It takes a lot of energy to grow food and to create protein. Crickets offer the ability to be grown in small spaces and when grown efficiently, should require much less energy to produce a pound of live weight compared to other protein sources.
At Craft Crickets, we aim to be materially more energy efficient than alternative protein sources such as beef (22 kwh / lb) and pork (13 kwh / lbs) [treehugger.com].
In the coming months, we aim to participate in a Life Cycle Analysis to show the full energy costs of our crickets, including the cost to grow their feed. Until the completion of this analysis, we will be posting our actual utility usage. Please note that these numbers only include our utility usage to grow the crickets. As we freeze and dehydrate our crickets in a shared facility with shared utilities, we do not currently have the break-out of our energy usage to process the crickets.
Currently, all the energy used in our farming operation comes in the form of electric energy provided by our local electric utility (EWEB). Our largest use of electric energy comes from heating our facility. Crickets thrive in warm temperatures (>80 F) and their eggs prefer to incubate in even higher temperatures (>90 F). To minimize energy usage, we only heat the portion of our warehouse which contains our crickets and do not heat any other part of the facility (i.e. the offices, bathrooms, etc.). We have also provided extra insulation to the heated areas.
Asides from heating the facility, we also use energy to keep a high humidity tent for the incubating tents, to run multiple air filters to ensure fresh air for our crickets and our visitors, and to refrigerate the perishable portions of the crickets' diet (i.e. their fruit and vegetables).
We expect to have peaked out in our energy consumption until next winter as December and January are typically the coldest months in Eugene, OR. Relatedly, the current space we are heating has enough space to allow us to expand our cricket brooders (i.e. cricket houses) by another 50% without the need for more heating. Additionally, each month we are improving the yield of each of our brooders which should allow more crickets to be grown in our existing space in a much shorter amount of time.
These aforementioned improvements should allow us to improve our efficiency (measured as KwH required to produce 1 pound of crickets) into the high-teens by early 2017. Are goal is to lower this amount to the single digits by mid-summer.
Unfortunately at this time we do not have water usage information available as our water usage is combined with the other tenants at the facility. Please be patient as we work to measure our own water usage.
Note: the below figures are provided purely for reference. They are the figures as provided by the respective utility company and have not been audited by any other party.