The national voice for Australian dairy farmers

Energy

  • Ensure government policy settings exert downward price pressure on network and other tariffs charged to agricultural commodities and processers.
  • Endorse the establishment of Government incentive schemes to encourage the adoption of energy efficient measures and renewable energy technologies in agricultural industries, to offset the effects of rising electricity prices.
  • Government to ensure new reliability standards for the same standard of service in rural and regional areas as enjoyed in urban centres.

Compared to other primary producers, the Australian dairy industry is disproportionately exposed to electricity costs due to the industry's high power needs in milking machinery, cool milk storage, and intensive milk processing procedures. Analysis commissioned by Dairy Australia, indicates that typical dairy farmers are now spending between $20 to over $100 a day on electricity to power their dairies. Energy costs for running irrigation are additional.

The study also found that energy consumption over the 2010-13 period remained fairly steady, however rising tariffs, additional levies such as the carbon price and renewable energy schemes, and increasing network charges have contributed to daily costs rising 33-100 per cent for many dairy farms since 2010.

ADF welcomes regulatory and market reforms intended to constrain future price rises, and increase competition and consumer choice. However, we are strongly opposed to the proposal in the government’s Energy Green Paper to remove cross-subsidisation on network costs, which has, to date, partially smoothed the cost differences between urban and rural areas.

Australian dairy recognises that its potential to grow may impact on greenhouse gas emissions. There is a strong link between the industry's target to reduce emissions intensity by 30 per cent by 2020, the industry's use of electricity, and industry growth. Energy efficiency and new energy technology present significant opportunities for reducing the dairy industry's energy use, costs and greenhouse emissions.

However, for all these opportunities, there are significant capital cost barriers. In many cases, Federal and State programs have assisted farmers and manufacturers with the upfront capital costs, thereby increasing their participation.

Submissions:

  • Energy Green Paper
  • Energy White Paper Issues Paper
  • Inquiry into the Government's Direct Action Plan
  • Clean Energy Legislation Amendments
  • Joint Select Committee Inquiry into Australia's clean energy future

Contact Details

Level 2 Swann House
22 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Tel: (03) 8621 4200

Fax: (03) 8621 4280

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