'Save Energy on Farm – it just makes sense', is a collaboration between EECA and Taranaki Catchment Community. The pilot programme is building tailored tools and resources to help dairy farmers use energy more efficiently.


All farming businesses can access these resources for free.

Your decarbonisation journey starts here

EECA is working with the Taranaki Catchment Community on a pilot project for farmers looking to increase energy efficiency on-farm and explore the best opportunities to use renewable energy.

The Save Energy on Farm programme aims to provide resources developed with farmers, for farmers – as well as their advisory network. The information will help farms increase resilience, find cost efficiencies, improve environmental impact, and stay a step ahead of compliance and regulation.

Assessing on-farm energy use

Energy efficiency is the cheapest fuel available. Demand reduction and adopting energy efficient practices can have a big effect – fast.

To support the development of the pilot programme EECA has worked with partners to complete energy assessments on 10 Taranaki dairy farms to understand where the best on-farm energy savings can be made and how farmers can best prepare for the future. The assessment insights are forming the basis of new resources being created to help farmers get started.

The benefits of energy efficient farming

Energy reliability and financial barriers such as the up-front cost of investment, return on investment and uncertainty around appropriate technologies can be a focus for farmers looking to make the best energy investment decisions. It’s important to keep in mind that energy is a direct cost, so it makes financial sense for farmers to consider energy demand and efficiency and the flow on impacts.

  • Energy efficient farms can use up to five times less energy per milk solid produced.
  • Improving energy efficiency can help prolong the lifespan of equipment and reduce overall energy consumption.
  • Integrating energy into long-term farm planning will help ensure the plant operations can work together, provide opportunities for heat recovery, and mean potential savings are optimised.
  • Finding efficiencies can also open new ways to improve resilience through smartly integrating new renewables/electric power investments with networks.

What it takes to get started

Energy is important for agricultural production with electricity and diesel the primary energy source on New Zealand farms.

To become more efficient, you first need to understand how you currently use energy, how to measure it, and explore ways to optimise how equipment is used to reduce energy consumption.

These resources have been created to give farmers a guide to the top energy saving opportunities, and how to get started.

Top three actions

  • Look for quick wins.
  • Plan ahead for plant renewals and major investments.
  • Check your day-to-day operation efficiencies.


The ‘At a Glance: Energy Savings Guides’ are available to download here(external link)

Next steps

Sign up to EECA News for updates as we release more resources for the on farm dairy sector.

Other sector pathways