Think you are paying for the energy reading on your meter? Here’s why there’s a good chance your farm is paying for more electricity than is being used

Think you are paying for the energy reading on your meter? Here’s why there’s a good chance your farm is paying for more electricity than is being used

The modern farm is a place of very little waste. From feed to fertiliser to water consumption, farmers are well known for their commitment to optimising productivity, reducing overheads and running a tight ship. And why not when every per cent saved can contribute to a healthier bottom line. Yet there is one area where farms may be wasting valuable money without even realising: electricity.

But I always take steps to reduce energy consumption!

The reality is that overspending on your electricity bill may well have nothing to do with how diligently you switch off machinery when not in use or replace light bulbs with low energy LEDs. In fact, the extra cost lies with the amount of electricity being sent to your farm by your Distribution Network Operator (DNO), not by your precise consumption through the meter.

If you haven’t heard of the term Agreed Supply Capacity – or ASC for short – then you are certainly not alone. But understanding what your ASC is and reducing it where appropriate can become one of the easiest cost saving changes on a farm, without any implications for the quality or reliability of the electrical supply to your home.

In simple terms, your farm is charged for the Kilo Volt Amperes (kVA) that you are supplied with, regardless of whether that energy is used or not. While in some cases the ASC to a farm may be set at the correct level, there are also many instances where it is set significantly higher than necessary. By reviewing your kVA on a regular basis – annually, for example – it is possible to set an ASC at an appropriate level and avoid overpaying for electricity.

Even if you have taken steps to reduce your energy consumption in recent years, such as using more efficient machinery, installing solar panels or upgrading to low energy lighting, failing to set your ASC at the appropriate level may still leave you paying for more than you should. Similarly, if your farm has recently diversified into other work and your electricity requirements have changed, this could also account for a change in kVA usage

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My farm’s kVA is lower than the Agreed Supply Capacity. What should I do?

If your peak usage is lower than the ASC then it should be possible to make significant savings immediately. Simply contact us here at The Energy Check and we can help you to initiate a reduction.

What if my kVA is greater than my ASC?

In this instance it is also important to take action. By exceeding your Agreed Supply Capacity you will find substantial Excess Capacity Charges on your bill. Increasing your ASC will be more cost effective than paying these charges for overconsumption.

In more serious cases, drawing too much power in excess of your ASC can actually be a serious problem as you risk overloading the supply and having to get costly repairs that may use up time and money. In 2018 measures were brought in to help reduce instances of exceeding the ASC, in some cases costing businesses several times the usual energy rate in the form of charges.

Are you looking to reduce the energy and water overheads on your farm? Then we can help. As the energy saving experts, we understand the challenges facing modern farms. If you are diversifying into other areas such as lettings, leisure and tourism or hospitality on your farm, we can support you to optimise your energy consumption and find the very best deal with a supplier.