Up to 15% of annual farm overhead expenses are spent on energy and these can be lowered by as much as 10% by changing energy use behaviours, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has said.
The CSO found that farm energy costs at the end of April 2022 were up 43% on the same month last year.
The SEAI outlined seven no-cost measures farmers can implement to counteract this:
1 Check tyre pressure on tractors so they are suitable for the work required. The SEAI also warned that farmers should not let machinery run idle, wasting fuel.
2 Maintain machinery and farm equipment regularly, keeping components clean and checking seals.
3 Farmers should also check temperature sensors and thermometers to ensure they are working correctly.
4 On water, the authority suggested farmers should “ensure to shut off water valves to areas of fields where animals are not grazing to help reduce water pumping”.
5 Farmers should switch off and unplug equipment not in use and label all switches.
6 Timers should be used to avail of cheaper night-rate electricity and any processes which can be done at night, such as heating water, should be automated to do so.
7 The SEAI also said farmers should use natural ventilation where possible, allowing fans, if in use, to be switched off.