Fonterra is to encouraging all its farmer suppliers to carry out energy audits, following the success of a pilot programme that showed how farmers could reduce their electricity costs.
Fonterra, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, commissioned the study on 150 dairy farms last season.
The average farm spends more than $14,000 per year on electricity.
The pilot study identified ways that farmers could cut their dairy shed energy costs by an average 10% per year. That's equivalent to the annual electricity use of more than 700 households.
Fonterra says that's a conservative figure. Sustainable production manager John Hutchings says farmers have responded enthusiastically to the energy saving ideas and Fonterra will be looking at how best to set up an auditing system.