With Help of TVA, Farmer Puts ‘Pigs in Blankets’ to Save Energy

What’s a pig farmer to do when animals’ lives are being lost because they are trying to hog all of the heat during the winter season? Providing commercial and industrial energy customers with efficient solutions is the primary mission of Tennessee ValleyAuthority’s EnergyRight Solutions for Business and Industry (ERSB+I) team – and they came to the rescue when E.M. Heard & Sons, a pig farm located in Auburn, Kentucky, called for help.

According to farm co-owner Eric Heard, who spoke to the local News-Democrat & Leader on January 4,  during the winter, piglets are apt to clump too closely to the sow for her body heat, which has caused many of their small bodies to be crushed.

To cut down on that loss of lives and decrease energy usage at the same time, Warren Rural Electric Cooperative partnered with the TVA and ERSB+I Preferred Provider Network member Cape Electrical Supply to provide a unique fix – Kane heating pads.

The pads are designed to provide evenly distributed warmth, as well as plenty of room for the piglets in the farrowing areas. By conducting a one-for-one replacement of 192 heating lamps with the heating mats in the pig farm box, E.M. Heard & Sons is saving both piglets and more than 225,000 kWh annually.

“Not only do the mats save piglets, we also save a tremendous amount on our energy cost,” Heard explained.

“The mats were a good investment and will pay for themselves. I appreciate all that TVA has done to help in the completion of this project.”

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