NFU buys energy consultancy

The NFU has bought agriculture energy consultancy FEC Energy.

 Terry Jones, NFU Director General, and Chris Plackett, FEC Energy MD.
Terry Jones, NFU Director General, and Chris Plackett, FEC Energy MD.

FEC Energy provides help to farmers to buy and sell energy, generate heat and electricity, use energy more efficiently and reduce the compliance burden of energy regulation.

NFU director general Terry Jones said: "I am very pleased that we have been able to complete this acquisition and combine the unique strengths of our two businesses. FEC Energy will unite its wealth of engineering and energy market expertise with the NFU’s powerful membership, regional and local network and marketing know-how. Culturally the two organisations are a great fit; both value knowledge and expertise, understand the needs of farming businesses and are committed to the continued success of the sector.

"The acquisition is an important part of the NFU’s new vision and strategy to deliver for members. In addition to receiving an improved energy service the move will broaden and deepen the capabilities of the NFU enabling it to provide new services and products for farmers and growers. The purchase will also create a new substantial income stream which can be used to support the organisation’s core work, benefitting our membership as a whole."

FEC Energy managing director Chris Plackett said: "This is a great opportunity for both the NFU and FEC and we are delighted to be joining the NFU team. Being part of the NFU will massively increase our commercial exposure with members and utilising the organisation’s significant buying power will enable us to strike even better deals with suppliers as well as set up new and mutual beneficial trading relationships between the energy and agricultural sectors."

The NFU has worked with FEC Energy for nearly 20 years and more than 2,000 sites get low price energy deals through the NFU’s Energy Service Contract. The NFU’s Climate Change Levy discount scheme run by FEC Energy has saved £25m across 700 businesses in the Pig, Poultry and Horticulture Sectors. FEC is also one of the biggest accreditors of biomass installations in the UK having registered over 600 boilers/digesters. It provides on-going sustainability services and has introduced the Sustainable Fuel Register to help free-up the trade in non-woody biomass products. The FEC Energy name will remain and the company will remain operating as a separate company for the foreseeable future. Directors Chris Plackett and Tim Pratt will stay with the business, Andrew Kneeshaw will retire and will provide on-going consultancy services to FEC Energy. No other changes to staff or employment at FEC Energy are planned.

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