In farming and horticultural businesses, energy
costs may only represent a small percentage of turnover, but
reducing them can directly increase profits and competitiveness. In
fact, a 20% cut in energy costs can represent the same bottom line
benefit as a 5% increase in sales.
Whilst agricultural and horticultural sectors
encompass a wide range of activities such as pig and poultry
farming, dairy farming, crop growing and storage, there are a
number of common areas where energy is wasted.
Lighting, heating, ventilation, air circulation and
refrigeration equipment are the biggest energy consumers and are
therefore areas that offer the most significant savings.
Proportions of energy use always vary according to
the type of business and activity or process being carried out. The
table below identifies major consumption areas for specific
Major energy consumption area
Heating typically accounts for 90% of the energy
used in a greenhouse.
Energy plays an important part in animal
welfare/feeding systems, building services and environmental
protection and, most notably, in waste management and emissions
Energy use is mainly associated with the maintenance
of good environmental conditions for housing the stock.
Energy use is generally split into cooling, water
heating and general power for lighting and pumping.
Energy use is closely related to insulation
thickness and the difference between storage temperatures and the
external air temperature.
Storage and drying are often a large area of energy
In each of the work areas identified above, there
are three main opportunities to save energy:
Switching off - All energy consuming equipment
should be switched off when not required. This can be done by
staff, by time switches or by adjusting building control systems
and need not cost any money.
Maintenance - A number of energy efficiency measures
can be carried out as part of routine maintenance procedures for no
Controls - Simple adjustments to the location and
setting of controls can reduce costs without affecting the comfort
of staff and livestock or the growing and storage of produce.
horticulture sector overview (CTV009 / CTV055)
For technology specific advice, please visit the following
Energy efficiency support
If you'd like to improve energy efficiency of your organisation,
see our services to find out how we can
help. This includes financing and implementation support for
organisations seeking to invest in energy efficient equipment, for
more details visit our Implementation &
Visit our regional web pages for Wales and Northern Ireland to get details
of our government-funded support.