Richard Hinchion is milking over 200 dairy cows on his farm in Crookstown, Co. Cork. Richard is farming in partnership with his wife Helen and son Gearoid. “We are 100% dairying. The replacement animals are moved to a contract rearer so that we can concentrate 100% on milking cows,” Richard explained.
Richard’s herd has expanded greatly over the past three years and has plans to expand the herd further, “We’re in the middle of an expansion phase. We are milking over 200 cows. We have gone from 120 in 2015, to 170 in 2017 and now to over 200. The plan is to milk 260 cows in 2019.”
Richard was all too aware of his costs before switching provider, “Energy is a big cost on all farms. We would have been using over 35,000 Kilowatts on the farm prior to expanding.”
Since expanding, Richard admits that there is an increasing demand right across the farm, “Milking is now taking longer, there’s more milk to be cooled, there’s more water to be pumped out to cool the milk, to provide water for the cows and your feeding systems and all of that use is substantial. So this year I would imagine that our usage should be well over 45,000 to 47,000kw. So, it’s a case of getting the best value for money because it’s a cost. It’s better that you have the money than someone else having it.”
Switching to Pinergy
Richard explains what he is looking out for when choosing an energy provider, “What we’re looking for in an energy provider comes down to cost. I knew how many units of electricity I had been using.”
Richard attended Dairy Day in 2017, where he met and discussed his requirements with the team at Pinergy. “We initially met with Pinergy at Dairy Day and then they came down to visit the farm. They installed a smart meter at that time and it was placed just outside the dairy door. In the past, the meter was inside the house so maybe every second or third day I would have to manually record the reading on the meter to see the amount of units we were using before we started milking, what we used at the end of milking, what we were using in a 24 hour period and what was the breakdown of that. It was all very labour intensive and tedious.”
The switch has not only saved Richard money, but has also had a labour saving benefit, “Pinergy installed monitors on all the meters so I don’t have to read the meters manually. I can do it now from the comfort of the laptop.”
Long term plans
With expansion top of the agenda, Richard want to ensure that his business is operating at maximum efficiency, “We’re about six months into the contract now. The proof of the pudding will be when the twelve months are up. It’s all about trying to reduce your energy costs and that’s the objective long term.”
Putting you first
Pinergy provides you with the tools to monitor, manage and control your energy usage and costs.
Pinergy has over 35,000 customers across homes, businesses and farms. We believe everyone has a role in delivering a sustainable energy future. We want to help our customers to monitor, control and reduce their energy consumption through the use of smart metering of their energy.
In homes, we are seeing 32% of our customers reduce their consumption by at least 20% and an average 7% reduction in consumption across all customers. For many people, electricity is confusing and unclear as they receive an estimated bill with no clear evidence of what they used.
Farmers are a key demographic that are embracing new technology to ensure that they are maximising profitability on their farms, to ensure their viability long term. Even minor saving can mean the difference between being sustainable and unsustainable. We expect to see reductions in consumption of between 15% and 30% with farmers.
Since Richard joined Pinergy, our aim has been to help him to improve his margins, grow his herd and effectively manage his electricity usage. Through Pinergy Smart Agri, we provide Richard with the tools to effectively manage, monitor and control his energy consumption. Richard has access to all the information that he needs to allow him to identify areas where he can make changes that will help him to reduce his energy usage and save him time and money.