Energy use in Australian orchards accounts for a large proportion of production costs, a major financial burden for fruit businesses. For these businesses, energy is their second largest cost after labour.
The Australian Government funded energy audits for 30 fruit orchards and packing sheds in 10 Australian growing regions and the development of energy efficiency information. The audits showed where businesses can make changes to achieve meaningful energy savings. On average fruit businesses can save $16 300 per year from cost effective upgrades with a payback period of six years or less.
Opportunities exist for other fruit businesses to reduce their energy costs and save money.
Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) has developed a range of case studies to illustrate how fruit businesses have saved money by becoming more energy efficient, including:
- installing a power factor correction unit – Batlow, New South Wales
- installing voltage power optimisation – Goulburn and Yarra Valley, Victoria
- switching to energy-efficient lighting in packing shed – Orange, New South Wales
- using solar panels on packing shed – Inglewood, South Australia
- changing power usage to manage electricity demand – Stanthorpe, Queensland
- using a variable speed drive on orchard irrigation motor – Swan Hill, Victoria
- reducing head pressure on fruit cool store refrigeration system – Tasmania and Western Australia
- automating fruit cool store doors – Young, New South Wales
- upgrading fruit cool store refrigeration systems – Goulburn Valley, Victoria
- installing variable speed drives on evaporative fan motors – Manjimup, Western Australia.
See the case studies on the APAL website.
APAL has also developed a collection of informative energy efficiency material, including factsheets and a presentation, to help you cut energy use and save money in all areas of your business.
- Factsheets – The factsheets cover topics such as lighting in packing sheds, refrigeration in fruit cool stores, irrigation in orchards, grading in packing sheds, lighting in packing sheds and electricity tariffs.
- Watts in Your Business Presentation on Audits – This presentation provides an overview of the most effective energy efficiency options for fruit businesses.
See the APAL website for more information on energy management for fruit businesses.