After accurately monitoring the electricity consumption levels of UK based farrowing houses, ARM Buildings have made the discovery that they cost more to run in summer than in winter.
Since 2008, data loggers and electricity monitors have been fitted as standard to all ARM pig buildings, enabling farmers to connect with detailed electricity use information and Farmex’s Barn Report Pro information retrieval system.
“The higher cost is mainly due to the extra ventilation needed in summer,” says Tim Miller, the company’s environmental specialist. “On average, it costs about £1.34 per sow a week in winter but this goes up to £1.50 in the summer. The cost of ventilation nearly triples from 12p in winter to 34p in the summer. The use of lighting increases during the winter, but this is less significant”.
Despite well-insulated modern buildings being heat-efficient, in summer excess heat has to be removed if sows are to retain their appetites and milk.
Mr Miller explains: “On one farm we found costs increased to £3.50 per week; pig farmers need to know what their costs are and where they are incurred. Monitoring can also give an early warning of any problems”.