With concerns being raised about how we can speed up actions to help protect our planet – and worries about energy bills this winter, we’re all interested in energy saving. Some of our clients have implemented useful solutions already using renewable energy sources and we wanted to share their inspiring achievements, starting with Ashtead Engineering.
This is what our client Matt Parry, Director at Ashtead, said about swapping to solar panels and LED lighting …
How did Ashtead get started with solar panels?
“We began looking into renewable energy well before people knew about the price hikes as we wanted to replace a leaking roof. Being in the (sometimes sunny!) south east of England, we wanted to see if the business could benefit from installing solar panels. Our calculations showed solar would be a cost-effective solution as well as being better for the environment.”
What research did you have to do?
“We looked at Community Solar Accelerator Grants. Importantly, we spoke to several companies and got a survey done. For this they used specialised software, taking in the direction our buildings were facing, size, geographic location, historical weather data etc.”
What, financial help did you get?
“We got a grant from Brighton Energy Cooperative.”
Was the installation disruptive?
“Ashtead have 261 panels to cover our roof and it’s a 120kW system. The panels were installed a few months ago. It took four days but there was no disruption because it was all happening outside.”
Was the investment worth it?
“The sums added up even before the energy crisis but now that we’ve had the energy price rises the solar panels should pay for themselves even faster – we’re looking at within the next two years. It should cover 1/3 of our energy usage. So, yes, definitely.”
Why did you choose LED lighting for the business?
- We wanted to improve the quality of our lighting in the building.
- We found that LED creates a pleasant working environment and assists productivity.
- Energy savings – LED lighting not only lasts for a long time and is a renewable source of energy – it also costs very little to run.”
Was there any financial help available?
“Yes. We got a LoCASE Grant and replaced all the lights with LED. I believe the grant funding is available until spring 2023.”
When did you install the lights and have you seen benefits?
“The LED lighting was installed earlier in 2022 and is already paying for itself. It provides a nice environment in which to work and we’re very pleased with it.”
What are your tips for businesses looking to do something similar to what you have done?
- “Do some research – speak to several suppliers and see the product – you need it to last for several decades.
- We found The Grant Company have multiple types of eco-friendly products and they justify why they choose particular suppliers.
- Personally, I prefer to use a firm who is offering the services and does the work themselves v using a company who advertises the services and then sub contracts the work.”
Do you have any other energy-efficient projects in the pipeline?
“We’re planning a Heat Recovery System for the workshop, to improve the air quality inside and reduce the amount of heat being wasted through the door.”
Would you recommend other businesses look into renewable energy sources and other eco-friendly products?
“Yes – it has been a ‘no brainer’ for us. We think that at some point the government will make these types of energy savings compulsory – so it’s good to get ahead.”
A useful list of sites to visit online that will help you find business energy-efficiency grants and schemes is published by Ofgem here.
About Ashtead Engineering …