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Energy Independence now Goal for Farmers and Rural Homes

November 01, 2012

Gaia-Wind will tell the UK’s largest renewable industry gathering that the rise and rise of Utilities’ energy bills is fuelling a move towards powering rural homes and farms from their own resources.

Speaking at Renewables UK 2012 in Glasgow, Gaia-Wind Sales Manager Kenneth Peterson will set out how while, the current trend of energy price rises threatens to engulf UK consumers, “they aint seen nuthin yet!”

According to comparison site uSwitch, the average annual household energy bill has seen a more than 150% increase since 2004. And government estimates of the cost of the carbon price taxes at almost £5.00 per tonne means that billions more will be will be added to bills from next year. Government response to carbon price floor consultation

While city dwellers have limited recourse, farmers and rural homes and businesses are looking to an ancient technology, wind power, as alternative energy source.

A recent Barclay’s survey found that:

  • The vast majority of farmers (82 per cent) who are looking to invest in renewable energy are motivated by concerns over rising energy costs;
  • Almost a third of UK farmers expect a move towards renewables to reduce costs or generate an income; and
  • Over one quarter (27 per cent) of farmers see rising costs as the single biggest threat to their business in the next five years.

Perthshire farmers Debbie and Neil McGowan are examples. Their 11kW Gaia-Wind turbine powers their water bore hole; cattle sheds; and farmhouse and has given them control over their rising electricity bills:

“We own a mixed livestock and arable farm in Perthshire, “said Debbie.  “About two years ago we decided to lower our carbon footprint and reduce our energy costs. We thought a farm scale wind turbine may offer a solution. Being able to take control over a variable cost such as rising electricity bills was a big motivation.”

“Across the rural economy,” Peterson will say, “farms, households and businesses are using the wind to combat energy price rises. This is not a luxury: a farm scale wind turbine for example, can be the difference between viability of a rural business and otherwise.”

“Small wind turbine owners can play a ‘Three Card Trick’, to future proof against spiralling energy costs. They can:

  • Offset their utilities bill by using their own energy – even switching from e.g. oil heating can be cost efficient;
  • Sell remainder of energy generation back to the Grid; and
  • Still receive considerable FIT payments of 21 p for every Kilowatt generated.

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