Steve Smith founded Central Windows and Conservatories 25 years ago. The business has expanded over time to occupy three units at the business park in Hamble where a huge variety of doors and windows are manufactured and assembled, with frames and locking mechanisms machined and fitted on site.
The factory uses energy-intensive machine tools and Steve estimates that his most recent energy bill rose from £3,500 per quarter to £4,500 so the newly installed solar panels will bring a welcome reduction once the sunshine is more intense.
The £25,000 ARG from EBC contributed to the £30,000 cost of installing a 60-panel, 25kW array on the shed roof in September. According to the Solis converter on site, the solar panels had generated 1,039kWh in the intervening month. When we visited, Steve had not yet received a bill since the installation but had data from his home array where his 12-panel 240v system had saved him 1,156 tonnes of CO2e – the equivalent of planting 53 trees - in just three months.
He has also installed LED lighting throughout the site at a cost of £7,000 so the company offers a good example of wise investment that will keep its operation affordable over the coming months whilst contributing to a cleaner borough for residents.
The company has a long order book and is always on the lookout for new recruits: they would be keen to hear from practical people who might like to learn skills such as tooling or fitting complex folding doors; a recent successful candidate came from a boat building background.