Tuesday 2nd of February 2021 | Posted In: Energy saving, Renewable energy

Energy efficiency: The start to reaching net zero

The NFU has an aspiration that agriculture in the UK gets to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040. Whilst there are many challenges, as energy consultants, we firmly believe the pathway to net zero starts with reducing energy requirements and emissions. 

The NFU outline the policies, mechanisms and support that is required from the government and other stakeholders for agriculture to meet the 2040 target.  The agricultural sector, like most, has some way to go before this target will be met, however farmers were quick to take up renewable energy and this has given some a great head start to net zero, often without realising.

Avoiding unnecessary energy use will not only reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions but will usually be followed by financial savings.  So how can NFU Energy help members achieve this goal?

Carbon calculators

The process of reducing emissions usually starts with carbon accounting. This is measuring the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused directly and indirectly by a site or a business and is expressed as tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The carbon equivalent emission figure then acts as a benchmark against the effect of various changes and improvements in subsequent years.

There are a number of carbon calculators that can help you to measure this, but the accuracy and detail will vary and you should look at exactly what you want to achieve in the results before committing to something. NFU Energy can help you complete a carbon calculation using an ‘off the shelf’ product, but we are also able to offer a bespoke calculation which will give you more detail and accuracy, which can result in better recommendations and comparisons to move forwards with.

Reducing your emissions

An energy audit will show how energy is being used, lost, wasted, and allow an engineer to make recommendations of where improvements can be made, and model the effect they will have on GHG emissions and cost/benefit.

Installing your own renewable heat and power generation systems, to offset your own consumptions, will reduce your GHG emissions.  There have been government schemes which have helped with the financial burden of installing these ‘new’ technologies, but we are starting to see them stand on their own two feet.  Solar is a great example, where it is now a cost-effective way to generate electricity for your business.  We are also starting to see a resurgence in new installations and our team are on hand to offer advice to those who want assurance it will work for them.

Getting to net zero will not happen overnight for anybody, but small steps and improvements will add up to big changes and the way energy is used will have a significant role to play over the next 20 years.  Get in touch with NFU Energy to find out how you can take your first step to net zero. 

If you would like to talk to us about whether it would be a worthwhile investment for your business give the team a call on 024 7669 6512.