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Cleaning up the savings with energy efficiency improvements

Solar PV and heat pump installed at new HQ

A 19th century steading has been transformed into a business’s new HQ with 21st century energy efficiency technology.

SW Enviro Group bought the premises in West Calder, West Lothian, after they had been standing empty for more than three years.

Scott Watson, senior managing director, said: 

“When we started the building project for the new head office, greener energy was a topic that had arisen for the premises, as well as our vehicles and everyday practices.”

But the company, which specialises in commercial kitchen cleaning as well as offering ventilation services, catering design and equipment maintenance, faced a big challenge as the new head office didn’t even have a roof and had been facing demolition.

Not to be fazed, Scott approached Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service for advice and guidance on how to transform the 1895 building into a modern energy efficient workplace.

A consultant produced an in-depth report after looking closely at what Scott and his team were planning for the building to ensure all their boxes were ticked.

Although there were no previous figures for comparison, it was estimated that SW Enviro could save around £8,900 a year on standard installations if they carried out the recommendations in the report.

Heating for the building that would house offices, meeting rooms and a board room on the first floor, with warehouse space below, was a must. It was recommended that an air source heat pump (ASHP) would provide a good solution, giving the company a green and efficient system.

For the ASHP to be effective and for the heat it generated to be kept in the building, insulation – internally and externally – was needed.

The company was also keen to reduce its energy costs by generating electricity on site and an array of solar PV panels was fitted to the new insulated roof. It was estimated that the company could use around 70% of the energy with 30% being exported back to the grid, saving around £1,000 a year.

Scott was interested in battery storage, but when our consultant provided him with the figures, it proved to be too cost prohibitive for the company at this time.

A number of existing windows were already double-glazed, and the company upgraded the remaining single-glazed units too. The final piece of the jigsaw was the switch to LED lighting that was carried out in two phases across the building.

The company took advantage of the £10,000 cashback grant that was part of the Scottish Government SME Loan that they used to help finance the work.

Scott said: 

“When we first visited the site, we were walking around in wellies, as the lead had been stripped from the roof and obviously water had got in. We have been working out of portable offices in the car park watching it all come together. It’s been very exciting. It’s turned into something amazing.


“If we hadn’t come to Zero Waste Scotland, we would not have been able to afford everything at one go. The project would have gone well over budget and it would have taken us longer to move in.


“At times like this, when you take on a project of this scale, the assistance and guidance we were offered by your advisor Eireann Harkins was exactly what was needed. I felt supported throughout and knew the choices were good for the future of the business and the environment.”


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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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