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Electric Fencing - The Basics... How To Choose An Electric Fencing Energiser

How To Choose An Electric Fencing Energiser

We speak to our customers everyday on the phone and on email and one of the most common questions we are asked is how do I choose an electric fencing energiser... which energiser is right for our animals and our fence?

There is a check list you need to go through to find the right electric fencing energiser for your livestock and your fence.

1. What type of power are you going to use?  Will you use mains, battery or battery solar?

    1. Mains - mains is always preferable but not always possible.  Mains energisers are plugged into the mains (under cover) and then attached to the fence by lead out cable. They can also be plugged into a timer so you can control when they are on/off.
    2. Battery - energisers run off battery are fantastic for fences that are out of the way and need to be moved regularly.
    3. Dual Powered - these energisers have the potential to run off mains or a 12v battery (some of these energisers are even capable of running off a 6v battery backup).
    4. Battery/Solar - this means that the solar panel (either as an assist or as an integrated energiser) trickle feeds the battery so that it requires less conventional charging.  These energisers are suitable for line systems and short strip grazing fences... less good for poultry netting unless you use solar assist.  Solar assist is an energiser, solar panel and 12v battery - it is not an integrated solar energiser.  Solar assist means if you have a battery operated energiser you can add a solar panel to create a solar system.

2. How long is your fence?

It is critical to know how long your fence is and also how many lines of fencing you are going to put in - make sure you use the total distance ie length x number of lines.  This length will determine the power of the energiser required.  It is also sensible to think of future fencing - will you extend the fence?  What is the maximum length the fence could be?

3. What type of fencing are you using?

You would need a very different energiser if you are powering netting to if you are constructing a single line of tape for a strip grazing fence.  Netting has lots of lines and requires an energiser that will have plenty of output power.  So, are you going to be setting up a system with polywire, galvanised wire, tape, rope or netting?

4. What is stored and output joules?

This is the level of energy the energiser produces (stored) and releases onto the fence line (output).  Many energisers have similar voltage levels but the higher the joule the further the voltage will be pushed and the greater 'load' the energiser will effectively cope with.

5. Voltage under load.

The fence line 'loads' the energiser and brings the line voltage down.  The level at which this occurs is influenced by the length of fence, the type of fence line and the amount of inefficiencies along the fence.

Fences with greater metal content offer less resistance to the voltage per meter so represent comparably less load over a distance.  Undergrowth touching the line completes the circuit drawing power to ground, increasing the load and reducing the effective voltage on the fence line.  Wooden posts  and metal will also draw power to ground if touching the fence.

When choosing an energiser, consider the application and the likelihood of extraneous conditions that may influence the fence.  For instance; poultry netting is very close to the ground and susceptible to grass taking power to ground and thus loads the energiser heavily.  The energiser required for this application must be much higher in joules than would be needed on most fences of comparable distance.

Buying an energiser

You can find all of our Bristish made Hotline Electric Fencing Energisers in our online shop:



Dual/Combination and Smart Dual/Combination

Solar Energisers

Need to chat?

We chat about electric fencing every day... we know our energisers and which one would be right for you and your fence.  Our energisers are British made and are tried and tested.  If you are unsure as to which energiser you might need get in touch and we can talk you through what you need: or 01620 860058


Hotline Buzzard Battery Energiser Centaur Hotline Energsiersolar powered electric fencing - fire drake

Meriel Younger

About Meriel Younger

Farmers daughter (my mother was the farmer!) with many years experience of farming, equestrian and electric fencing. Living the 'good life' and forever trying to find the perfect work/life balance!
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