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Energy efficiency: are you on track for reaching Net Zero?

With input prices soaring, getting a handle on your energy use and carbon emissions is critical. A robust energy audit gives you practical steps and solutions in the short, mid, and long term to save your business money and get on the right path to net zero.

Thanks to NFU Energy's position within the agricultural sector, making on-farm improvements in energy use for over 70 years, we have a unique understanding of land management, generation, incentives, and procurement to help you and your business right away.

What is the advice?
To reduce energy consumption permanently, we must all take definitive actions to provide protection from the effects of long-term energy cost increases. An NFU Energy audit will cover the following:

  • Operating changes – lowering set points, changing cropping patterns, and keeping screens closed and vents shut for longer are all interventions that will reduce energy consumption.
  • Technological changes – changes such as additional screening (second screen overhead and sidewall screening), improved heating system insulation, additional controls, new or more air movement fans, etc. are all designed to reduce energy consumption without affecting the primary activity (i.e., cropping) however making these changes requires capital investment and time to implement.

How does an energy audit work?
An experienced engineer will visit your site, calculate exactly what the day-to-day use is and model the full operation of energy in your business. From there, they will also check your data to profile any changes of use throughout the year.

The audit identifies energy-saving opportunities and gives you a baseline of your energy use to measure against in the future. The report contains recommendations for improvement – including cost and payback. As part of this service, we will look into the feasibility of any new equipment, including renewables.

For electricity requirements, growers who have no Solar PV should be seriously considering it to support their background late spring/summer/early autumn load.

"The exercise that NFU Energy undertook on behalf of Fir Farm has been a very enlightening process. It has highlighted areas where we can make changes and made us all think a lot more about fossil fuel uses on the farm. We've since made improvements and will continue to do so to aim for carbon neutral farming," said Paddy Hoare, MRICS, Perdix Partnership

Box out

  1. Measure – use the many and various, often clever, metering systems to work out where your energy is being used
  2. Understand – take time to work out where and why your biggest energy consumption happens
  3. Do your research – speak to as many experts as you can about the possibilities for reducing energy consumption in your systems
  4. Create a plan – start with the simple, low-cost/low-impact items to gain confidence in your solutions, and work up to the bigger, more impactful interventions
  5. Don't just follow the crowd – your energy solutions will be different from others. There is rarely a one size fits all solution, so make sure yours fits your business
  6. Invest in renewable energy - support your own consumption before considering large-scale third-party systems
  7. Keep control – look after your own grid connection and work out what's possible before looking for a large-scale renewable energy partner
  8. Stay Friends – your neighbors and local community will have a say in any large-scale project you do. Keep them on your side and involve them wherever possible
  9. Re-appraise – the energy market is very fast moving at the moment. What's true today may well be wrong tomorrow

For more information:
NFU Energy
024 7669 6512      


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