Irrigation over a crop field

Agricultural industry

Agriculture is an important part of the Queensland economy. As a key partner distributing electricity across the state, we're here to help farmers prepare, irrigate and harvest their crops and support the agriculture sector for the future.

We regularly engage directly with farmers on a variety of initiatives, including tariff development and implementation, safety and energy management.

Energy Savers Program

The first part of the Energy Savers Program was a partnership between us and Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) and its member bodies. It was funded by the Queensland Government.

The program helped farmers reduce their energy costs by providing information and tools to adopt more efficient practices and technologies with irrigation and on-farm processing, including refrigeration and cold storage.

The Energy Savers Program occurred in a number of stages across Queensland, with the first two stages including farms in both Ergon and Energex territories:

  • Irrigators Energy Savers Program 2013 – 2015: 30 irrigation audits were conducted on a range of different farms and irrigation types
  • Energy Savers Plus Program 2015 – 2017: Up to 100 audits will be conducted across a range of irrigation and on-farm processing systems in a number of sectors.

As the audits were completed, support was provided to farmers to apply recommended strategies. Case studies were then developed to show the benefits of these strategies to the wider farming industry.

The QFF has lots more information on their website about energy efficiency and renewable energy including financing options. These include loans and grants to fund energy efficiency projects. Based on the success of the Energy Savers Program and the strong interest from the agricultural sector, the Queensland Government continued to assist farmers to improve energy management through a follow-on program call the Business Energy Savers Program, implemented by QFF.

Energy Savers Program in action

Tariff check

It’s a good idea to contact your electricity retailer to check that you’re on the right tariff. New tariffs introduced recently can provide opportunities for lower bills, particularly where appropriate changes to farm energy use practices can be made. As tariff prices are reviewed every year, it’s a good idea to contact your retailer annually (July) to ascertain if you are on the best tariff.

Tariff trials in Agricultural sector

From 2017 to 2019 we implemented tariff trials with some of our agricultural customers to assess they were suitable to operate under alternative tariff options – including load control tariffs. The findings of the trials help lead to the development of three new load control tariff options for small and large business customers. Many irrigation customers have now switched to these new load control tariffs – find out more about these new tariffs and if they might be suitable for your operations.

Help during drought

If you're a farmer living in a drought affected area you may be able to get help from your electricity retailer in the form of waived charges and deferred payments. For more information, read about the Drought Relief from Electricity Charges Scheme (DRECS).

Safety is our highest priority

Working safely with electricity and irrigation equipment is essential to keep our community and our network safe. Stay safe and read our Irrigators fact sheet (PDF 1.6 mb).

Connecting to the network

In most cases, a new electricity connection to a rural property will require the extension of our network. This may involve extending the high voltage lines and/or the installation of a transformer.

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