Farm energy efficiency – our top tips

Farm energy efficiency – our top tips

Energy bills remain one of the highest costs to any business; farming is no exception. With such tight margins on profit, every efficiency step must be taken. Energy consumption differs depending on the type of farm in question, with milk cooling machinery in dairy farming using the highest amount of energy followed by crop storage and cultivation on arable farms. farm energy efficiency There are a few simple rules that all farms can follow that will make a dent on energy bills. Here are our top farm energy efficiency tips:

  • Always remember to turn off devices considered non-critical, as opposed to leaving them on standby. Much like appliances and devices around the home, farming machinery and appliances may use up to 90% of their full energy requirement while on standby.
  • Farm machinery should be regularly serviced and maintained to ensure maximum efficiency. Always use machinery on the appropriate settings and use appliances in the remit they were designed for.
  • Like the average family home, farmhouses and office buildings should consider hot water heating efficiency. Are you heating rooms that aren’t used? Do you need constant access to an instant hot water supply? Is your hot water cylinder and surrounding pipework insulated by lagging? If you have more than one heating systems throughout farm buildings, are the thermostat controls tailored for their surroundings or are they all on the same default settings? By lowering your thermostat settings by only three or four degrees, you won’t feel the difference in temperature but you will see the difference on your lower heating bills.
  • Most light bulbs have now been replaced with modern energy saving bulbs and LED lights – the initial cost of the new bulbs is higher than that of the traditional ones (if you can still find them) but they only use 10% of the energy of their predecessors.
  • Would it be possible to use natural ventilation in place of mechanical cooling systems?
  • Increase the efficiency of air conditioning and heating systems by keeping windows and doors closed. Check for drafts around the corners of room and the edges of doors, windows and floors and use one of the many affordable products on the market to exclude the draft.
  • If your processing units require fans and pumps, ensure you switch them off whenever not in use.
  • Remember to clean ventilation systems of dust and grime to ensure maximum efficiency.
  • Farm vehicles should be serviced regularly and tyre pressures checked. Remove any unnecessary added weight from your vehicles to increase fuel efficiency. Remove unused roof racks and trailers to reduce drag.
  • Could part of your farm be fuelled by renewable energy? Solar, hydro and wind power are becoming more and more popular. As demand increases, the price of the equipment and initial install gradually falls. What was once thought of as flash in the pan is now a reality and is part fuelling farms up and down the country. If you plan to keep your farm in the family, you may wish to consider investing in the future now.