Top tips for energy efficiency this winter

15 January 2024

An energy meter on stacks of bills

Photograph: Simon Belcher / Alamy

As the chill creeps across the farm, there's no better time to tighten the reins on energy consumption. NFU Energy shares its top 5 tips on keeping your energy bills in check during the colder months.

1. Shop smart, save smart

Start your energy-saving journey by reviewing your energy supplier. If you've been sticking with the same provider for years, it's time to explore new options. Plus, NFU members can benefit from the NFU Energy Buying Groups to secure lower prices, reducing both your costs and administrative burden.

2. Control is key

Efficient energy use begins with smart control. Invest in web-based systems that allow you to monitor and manage operations remotely. NFU Energy can assist in implementing these systems, ensuring you're using energy precisely when and where it's needed. Check and optimise settings for heating, ventilation, and water heaters to avoid unnecessary expenses.

3. Don't let it slip away

Plug the leaks in your energy consumption by focusing on insulation and preventing heat loss. Conduct a thorough check of insulation levels, seal any drafts, and invest in efficient lagging for pipework and tanks. Consider door curtains to maintain seals and prevent doors from being left open accidentally.

Thermal imaging can be a game-changer to pinpoint hidden leaks and inefficiencies.

4. Operate at peak efficiency

Your equipment plays a pivotal role in energy consumption. Regularly clean fans and air ducts, as dirt build-up can decrease efficiency significantly. Ensure unobstructed airflow in ducts, as even minor obstructions can lead to a 20% efficiency drop.

Assess the need for equipment upgrades – modern boilers, refrigeration and LED lighting can bring substantial energy savings.

5. Measure, monitor and master

Knowledge is power. Regularly monitor energy usage by taking meter readings, or better yet, use energy measurement equipment to build up a clear energy profile of your business. Understand when and where energy is being used to identify patterns and potential areas for improvement. Look out for unusual consumption peaks that could signal inefficiencies or malfunctioning equipment.

NFU Energy support

If you’d like to find out more about how to make your farm more energy efficient, or perhaps you’re considering renewable energy and want to know which technology is best for your business, then contact the NFU Energy team today on
024 7669 6512 or email [email protected] – we’ll be happy to help.

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