A Berkshire dairy farm has joined the growing number of agricultural businesses who are making the switch to renewable energy, as an effective way to reduce their carbon emissions and running costs. Pierce’s Farm, based in Mortimer near Reading, is on track to reduce its annual energy bills by around 60%, while saving approximately 57 tonnes of carbon per year, after switching to an energy efficient biomass system. The family owned and run farm spans 170 acres and has a herd of 160 cattle. Janet Wickens from Pierce’s Farm, explains: “The farm had previously been running on electricity and oil, but with our substantial heating demands our annual energy costs were very high, so the concept of using a more efficiency biomass system was very appealing. “We instructed local energy efficiency experts Anesco to manage the project and their specialist team fitted our biomass boiler and new central heating system in no time at all.” A 70kW wood chip biomass boiler is now providing all the heating needed for two domestic cottages and an office, along with the hot water required for the dairy plant room and a 450 litre sterilisation tank. The project has also seen a new heating system and radiators installed within the domestic cottages, which have replaced electric heaters. Additionally, old hot water tanks in the dairy plant room have been upgraded with high quality, environmentally friendly cylinders. The boiler and fuel store has been housed in an existing farm building, which has been converted into a suitable plant room for the new equipment and the farm is currently putting plans in place to enable the boiler to be powered using woodchip produced on site. Adrian Pike, CEO of Anesco, said: “The potential carbon and energy savings generated by renewable systems such as biomass are substantial. This is particularly important for farming and agricultural communities where challenging markets are seeing many businesses needing to diversify. “Scheme such as our fully-funded biomass option mean businesses can install energy efficiency measures at no upfront cost, where they may otherwise have struggled.” Through the Anesco scheme, organisations can receive the free supply and installation of a highly efficient, top of the range biomass boiler, including fuel storage, delivery systems, performance monitoring, annual services and maintenance. The cost of each installation is recouped by Anesco for its investors through the RHI payments. As well as coming at zero cost to an organisation, firms benefit from substantially reduced heating bills.