Future of farming appears to be ‘brites’

Chicken farmer Gareth Murray from Aghalee, Co. Antrim, is one of an increasing number of farmers across Northern Ireland who has made considerable savings for his farm by switching to a sustainable wood pellet fuel and qualifying for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).� 'I am saving almost 60% over the cost of traditional fossil fuel for my farm,' said Gareth.� 'The promise of a reduced fuel overhead combined with a lower carbon footprint and payments received from the RHI convinced me that brites were the best choice for my farm, and we haven't looked back since switching.' After qualifying for the RHI, chicken farmers can expect to save up to �20,000 per chicken house annually.
Chicken farmer Gareth Murray from Aghalee, Co. Antrim, is one of an increasing number of farmers across Northern Ireland who has made considerable savings for his farm by switching to a sustainable wood pellet fuel and qualifying for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).� 'I am saving almost 60% over the cost of traditional fossil fuel for my farm,' said Gareth.� 'The promise of a reduced fuel overhead combined with a lower carbon footprint and payments received from the RHI convinced me that brites were the best choice for my farm, and we haven't looked back since switching.' After qualifying for the RHI, chicken farmers can expect to save up to �20,000 per chicken house annually.

Many innovative poultry farmers across Northern Ireland are cutting their annual fuel costs by up to £20,000 per poultry house – simply by making the switch to biomass-fuelled heating systems.

The forward-thinking firms are proving the value of turning green ambitions into on-farm realities, saving money and reducing their carbon footprint by tapping into the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which offers hard-pressed farm businesses the chance to benefit from zero cost heat for the next 20 years.

“Although many farmers in Northern Ireland have thought ahead by switching to sustainable biomass fuels, many farms, rural businesses and communities continue to remain over-dependent on fossil fuel and struggle to cope with sudden increases in fuel costs,” said Paula Keelagher, brites Market Development Manager, Ireland. “Our government is tasked with achieving a target where 12% of all heating comes from renewable sources by 2020. To assist in achieving this, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) launched the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in 2011, the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat that provides payments to commercial users.”

Farmers raising diverse crops and livestock have seen the benefits of switching to premium quality wood pellet fuels like brites to take advantage of the RHI, with farm businesses focusing in dairy, horticulture, mushroom, poultry, and pigs all praising the benefits of converting to wood fuelled biomass.

One County Tyrone based poultry farmer converted two of his chicken houses to a biomass-fuelled heating system running on Balcas brites wood pellets. Including his Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments, the farmer was able to save over £23,000 in seven months compared to previous years using LPG. He expects his costs to have been reduced by around £40,000 in a full year.

When used in conjunction with a biomass boiler, with outputs of up to 99kW in Northern Ireland the RHI provides commercial organisations, including farms, with 20 years of government-funded payments for the production of renewable heat for their buildings. These payments are a huge incentive to farmers considering switching to fuels of the future, especially as the cost of traditional fossil fuels continue to be volatile and can at times prohibit the profitability of some farm operations.

Biomass systems fuelled by brites have been used for indirect heating through hot water pipes to encourage growing in glass house nurseries, heating hot water to sanitise milking equipment, space heating for animal housing and growing facilities. The systems can also be used for indirect heating of mats for pigs, while mushroom farmers have reaped the benefits of brites by using steam to clear out mushroom growing houses between crops.

The brites team guide farmers every step of the way, from planning their biomass installation to finding a recommended boiler installer and securing twenty years’ fuel supply with brites.

Manufactured in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland and Invergordon, Scotland by Balcas, brites premium quality wood pellets are EN plus accredited and offer a genuine security of supply, meaning that customers who secure their fuel with Balcas are guaranteed their supply of brites for the full twenty years of the RHI.

For more information on how the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in Northern Ireland can benefit your farm contact the brites team at rhi@brites.eu.