Supporting farmers to switch on energy savings

With skyrocketing energy prices, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) are encouraging farmers to find savings through smart energy management.

NFF Acting Chief Executive Charlie Thomas said food production required significant amounts of energy and rising electricity prices were weighing on farmers’ minds.

The EEC’s Navigating a dynamic energy landscape series and NFF co-developed farms sector spotlight guides farms on ways to cut costs, improve productivity and reduce emissions with energy efficiency, renewables and demand management.

“Energy bills have more than doubled for some farmers, but there are ways to switch on savings,” Mr Thomas said.

“The Guide we’ve developed with EEC gives farmers information and real life examples of farmers driving down their energy costs.

“There are great stories across our sector – from piggeries powering their entire operation with manure to farms that have implemented efficient irrigation techniques to boost crop yields while cutting their energy bills in half. As energy prices go up, we need to support farmers to keep their costs down.”

Right now, farm businesses can make further savings by capitalising on tax incentives when buying new assets or upgrading existing assets. The EEC has released a guide, Leveraging tax incentives to improve energy performance, to arm farmers with the information and tools they need to do this.

EEC CEO Luke Menzel said the Federal Government had introduced and extended several tax depreciation incentives to support businesses with recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, but that savvy businesses were using the measures to boost the business case for energy upgrades.

“By activating the temporary full expensing measure to invest in energy-saving assets like energy-efficient boilers, refrigerators, office equipment and more, businesses can drastically improve the business case for energy upgrades, which is already increasingly stacking up as energy prices go through the roof,” Mr Menzel said.

“But these incentives won’t last forever. Farmers should get in now so they can start reaping the benefits of smart energy management.”

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