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Helping NFU members buy, generate and save energy

The service has 50 years’ experience in helping farmers and growers with energy; from getting a cheaper contract and renewable energy payments to connections and metering. We can help with pretty much any energy related challenge, no matter what you do.

The NFU Energy Service is a unique suite of services, covering everything from buying and selling energy through to securing new connections and upgrades, wayleaves, energy regulation, compliance and energy efficiency; in fact, anything to do with energy in agriculture.

The service is delivered by FEC Energy, one of the UK’s leading agricultural energy consultancies. FEC Energy has been working with the NFU for over 20 years.

Our service includes:

FREE energy helpline dedicated to NFU members. Expert advice is just a phone call away on 0370 844 5700.

Contract finder. Get the best energy deal for your business with no hassle and all the admin and paperwork done for you – from simple fixed price energy contracts to more complex trading for big energy users.

Renewables. Get the best return on your renewables project, troubleshoot any issues, make the most of Government subsidies and ensure successful RHI accreditation and fuel sustainability reporting.

Energy efficiency. Reduce the amount of energy you use and save money with an online DIY or on-site energy efficiency audit.

What does it cost?

Advice via our telephone helpline is FREE. You pay nothing to us directly for our contract finder service, as our costs covered by commission from the energy supplier. For more complex energy buying, selling and tendering, you pay a fixed fee or an agreed commission. You get a 10% NFU discount on fees for all our other services.

Once we fully understand your requirements, we will send you a straightforward, easy to understand proposal for the work, clearly stating our charges.

As an NFU member, you always receive preferential rates, including 10% discount on all our standard fees.

  • We handle hundreds of energy contracts every year and are experts at finding our way around the different suppliers, tariffs and offers. In 2016, we saved NFU members £1 million on their electricity bills alone.
  • We help NFU members sell in excess of £15 million worth of electricity back into the grid, at the very best rates, every year.
  • Since the start of the RHI, we have helped over 300 NFU members gain RHI accreditation.
  • We helped over 700 farm and nursery businesses on the Climate Change Levy scheme claim over £4 million in CCL discounts in 2015 and they saved 30% on their annual fees.

NFU Policy News

NFU Business Guides

Customer Story

Name: Jake Rice, Strawson Ltd.

Region: Newark, Nottinghamshire

Sector: Vegetable producer (leeks, carrots, potatoes, parsnips)

Energy Use: The site has a main office block, student accommodation house, 13 potato stores, a grain store, a packing shed, various workshops and an irrigation pump house. Electricity use amounts to 4.23 million kWh (£360,000) a year.

Requirement: Strawson Limited wanted to reduce energy cost as an overhead to the business and improve their understanding of energy consumption. Jake used FEC Energy to carry out an on-site energy efficiency audit through E.ON, their energy supplier. 

What happened? FEC Energy engineer Jim Allen visited the site to assess the areas of primary energy use and advise where they could become more energy efficient and save money. Jake received an action list detailing the areas of energy use where he could make improvements and the associated potential cost savings. These totalled £38,000 a year and included:

  • Compressed air control and leak detection – potential saving of £5,000 a year.
  • Voltage optimisation – potential saving of £5,000 per year.
  • Lighting upgrades – potential saving of £4,000 per year.
  • Fan improvements – potential saving of £4,000 per year.

Customer Story

Name: Eric Brown, Metherell Farm

Region: Beaworthy, Devon

Sector: Beef

Energy Use:  Eric farms a moderate sized beef farm, using electricity around the buildings and in the house.   

Requirement: Eric called FEC Energy to see if he could save money on his electricity contract. He’d seen the NFU Energy Service advert in NFU British Farmer and Grower magazine. His previous experience with brokers was one of continuous calls from pushy sales people, so he was naturally sceptical. However, he felt using a service recommended by the NFU would be a better idea.

What happened? Candace at FEC Energy quickly found that Eric was on out-of-contract rates and therefore, paying far too much for his electricity. Within 10 minutes, she found a number of suppliers who would save him money on his three supplies, and they agreed that a new fixed price contract was the best solution.

Candace took care of all the contract details and paperwork. She will help Eric to make sure that Metherell Farm never slips into expensive out of contract rates and will always get the best prices available.

“I’m really pleased with the savings and Candace was extremely knowledgeable and considerate.”

Eric Brown, Metherell Farm

Customer Story

Name: Edward Backhouse, C.S. Backhouse

Region: Goole, Yorkshire

Sector: Potatoes and arable crops, including oil seed rape and wheat

Energy Use: C.S. Backhouse had installed two 500kW straw burning biomass boilers at two sites for drying grain and heating farm buildings, including the farmhouse. Since working with FEC Energy, they upgraded one of the 500kW boilers to 1MW.

Requirement: Edward felt, despite being newly installed, that his straw boilers were underperforming in terms of efficiency and heat production. He contacted his local NFU Group Secretary, James Copeland, for advice regarding his biomass boilers. James provided him with contact details for FEC Energy and recommended he spoke to Jon Swain.

What happened? Jon visited the site to assess the boilers and found that they were underperforming. The report and recommendations, provided by Jon, enabled Edward to resolve the problem by replacing one of the 500kW boilers with a 1MW boiler to achieve the correct level of heat and efficiency. FEC Energy also handles the RHI Accreditation for the site.

“After chatting with Jon, I was confident that he was the right person to help us. He understood how the systems had been put together and how they should be improved. Jon has been invaluable in ensuring our new boiler is the right solution for us.”

Edward Backhouse, C.S. Backhouse Ltd