British Farming 'Wastes' Nearly £300 Million on Oil

UK - A new report out this week has revealed that the British farming sector wastes £300 million each year by using outdated off-mains energy sources.
calendar icon 11 November 2014
clock icon 2 minute read

The sector, which includes agricultural and rural food manufacturing companies, currently spends £1.03 billion a year on oil for its heating, lighting and manufacturing processes.

Even though oil prices are currently falling, new research suggests this figure can still be cut dramatically to around £750 million by switching to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

The wasted spend comes from those companies, who, unable to access mains energy, are using old-fashioned energy supplies like oil. Not only is oil expensive, but is also an inefficient and dirty fuel to burn.

The alternative to oil for off-mains energy is LPG, a fuel with a lower cost price, less CO2 emissions and greater efficiency.

By switching to LPG, the sector could reduce its energy costs on fuel alone by almost £223 million, a saving of 22 per cent.

This saving rises to up to almost £278 million when the oil burning equipment is replaced by the much more fuel efficient LPG burners, giving a total saving of up to 27 per cent when compared to oil.

With cost savings of up to 27 per cent, when compared to the cost of switching from oil to LPG, the benefits are obvious, with the average business recouping their initial outlay in under a year.

The benefits of changing fuels are not just financial, there are also huge environmental benefits too as the switch to LPG can lead to a massive reduction in the sector’s carbon footprint.

With the sector currently using almost 18.5 billion KW of energy a year from off-mains resources, generated from almost 1.7 billion litres of oil, it is producing the equivalent of five million tonnes of CO2 a year.

However, if that energy had been generated from LPG, the equivalent CO2 produced would be just over 3.8 million tonnes, a reduction of over 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 a year (23 per cent).

This saving is equivalent to 550,000 flights from London to Sydney, or the weight of 11 million baby elephants.

The figures are revealed in the ‘Flogas Energy Expenditure Report’, a piece of research initially carried out by Flogas to provide background information for its sales teams. However, the company was so shocked by the findings, it decided the only responsible action was to share them with the sector as a whole.

This is not the only industry where savings could be made, with huge financial and carbon wastage taking place in all other industries using off-mains supplies. The farming sector sits just below half-way in the table, which is topped by the industrial sector.

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