In the future, factory spaces considered to be energy inefficient and heavy on emissions will face tougher penalties. In the financial year 2020-21, more than £21 million of fines were issued to 33 companies for breaching the European Union Emissions Trading System, CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas regime. Companies are facing increasing pressure to cut emissions and adopt low carbon technologies for their buildings.  

Ellard’s Net Zero Goal 

Ellard are keen to achieve net zero status. They import a large proportion of their heavy goods from China and are looking to offset the emissions associated with this by installing Solar PV on the roof of their Wythenshawe warehouse. In addition to this, their parent company is reliant on investor finance which is driven by sustainability; this has influenced Ellard’s sustainability planning and encouraged the business to take a strong net zero stance.    
Ellard have already taken steps towards decarbonising their warehouse. They have installed LED lighting and, in June 2021, they switched to a 100 per cent renewable energy fixed three-year contract with their net zero 2025 goals in sight. For their next step the company is looking to go solar.  

Supporting the Process  

Green Economy were approached by Ellard who expressed interest in meeting local green tech suppliers capable of installing Solar PV on their warehouse. Vicky Wilding led the initial talks:  
“Ellard approached us to find trusted solar installers through our online Marketplace. We pitched the expression of interest to our clients and received six responses, of which four agreed to meet with the Ellard team. We arranged a series of introductions with Perfect Sense, Green Grant Installs (GGI), Grant Store and Griff Services.”  
“As part of our service, we attended each meeting and offered advice in terms of Ellard’s project requirements and the service being offered by each installer. The end goal is to create a positive buyer-supplier relationship and deliver on net zero targets.”     
Green Economy attended each of Ellard’s face-to-face consultations with the six different solar installers. During each consultation, Ellard were able to discuss the process of solar installation and better understand the buyer journey, including costs, timeframes, and requirements at each step. Each supplier had the opportunity to enquire about the project specifications and pitch their business in a bid to secure a partnership.  

Vicky (2)
John Mcgorrigan (2)

Ellard admitted to having a fairly limited understanding of the solar installation process prior to their supplier meetings. By the end of the first two consultations, they felt far more knowledgeable about the process and had more confidence to invest in Solar PV technology.  
“I’d done some initial research, but when you type “solar” into Google you’re hit with hundreds of results suggesting everything from independent installers to major corporations," explained John McGorrigan, director of business transformation at Ellard. "It’s hard to know who the right installer is for our requirements. We’re sure of our reasoning for getting solar panels on the roof of our warehouse, we just weren’t quite sure where to start.” 

Costs, Time and Space  

Multiple factors influenced the conversation around the table. Ellard were primarily concerned with the timeframe and process of installation, such as how it would affect the day-to-day running of their warehouse, how soon the installation could take place, and how long the process would last. The landlord of the warehouse was interested in the associated cost of installation, the ongoing maintenance and warranty of the solar panels, which could be up to 25 years depending on the supplier, and the value it would add to the building.  
On the supply side, installers were keen to access Ellard’s half-hourly energy readings, their current energy bill, and at least a year’s worth of energy usage data. These are standard requirements that solar installers will need to know before commencing with a project.  

If you are looking to install Solar PV in your home or place of work, you can find your perfect project partner and learn more about the process through our online searchable Marketplace.  
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