What can Farmers & Growers do to combat increasing energy prices?
As more farmers turn to indoor farming due to the economic and environmental benefits, they are faced with new challenges with the steep rise in energy prices.
It’s not only indoor farmers who are affected, the National Farmers’ Union has warned of a huge drip in UK grown crops like peppers, cucumbers and aubergines as it’s becoming too expensive to produce them.
The National Farmers Union said producers who use glasshouses to grow their crops are looking at a drop of up to 50% in the amount they can afford to grow due to the crippling increase in the cost of the gas they use for heating.
Indoor Farmers switch to LED Grow Lights
The Farmers’ Union of Wales warned that costs ‘are not sustainable for farmers and will be a blow to all in the industry’. However, it’s possible to control costs by switching to LED grow lights, something that can be achieved through available government funding.
Grants such as The Farming Transformation Funding Improving Farm Productivity Grant enables growers to apply for financial assistance with LED lighting which can save growers more in the long term.
What are the benefits of LED lights?
LED lights are significantly less heavy on energy usage than HPS grow light, making the energy savings considerable. Another benefit of switching to LED lights is the life span of the lights from 50,000 – 100,000 hours compared to HPS grow lights which are expected to last up to 24,000 hours.
Lastly, one of the other benefits of LED lights is the ongoing maintenance is almost halved when you compare the life of an LED product verse a typical HPS product.
What about the rise in gas prices – what can be done?
Minette Batters, the President of the NFU said on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme “We are already seeing massive contraction, these costs are making it impossible to grow. The only thing is to keep these glasshouses empty”.
She said producers are saying the number of cucumbers that will be grown actually could fall from 80 million to 35 million while pepper production could halve from 100 million. She also added that inflation was leading to dramatic rises in other areas, citing the example of the cost of raising a chicken increasing by 50% in a year for farmers.
Your energy bill can be reduced if you start producing your very own energy through renewable energy sources. For example, a chicken farm in Wales has installed Solar Arrays to keep their 30,000 hens at the ideal temperature of 20 degrees all year round.
The new solar system costed the farm £80,000 and has been running for a few weeks – it will pay for itself in four years and is guaranteed for 25 years. In the long term, they will be making massive savings at their farm.
Renewable energy sources can be solar panels, biomass boilers and anaerobic digesters. So whether it is going to be the sun, wood or organic waste materials, you can reduce your energy bills by switching to renewable energy and creating your own power for your business.
Can I get finance for renewable energy sources?
Finance is available on solar panels, biomass boilers, anaerobic digesters and even wind turbines.
If you would like to find out more about Renewable Energy Finance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team. Call us on 01270 443510 or complete our contact form and our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible to discuss your needs.