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£38,000 savings identified at protective coatings company

Gorilla gets to grips with energy efficiency

An engineering company providing anti-corrosion coatings to the industrial sector has introduced a huge array of solar PV panels to help cut their energy costs.

Gorilla Corrosion, which started operations in 1984, also installed a new compressor, air source heat pump and switched to LED lighting in a concerted effort to tackle its energy bills and to help future-proof the business.

Jamie Cromar, managing director, said: 

“We knew our equipment needed to be upgraded to be more efficient. The work should cut our outgoings by a third, which in turn will help our carbon footprint.”

He approached Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service for a free energy assessment of the site.

The company, which supplies protective coating systems for a range of industries, had previously had advice from Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland service for its premises at Lunan Bay on the south side of Montrose around 2016 and was keen to receive further energy-saving advice after moving to a new site on the north side of the town.

One of our experienced consultants visited the Brent Avenue site to thoroughly assess the set-up where electricity was costing around £100,000 a year. The subsequent report focussed on three key areas: lighting, compressed air and the opportunity for solar PV panels. Potential savings of £38,000 were identified, along with a reduction of 69 tonnes of CO2.

The new facility comprises a main workshop and four smaller workshops, as well as a portable cabin office complex. Sodium lighting was being used throughout the main workshop and also externally, while traditional fluorescent lights were in use in the office complex and various breakout areas. On the recommendation of our consultant, all heating has been upgraded to LED equivalents saving the company around £7,500 a year.

Given the open and unshaded location of the site, it was recommended that the roof of the main workshop would be ideal for siting solar PV panels to enable self-generation of electricity. Gorilla agreed with the suggestion and spent £56,000 installing 132 PV panels providing 50Kw of electricity. The company also decided to install an air source heat pump to help heat the office cabins that had previously used electric convectors.

Gorilla operates three large compressors to generate high pressure air for many of its processes. Compressors are prone to leakages in industrial operations, which can be difficult to detect in a noisy working environment. Zero Waste Scotland’s consultant found examples of leakage that were proving costly to the company. Gorilla introduced a new compressor on site and asked the supplier to carry out leak detection to ensure all leaks had been identified and dealt with.

The PV array and compressor were financed with the help of a Scottish Government SME Loan and cashback grant, with the remainder of the work paid for from company funds.

Jamie said: 

“If we hadn’t looked at making changes, we would have had rising bills, potential job losses and we could have lost work as we became less competitive. And aside from that, there would have been wasteful energy loss and an adverse impact on the environment."


 “The support we received was brilliant, including the advice and the funding.”


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Our free service for Scottish businesses is funded by the Scottish Government and by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73 million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme. The support provided to this organisation was delivered by Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland programme, which has been relaunched as Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service as of 1 April 2020.

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