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Audit reveals big power bill savings at Burdekin pump station

Lower Burdekin Water (LBW) has slashed its power bill at one pump station by $20,000 a year after implementing the findings of an Energy Savers Program audit.

While visiting Ayr this week, Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey said LBW, which supplies water to about 400 farmers in the Burdekin, had reduced the energy consumption at its Kilrie Gully pump station by 40 per cent.

“The Energy Savers Program is a joint initiative of the Palaszczuk Government and the Queensland Farmers’ Federation that helps individual farmers tap into savings through on-farm energy audits, potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars,” Mr Bailey said.

“The Energy Savers audit recommended the existing timer based motor control for the 125kW pump be replaced with a variable speed drive, which has reduced energy demand by 160kVA.

“The up-front cost of implementing the change will be recouped in about two years from lower power bills.”

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said the success of the initial project has prompted LBW to initiate further actions to address energy concerns.

“LBW is now installing three 40kW variable speed drives at its Lilliesmere pump station and a business case has been prepared for a similar change at the larger Rocks pump station,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“LBW has also agreed in principle to introduce the same technology at its 18 existing pump stations as funds become available and to adopt it at greenfields sites.”

Mr Bailey said the savings identified for LBW are just one example from 110 audits covering all of the main agricultural sectors in all regions of the state, that collectively have revealed the potential to reduce power bills by $3 million per year.

“To date, one in five of the audited farm enterprises has implemented some or all of the recommendations to reduce their power bills,” he said.

“And they are reporting savings in line with those forecast in the audits.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to helping businesses large and small reduce their electricity costs and this is just one of the programs available to help them achieve this.”

The findings of these audits are continually being shared with primary producers through a series of case studies available on-line and at field days.

The case studies show how applying best practice energy management strategies can increase productivity, reduce energy bills and contribute to good environmental outcomes.

LBW’s success is highlighted in a video available at https://www.qff.org.au/newsroom/case-studies/lower-burdekin-water/ while all of the case studies are at http://www.qff.org.au/newsroom/case-studies/.

The Energy Savers Program is a partnership between the Department of Energy and Water Supply, Ergon Energy and the Queensland Farmers’ Federation.

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