Richard switched to Pinergy in early 2018 in order to reduce his energy usage and costs by being able to effectively and easily monitor his energy consumption. Richard is milking over 200 dairy cows on his farm in Crookstown, Co. Cork, with his wife Helen and son Gearoid.
In addition to increasing the size of the herd, Richard has invested to improve the facilities on the farm, “When we initially expanded our milking parlour, we went from 8 units up to 16 and last year we increased the units up to 20 units because of the high volume of cows that we are milking.”
Looking back at 2018
“I suppose 2018 was one hell of a year. People had just recovered after storm Ophelia. But then in March, we got hit by the ‘Beast from the East’, where we sustained a week of heavy rain and snowfall, which put a huge amount of pressure on us and vastly increased the workload.”
“We got a fantastic May with exceptionally good grass growth, which meant a lot of silage was made. During June, the weather got very dry and the land started to burn up here. We had little to no grass growth. Due to the intense heat, cows were on a high concentrate feeding regime, there was a big demand for water. So trying to keep water to cows was a major challenge which meant that our pumps were under a lot of pressures, so there was pumping for longer periods, hence more consumption of energy.”
Making the Switch
Richard knew that he needed to look for an alternative energy supplier to ensure that he was getting the greatest return possible. 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. Pinergy 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.”
Richard has seen a number of benefits since making the switch to Pinergy; “We were on night rate all along which is a system where you get cheaper electricity from midnight to 9am in the morning. So we were trying to get milking done during this period. This would involve getting the milking machine washed out, the milk plant washed, all the yards washed down and augers filled before the day rate cut in.”
“As the numbers increased, we found that the milk cooling was extended beyond 9am but there wasn’t an awful lot we could do with the previous provider, in that the hours were rigid.”
“Since teaming up with Pinergy, our night rates have now changed from the traditional ‘twelve to nine’ to ‘one to ten’. This means that even if things don’t go according to plan in the morning, for whatever reason, we are definitely well washed up by that extra hour.”
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.”
Richard wants to ensure that his farming enterprise is running in the most cost efficient manner, “The name of the game is to reduce costs and become LEAN. Since I switched over to Pinergy I can see at a glance whether my usage is up or down, so it has taken some of the time away of having to physically open the meter box and read the meter at various times during the day, where now the monitors are monitoring the usage throughout the day, every day, 24-7.
Watch our video to see Richard’s full story
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.