Government ups energy efficiency targets

The Government is to force growers to try and improve their energy efficiency by nearly twice as much as original targets.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change has set its new climate-change-levy target for the horticulture sector for 2010.
It wanted to hike the target to 28 per cent but was talked down by the NFU to 20 per cent, said horticultural advisrr Dr Chris Hartfield.
"We argued that many growers made significant improvements in energy efficiency that can't be repeated, by using technology like thermal screens, for example," he said.
"Bearing in mind the tough trading conditions being faced by many growers, the new target is challenging but realistic. It's good but not great."
Businesses paying tax on electricity and gas can claim 80 per cent back by agreeing to meet energy-efficiency targets.
Hartfield reckoned further savings could still be made and that growers would "continue to rise to the challenge of saving energy and money".
The existing 12 per cent target was negotiated when protected horticulture businesses first became eligible for the 80 per cent climate-change-levy discount.
Meanwhile, Defra has published a new "one-stop shop" practical guide to help growers, farmers and land managers protect the environment.
The Code of Good Agricultural Practice consolidates three previous codes last published in 1998 and offers best-practice advice on water, soil and air quality.

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