Electric supply collective deals
MILK Marque and the NFU are among the farmer organisations currently negotiating collective deals delivering cheaper electricity for their members.
Only buyers using more than 100kW for at least three months a year can opt to purchase electricity from any supplier. But from Apr 1, 1998, everyone will be free to buy electricity from any company which offers the best deal.
Chris Placket of the Farm Energy Centre, the NAC, Stoneleigh, says users will get a better deal by buying through a group. The first step is to ask for a quotation from the present supplier, and then from alternative suppliers.
Savings of up to 15% may be possible initially. After that savings of only 1% to 2% are likely even after moving to a different supplier.
The disadvantage of buying electricity through a group which exists for other reasons, such as the NFU or Milk Marque, is that resigning from the group may need to be considered carefully, warns Mr Plackett. But they do have substantial advantages of scale. *