Kitchen, bedroom and bathroom manufacturer J&J Ormerod (JJO) is investing £400k in solar panel installation, at its headquarters in Bacup, Lancashire, to reduce energy bills .
The independent company, which has sites across Rossendale in Lancashire, already has green credentials.
It introduced a waste extraction system and biomass boiler to turn all waste products into heating for its manufacturing premises,10 years ago.
Managing director of JJO Stephen Greenhalgh said: “We have already switched to motion-sensor LED lighting and power factor correction equipment which regulates the flow of power to machinery, so it only gets exactly what it is using and we have won numerous green awards over a number of years.”
The company is one of the largest employers in Rossendale but has always shied away from solar because of the local climate, Stephen Greenhalgh joked: “Sometimes it feels like it rains in Rossendale for 300 days of the year.”
However, with soaring energy prices, and fixed term supplier agreements coming to an end, the company felt the time was right to look again at alternative and renewable sources of energy.
Harvesting power from the River Irwell was not an option, so the installation of solar panels was re-examined.
Greenhalgh said: “We did due diligence and have selected a provider and we will be installing solar panels on the roof of Olive Mill and Avalon House in Bacup.
“In four years’ time, the panels will have paid for themselves and we will have reduced our energy bills by 10 per cent.
“If it proves its worth, as we expect it to do, then we will be rolling it out across all our company buildings where we can use the power that is generated.”
He said the benefits would be two-fold: firstly, being better for the environment it is an investment in the planet’s future and secondly, it is economically smart to be green.
The company has already invested in a range of electric vehicles and hybrids for local staff and area sales managers, as well as tractor units for efficient transportation.
Greenhalgh added: “The solar panels are a huge investment, but it is future proofing our business. There is a drive for renewable energy sources and it is up to us to do what we can to minimise fossil fuel usage.”