Like many small cheese makers, we use electricity to power all of our equipment which is a fairly expensive and lengthy way of generating heat. In the dairy alone, we have two vats to heat, a wash tank and a pasteuriser to run.
Ideally, we would like to convert to steam, which would allow us to process larger quantities of milk in a much more economical way.
This represents the next step up for us in our cheese manufacture, but unfortunately is somewhat cost prohibitive.
I did some sums about this as part of my Sustainable Engineering module at Leeds Uni on my MSc course and it was a little deflating to see the payback as it makes such sense to do this.
Last week, we had a visit from Steve Goodare who works for the Manufacturing Advisory Services who came to carry out a two day audit as part of a CO2 Sense consultancy grant we won. His brief is to identify ways in which we can become more energy efficient and I await his review with a great deal of interest.