Evidence secures savings for horticulture industry

New climate change levy agreement targets agreed by the NFU and Government are set to save the protected horticulture industry an estimated £22million.

Laptop computer on hay baleThe NFU and colleagues at the Farm Energy Centre (FEC) have been working closely with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to agree a 14 per cent energy saving target for new climate change agreements that will run from next year until 2023.

Growers who make progress towards meeting this target will be able to claim a discount on climate change levy of 90 per cent for electricity and 65 per cent for other eligible fuels. DECC originally proposed an energy saving target of 23 per cent but the NFU and FEC presented evidence showing that a lower target of 14 per cent was more realistic of what the protected horticulture sector could achieve. The new 10-year agreements under the NFU’s horticultural climate change levy scheme will save growers over £20million in climate change levy. Securing the realistic target, as opposed to DECC’s original target, has saved participating businesses an additional £2million.

NFU horticulture adviser Dr Chris Hartfield said: “The hard work put in by FEC and the NFU has secured a fantastic result for our members. We are pleased that the Government has accepted our evidence and this has resulted in a realistic target that will help motivate growers to become more energy efficient and reduce their input costs.”

FEC commercial director Chris Plackett said: “We have worked closely with the industry to properly understand where savings can be made in the future. Our evidence convinced DECC that industry can continue its previous record of energy saving over the next 10 years, but the previous investments made by growers meant that the extent of the savings was limited by both the technologies and capital available for investment.”