The New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy released in October 2007 states that the primary production sector (agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fishing) electricity use accounts for 4% of the national energy use or 5.4 PJ of electricity. A Petajoule (PJ) is approximately the amount of electricity used by a city the size of Nelson each year.
The government's target is to have plans in place to measure the potential for energy efficiency improvements and to roll out an efficiency programme in the rural sector by the end of 2008.
All of us want to cut our costs so hopefully this sheet will give you some practical ideas to help reduce your electricity account. This is followed by suggested web sites to look at other more specific means. The first step in energy efficiency is to understand where the energy is being used at present.
Tackle the big users first and look for low-cost or no-cost savings e.g. turn off or fix-up.
- Northpower supports competition and the freedom of choice of energy retailers.
- Have you analysed the prices from the various energy retailers available to you and changed to the best one to suit your needs?
- Are you on the best tariff for your requirements?
- Would a cheaper night rate suit your hot water system or water pump system? Check with your energy retailer to see what it costs to change tariffs and the availability and then check with your local electrician to see if there is sufficient space in your meter station.
- Turn off machinery that is not in use; every little saving helps.
- Is the temperature right for what you need the hot water for?
- If the cylinder feels warm or hot to touch look at insulating it.
- If water is being sprayed around you will have to use a suitable product.
- Insulate the cylinder outlet pipe (pipe lagging) for at least a metre and any exposed hot water pipes.
- Check overflow vent pipe regularly to pick up problems with the Ajax valve.
- Fix dripping taps, a hot tap dripping at a rate of one drip per second wastes 28 litres of hot water per day. (1.75 units of electricity @ 18.93ckwh = 33 cents per day = $50 a year )
- When purchasing a new cylinder, insist on an A-grade watermark one which has maximum insulation within the outer case. You'll reap the benefits of the reduced heat losses.
- Is the compressor regularly maintained?
- Are the fins on the condenser kept free of dust etc. to allow free flow of air?
- Is the vat shaded from sun or well insulated?
- Have all pipes on the compressor been checked for kinks?
- Is the primary heat exchanger (using ground water) effective? Compare temperature of milk leaving heat exchanger with ground water temperature - should be only a few degrees different.
- Bare stainless steel vats can be wrapped with a purposedesigned insulation.
- Turn off unnecessary lights.
- For lights that are left on for long periods of time consider fluorescent tube lighting or energy-efficient long life light bulbs, they use a fifth of the power and last up to 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. They also seem to handle minor voltage fluctuations well.
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