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20 Jul 2022

Energy Efficiency: Are you on track for reaching Net Zero? | NFU Energy

Energy Efficiency: Are you on track for reaching Net Zero? | NFU Energy
NFU Energy has extensive experience in compliance and auditing 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, 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, calculating 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 feasibility for 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.” Paddy Hoare, MRICS, Perdix Partnership  
  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 consumptions happen
  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, work up to the bigger more impactful interventions
  5. Don’t just follow the crowd – your energy solutions will be different to others, there is rarely a one size fits all solution, 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 neighbours and local community will have a say in any large scale project you do, keep them on 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
  10. Keep in touch – NFU Energy is here to help and can provide the insight, help and advice you are going to need
  For more details on what the team can do to help, call an NFU Energy expert on 024 7669 6512 or email .
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