Hospitality firm goes green with solar panels

A hospitality supplies firm recovering from a 90 per cent turnover hit during the pandemic has taken a major step towards its sustainable future with an energy saving solar installation.

Yate Supplies will now produce 50 per cent of the energy used at its warehouses in Stover Trading Estate via renewables, thanks to the installation by Bristol experts Source Electrical.

Featuring 170 panels each producing 425 Watts, the system is expected to produce just under 60,000 kWh per year. Source Electrical said energy savings will see the investment pay for itself in less than four years.

Yate Supplies, set up 40 years ago and currently turning over £25 million, saw its business take a major hit during the pandemic as the hospitality industry was ravaged by lockdowns. Looking forward, it says there are immediate and long-term benefits to the installation.

“We’ve emerged stronger from the pandemic and are embarking on an ESG plan to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030,” said commercial director Colin Massie. “We think reducing our carbon footprint is the right, ethical thing to do.

“In addition, many of our customers – among them major high street brands in the hospitality industry – are looking for suppliers who can help them with their own sustainability responsibilities.

“So this installation is a clear statement of intent from us as we look to reduce our own emissions, as well as offering us a commercial and competitive benefit.”

Ian Rogers is managing director of Source Electrical, which has installed PV systems ranging in size from 2 to 100KW across the South West. He said that energy saving solar installations often make more sense in a commercial context than they do in a domestic one.

“Most business premises will use the majority of their electricity during daylight hours,” he said. “So solar installations are usually more practical for commercial properties than for domestic ones, where homeowners will end up selling generated energy back to the grid for relatively insignificant return.

“The latest panels are high performance and the technology isn’t improving fast enough to make waiting worthwhile.

“Given that finance can supply the capital needed for the installation, and that payment terms can equal the savings your make in your energy bills, there can be literally no impact on your bottom line. Of course once the installation is paid for, the energy is completely free. So from a business point of view, it’s a no-brainer.

“We recommend that businesses consider the size of their roof, the direction it faces, any potential shading and so on before engaging engineers. Of course there are many variables in terms of size and technology of the installation, so it makes sense to talk to an expert.

“In the case of Yate Supplies, they have a south facing roof with no shading around, so it was perfect for the installation. And they work 24 hours a day so were keen to minimise their energy use as much as possible.

“They’ve been a pleasure to work with and of course we were pleased that they chose us to engage with. We’re happy to help any local companies save energy and costs – over the course of an installation’s lifetime the impact on the business can be enormous.”

Based in Worle, near Weston-super-Mare, Source Electrical is a specialist in the design, specification and installation of renewable power and heating systems including EV charging solutions for business and residential customers.

The company offers complete installation services in all sectors; including commercial, retail, industrial, domestic and educational.

The company was set up in 2019 by Mr Rogers and his co-director Paul Lanning, who between them having more than 40 years’ experience in the electrical contracting industry.