Energy saving - business and environmental no-brainer - Business Works
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Energy saving - business and environmental no-brainer

David Hunt, Director, Eco Environments Energy efficiency is, or should be, at the top of all companies agendas in these days of ever-increasing energy costs and environmental concern. We look at a couple of case studies to show clearly the benefits of a well-planned alternative energy strategy.

The first has recently been completed and is the biggest roof-based solar PV installation in the North of England. Cold Move, a temperature controlled storage and distribution specialist, has installed 1077 panels in a 250kWp project at its depot in Golborne, Warrington. It has since further boosted its green credentials with the installation of 600 solar panels – a 150kWp system - at its head office in Oswestry.

The two schemes form a major part of Cold Move’s plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 25% by 2020 with carbon emissions reducing by 176,386kg a year and generating 324,240kWh of electricity annually.

Cold Move solar PV installation

"One of our company goals is to reduce our carbon emissions by at least 25% by 2020 and solar is a key part in reducing this as a renewable energy source," says James Woodward, MD of Cold Move. "Combine this with a reduction in energy costs for the solar power generated made the project a 'no brainer'."

"We are forecasted to save approximately 40% of the unit cost of solar energy generated (about 10% of our usage) against grid supplies. Annual savings of £20,000 plus should be achieved."

The second case study is at Lupton & Place which remains at the forefront of the diecasting industry, harnessing the most up-to-date technology and a family business where three generations have worked. The company has been at the forefront of the European die-casting industry for more than 100 years and employs 150 people. Capable of producing over 2 million castings a year, the company services a diverse range of clients across Europe and, in recent years, has developed strong relationships with low-cost economies including China and India.

The company works across a number of sectors including automotive, defence, electronics and entertainment as well as white goods (eg. cooker parts and oven doors for leading brands) and will see its electricity bill cut by almost £8000 a year as a result of installing energy efficient lighting.

The installation will see the company’s lighting usage reduced by 85,000kWh units and CO2 emissions cut by 46.3 tons annually. It means that the payback time for the £20,000 project is just two-and-a-half years. In addition, the scheme is eligible for the Government’s Enhanced Capital Allowances with 100% of the project cost being written off in the first year ensuring an even better payback.

John Bardgett, Foundry Manager at Lupton & Place, said, "We chose to invest in energy efficient lighting across the foundry as it had a quick payback and limited interruption to our business during installation. Most work was completed over a weekend and we are now not only more energy efficient, but have a far better lit and improved working environment."

David Hunt, Sales and Marketing Director for Eco Environments, the company responsible for both of the installations said, "We are seeing huge demand from businesses, particularly those with high lighting usage, for energy efficient lighting installations.

"The return on investment for such schemes is eye-watering and there are further incentives with funding available from the Carbon Trust as well as the Enhanced Capital Allowances," David added. "We are finding that an increasing number of commercial customers are keen to talk to us, not about one type of technology, but about ways in which they can maximise their energy savings by installing different types of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology."

Eco Environments itself is a success story and has increased its turnover dramatically to £6.4 million in the last financial year – compared to £1.3 million the previous year. The company, which has its head office in Liverpool and regional offices in Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Carlisle and St Asaph, has also seen its headcount increase from 12 to 50 during the past 12 months.

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