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Growing business returns for more energy-saving advice

Company directors take professional advice when extending to new premises.

A growing business turned to us for energy-efficiency advice when they acquired new premises.

Irvine-based Thistle Help, which provides a comprehensive range of assisted living aids, approached us for an assessment of their new property before they moved in.

George Ruddick and Laura Hays initially set up their company in a small shop in 2007, and in 2010 they were lucky enough to move into newly renovated industrial premises. As the business continued to expand it was becoming more difficult to house a showroom, workshop and warehouse under one roof, so they saw it as the perfect opportunity when the council-owned premises next door became vacant in 2018.

The downside was the property had no heating in the office area and the heating and lighting in the warehouse was very poor. Laura had met our local advisor, Clare Strain, at a networking event, and turned to her for advice.

Our independent assessment of the premises, summarised in a detailed report, recommended changing all the lighting to LED, installing a new energy-efficient central heating system in the administration area and equipping the warehouse and workshop with destratification fans.

Our report estimated that the company could save £1,285 a year, as well as reducing its CO2 output by 3.4 tonnes. With an outlay of £6,500, Thistle Help would have a payback period of just over five years.

With an SME loan with cashback approved, George and Laura commissioned the work and the company now operates from both buildings.

Laura said: 

“I do believe having all this done has improved the workplace for our employees and will undoubtedly be energy efficient. I’m glad we went down this route and I would recommend it to anyone who’s looking to carry out a new project.”

Once the second property became operational, they realised that the industrial heater wasn’t running as efficiently as it could be, mainly because of its age. Having had a positive experience working with us previously, Laura had no hesitation returning and asking for our advice and support once more.

She was now familiar with the process and found it equally straightforward the second time around, again applying for a Scottish Government loan to help fund the work.

“For our business, this was something that we needed to do, and having the loans allowed us to spread the cost rather than having to try to find the capital to cover it.”

Although they have no previous bills to compare, Laura knows that their staff and their bottom line will benefit from the changes.

 

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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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