possible. The program also provides recommendations for the farmer. These recommendation increase the likelihood of the modification being installed.

An energy audit is well worth the effort since experience has already shown that dairy producers can save 10% to 40% or more, in some cases by using reliable energy-efficient technology in milking, milk cooling, and water heating processes (University of Wisconsin). Michigan Dairy producers spent $91 per cow on energy in 2005. This comes out to an average annual utility cost of $16,874 or an equivalent of $0.46 per hundredweight (cwt.) of milk produced (excludes fuel and lubricants).

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Audit Training

Phase 3 Dairy: Completed

Irrigation: Fall

Renewable Energy Assessment:
Summer

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