Farmex, an energy controls specialist based in Reading, United Kingdom, recently released data on the savings that swine farms can accrue by upgrading heating and ventilation controls.
An energy survey conducted by Farmex and UK pig industry group BPEX showed that a typical farrowing house uses 1,500 kWh to 2,500 kWh per pen place annually, while a more efficient unit may use as little as 900 kWh, resulting in possible savings of £52 to £141 per year. The survey also showed that typical weaning pens use 100 kWh to 200 kWh per weaner place a year, compared with efficient ones using 30 kWh, offering savings of between £6 and £15 per weaner place per year.
The Carbon Trust, an independent company set up by the UK government, offers interest-free loans that are designed to pay for themselves through direct energy savings. The trust says that upgrading heating and ventilation controls on livestock farms typically costs £3,000 and saves more than £4,000 and 23 tonnes of CO2 a year.
According to Farmex, the Carbon Trust offers loans of as much as £570 per farrowing pen and £60 per weaner place for energy improvements.