Farmers Weekly research at the end of last winter revealed that one third of producers had already reduced their output in the previous 12 months in response to high energy costs, while nearer half (44%) said they would do so in the 12 months to April 2024.
Many farms are unavoidably energy intensive, and even with government support, farmers reported energy cost increases of an average of 81%.
MPs debating this topic in the House of Commons in March quoted increases of tens of thousands of pounds, leaving their constituent farmers unsure where to turn.
We’ve taken a look at the top three things you can do to help your business save or make money from energy this winter.
Trimming energy consumption
The first place to look for savings is in areas where consumption can be trimmed.
Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances like LED lighting and variable frequency drives for pumps can make a big difference, while implementing timers and sensors on equipment, as well as properly maintaining and repairing motors, can further reduce electricity consumption.
The second thing to investigate would be whether you can take advantage of the Demand Flexibility Scheme (DFS).
The National Grid scheme incentivises residential and commercial customers to help balance the grid at times when demand is at its highest by changing their energy consumption patterns.
This could mean reducing their use or turning on your own on-site generation.
The scheme is launching in November, so if you’re interested get in touch with an approved provider such as Conrad Energy, quickly to get the full benefit.
We helped one of our clients earn more than £10,000 from participating in DFS last winter.
Turn energy assets into cashflow
And finally – don’t forget, if you already have energy assets on your land, have they been optimised to work harder for you?
If you have assets that are generating more than you need, such as solar panels, wind turbines or battery storage, it may be worth finding an energy trader who can turn that into cashflow.
Our Power Purchase Agreements can help you make the most of your energy, maximising the value they can add to your business and helping to secure your financial position.
Energy costs in farming show few signs of coming down significantly in the near future. Talk to us to discuss how energy could help rather than hinder your business this season and for the future.