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Energy savings and year-round comfort for farm experts

Consultants seek professional help to reduce their energy bills

Owen Farm Services is used to providing advice and support. As an agricultural consultancy, it’s what the team does.

Director David Owen and his colleagues can confidently make recommendations to clients about technology to help make a farmer’s life easier. But when it came to reducing their energy bills, it was a different team of experts they turned to.

David was keen to make savings and become more energy efficient at their purpose-built offices in Middlebie, near Lockerbie.

The building had been in use since 2017 and was being heated by free-standing electric convectors, but at certain times of the year, the heaters were not able to provide enough heat.

Ironically, staff using the offices said that when the sun came burning through the south-facing windows during summer, the building overheated. Low sunlight also caused glare, but colleagues were reluctant to close the blinds and block out the countryside views.

A free assessment carried out by Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service reported that Owen Farm Services could potentially save £1,146 on its energy costs and reduce its carbon output by 3.25 tonnes each year by implementing changes.

As a result of the advice – and with the help of a Scottish Government interest-free loan – Owen Farm Services switched from the electric heating to an air-source heat pump and air-con units to provide heat in the winter and coolness in the summer.

The recommended units allowed a complete conditioning system to provide multiple zone interior spaces with no need for ductwork. Individual control of room temperature settings enabled a customised room temperature and time control solution unique to each room setting.

With an installation cost estimated at £2,500, the payback would be less than three years.

Not only is David happy with his smaller bills, he and his colleagues are also now enjoying a comfortable office where the temperature is maintained at a consistent level all year round, creating a happier and more productive workforce. And with reflective film due to be fitted to windows in the coming months (another improvement recommended in their assessment), staff can expect an even better environment.

David said:

“The advice we received was very good in terms of selecting the right equipment and calculating the actual requirement of the office. If I hadn’t received the advice, I would likely have over-specified the units and the payback would not have been so quick. It was good to get an energy audit and make sure we were on the right track. The advice was clear and concise and made the application for the interest-free loan really straightforward.” 

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Our free service for Scottish businesses is funded by the Scottish Government and by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73 million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme. The support provided to this organisation was delivered by Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland programme, which has been relaunched as Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service as of 1 April 2020.

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