so in terms of the actual benefits of battery storage it's not just a case of being able or just utilizing your solar PV for the battery and that's where it stops as mentioned earlier there's plenty more benefits that you can get from battery storage which makes it a real full solution for you to be able to uh look at reducing your energy costs but also spreading into whether Avenues of your business as well so time of use charging is one of the main things here and that essentially is if you think about a uh a time of use tariff for example economy 7 star or there's things like octopus go and lots of EB tariffs at the moment as well you can essentially do the same thing with battery storage so if you've got a preferential rate of electricity between 12 4 7 in the morning what you'd be able to do is charge your battery up between them times and then use it when you have a peak rate of electricity so that's an absolutely fantastic way of getting the most out of your battery when the solar is generating its lease I.E in the winter time okay so in the summer usually not much um not much need for a tariff such as this however in the winter it's particularly important for you to get year-round savings on your battery storage which in turn is going to reduce your return on investment time which is with a significant investment what you'd like to be looking at so generation generating replacement grid outage backup very similar and so quite a lot of the battery storage solutions now will come with what's called a backup functionality so should you lose grid connection they will be able to power uh essential circuits or indeed whole site backup dependent on what the size of the site is and what the inverter of the battery is rated at so what you could have is rather than a massive diesel generator that you've got to maintain uh every year drain the diesel fill a diesel and keep everything up to date there which can be a cost for something that's not likely to come on you can actually replace that with battery storage and have a reserve set in the battery to it and be able to give you maybe half an hour an hour a couple of hours battery uh storage energy on site so you can Evacuate the premises shoot if you need to grid stability Aid so this something that's becoming a lot more prevalent within the battery storage um world I suppose because what the uh what the grid and energy providers are looking to do is improve the grid stability by actually grouping batteries together on the network and drawing off of them to be able to improve grid stability and that is something that you can get paid for so there's lots of interesting tariffs coming out within the next kind of year or couple of years that we'll be able to uh or that you will be eligible for which is a fantastic way to you know do your bit by supporting the grid and also get paid for it at the same time and the actual rewards on that are quite handsome that you get and also environmental impact all the energy that you're going to create from your lovely solar system you're going to want to make the use of that on site reducing new carbon even further okay so looking into the crystal ball obviously battery storage is a uh it's a big upfront investment at the moment and I wanted to kind of give a little bit of an overview of what it's likely to look like in five ten years time so looking into some studies install costs could fall between 50 and 60 by 2030. so this is driven by technology advancement economies of scale increased competition and hopefully some government policies as well and like with everything we're seeing the same with uh with the solar Market as well once the market starts to get more competitive it takes a new technology then it gets more competitive and once the manufacturing sorted that begins to drag the price down now on Commercial Solutions if you're thinking about that now this is also a fantastic thing as well because it means that actually a longer along the line when you're potentially going to have to change cells in the battery it will get cheaper and cheaper which is a great thing yeah slide please so I'd like to uh answer any questions that you have uh thank you very much part of me I really appreciate it I hope you enjoyed this talk and uh yeah thank you again to the commentary and watch your business program for having me back again good stuff thank you Henry really informative and I hope everyone found that uh found that useful um I'm gonna open up the floor again to uh to some questions uh Neptune just to clarify yes we will email the recordings to you so you'll get the whole presentation and the uh and the slides um so anybody else got any questions if not I do have some pretty prepared for you Henry you'll be pleased to uh be pleased to hear so I think I jumped to the pre-prepared one now this is actually a question that does pop up a lot actually in terms of uh feeding tariff versus batteries so um Mike Wallach has asked on a pre-prepared question if you're on the call Mike good afternoon is there any risk to domestic customers with solar already installed in maintaining their feeding tariff payments whilst also installing solar battery storage so I suppose that's a balance agent isn't it between the two between the two elements Henry did you come across that a lot yeah definitely um on so this is more kind of uh on a residential uh standpoint that we'll be looking at this particular topic and whenever you're altering or changing anything to do with your residential solar BB system we would always advise that before you do that to get in contact with your fit provider and speak to them about what you're planning to do and how they can advise you on how that may impact the Tariff that you're getting because you know let's face it the feeding tariff is a fantastic opportunity for people to get paid quite a lot of money on their um on their solar BB systems over a prolonged period of time so with that in mind they don't want to lose that and you know why would you it's a good source of income lost company bills as well which is fantastic now what we found is that quite a lot of the fit providers will allow the um will still allow to pay for the generation but what you have is uh on the fit Turf is what's called a deemed export which they uh which they will uh calculate at 50 percent you will actually lose that element of the vegan tariff so that's just one example obviously from fit provider to the fit provider it may change so as I said earlier best thing to do would be to get in touch with your provider and make sure they're happy with the changes they've been making because the last thing we would want to do as a business for one of our customers was to install something for them and then they lose their fit code so yeah that getting in touch with your fit provider is definitely the right way to go about it and that's what we would advise for all of our residential concerns yeah good answer thank you Henry so when did um when did fit end as a program was it 2019 who's that have I got that right yeah and it has there been is there any sort of payment at the moment from people that are feeding energy back into the grill now it'll be a lot less is there any sort of any payment made at the moment moving forward or yeah definitely so both residentially and commercially you can you can claim what's uh what's called the smart export guarantee so this will be available from either your current energy provider but it's also a separate contract to who you import your energy from so say you buy your energy from octopus you can actually set up a smart export guarantee with a company like EDF or or another provider because it's a separate contract okay in terms of the rates that you're getting paid we've seen anywhere from five pence per unit to 14 Pence per unit dependent on the provider so it's always important and we encourage our customers to shop around with the smart export guarantee and there's a couple of a couple of things that us as an installer need to do as part of the smart export guarantee um I suppose a setup that we will provide you with that your energy provider will ask for like your dno um approval uh your connection approval sorry on that's just the one uh what they would usually ask for to approve the commissioning okay good good answer thank you and I think for everyone on the call it does again show the benefits of liaising with a really reputable supplier so reach out if that's if that's of interest to any of you um we're running a little bit late uh which is no problem but I want to just move forward if that's okay so I'd like to introduce our next uh speaker to the webinar uh Angus Rose who's the director of an Eco energy and Alex is going to speak primarily obviously we've asked each speaker to sort of focus on a different angle of solar Angus is going to speak primarily on the challenges of installations so over to you Angus thank you Jonathan good afternoon everyone um I've been asked to obviously talk about some of the challenges with solar PV and uh I guess we're gonna use some of the recent work that we've been doing with Coventry city council to help them do a roll out of 39 projects that we've done with them over the past couple of years and just talk through that as a sort of worked example of some of the challenges we've experienced and how that may be relevant to other applications if we could go to the next slide please but before I do um rather than going straight into some of the challenges and some of the negatives I guess I wanted to touch on the the potential for PV and obviously uh one of my favorite quotes that I'm sure you can imagine is that in one hour the amount of solar power that touches the Earth is more than the entire world consumes in one year so there's an awful amount of power and potential power out there solo and like fossil fuels is an infinite resource that's renewable and doesn't contribute towards climate change so given what you've probably all heard in the news recently regarding climate change in the ipcc's report and the fact that we've got such an abundance of this power sources is really why I do what I do and obviously why uh why we're here today is to discuss solar power um next slide please I guess I just wanted to touch upon the three key benefits that that solar gives um as you can see at the bottom of the slider is the cheapest source of electricity in history um that is put out from the International Energy agency in 2020 and the cost of PV um is moving or moving all the time although it's stabilizing a little bit more now and I think the thing to note is really when you look at it in simple terms looking at your electricity Supply at this moment in time most people are probably paying around 35 Pence a kilowatt hour for their electricity and obviously if you offset that by generating PV that you don't use and that's the saving you're going to make we often get asked about export or to put it into context you may generate PV which get exported at five pence a kilowatt hour so you can see how much more valuable it is for PV that is generated that you then use within your buildings and that's one of the reasons that we've taken a focus on commercial industrial users because um you will tend to find that most commercial industrial units will tend to turn up to work and then start to use power through the normal course of the day peaking at lunchtime and dropping off again and that's where solar PV generally tends to work that sort of bell curve and that gives um a great a high proportion of self-consumption which in turn provides fantastic Financial savings and so when we're looking at PV at this moment in time with where Energy prices are going and 35p being the average we're seeing some paybacks going down from to as little as three years which when I started it was up at eight years so there's been a massive massive increase and from a from a financial perspective there's massive incentives to invest in Solo PV which offer double-digit returns and importantly over a 25-year period so if you have got the money in your in your bank it's difficult to find the find as good an investment opportunities as what solar PV offers now and given the fact that everything's going electric and obviously uh you know whether that be transport Heating and various other factors it's um it's obviously something that generating your own electricity is becoming more and more valuable I guess unfortunately what we've seen on the back of the uh the Ukraine Russia war is that obviously energy security has shot up the political agenda um and what we're saying is that by having your own solar generator it gives you a bit of energy security bit of energy independence from um from other factors geopolitical factors and clearly as we've mentioned there's some some environmental benefits to the solar PV that um that are really important and also from uh from an EPC perspective for landlords and the like um they're going to be start the legislation that comes into play to make sure that the energy performance of buildings um is suitable to be then let it out to tenants so it's something that is going up the political agenda and that we're seeing a massive amount of demand on the back of that because of the benefits that I've sort of highlighted highlighted on this slide

Transcript part 2

I guess there's three types of uh ways that we generate solar power soil rooftops which will predominantly touch focus on today and but there are also solar carports which are gaining in popularity and of course solar Farms which you may have all seen and driven past uh on as they tend to be housed next to motorways and the like I guess within the solar industry there's three subsets or three categories sectors whatever you want to call it in terms of residential and commercial industrial and then utility scale and I guess what we're seeing that is that you've got your residential sector obviously doing homes and houses and the commercial industry are doing large warehouses and factories and that's generally where we an Eco energy tends to find ourselves and then obviously utility scouting uh Big Acres of of solar farms and that's really the sort of ways and sectors within the solar industry if we could go to the next slide please

so Coventry city council is on our on our doorstep we're based uh we're based in Stoneleigh Park just outside of Coventry and just on the outskirts and we were very fortunate to be selected to to do a coventry city council program to all of their corporate sites and a few for good measure we actually looked at 48 sites in total um and and ended up delivering 39 of those 48 sites and I'll go into that in a little bit more detail and that delivered 2.11 megawatt Peak for those of you who are energy Savvy and and know your kilowatt Peaks from your megawatt Peak and also delivering 1.5 gigawatt hours worth of solar power so far to date in the past year and a bit you could say and what that means in today's money and for for the layperson is just shy of 500 000 pounds worth of energy Savings in approximately since the start of 20 mid 2021 really is what we're talking about so about a year and a half the council in today's money has generated about half a million pounds worth of savings that's the kind of scale that we're talking about in terms of what PV has done for this for this particular statistic Council basically um I guess it's for us it started our journey with Community Council started back in 2020 and when we put our tender in which was awarded early in 2021 and and we spent a good section of time developing the project which we'll talk about in a minute and then we uh the council were fortunate to get some extra funding which meant that we threw some other projects into the mix and in essence we've been working through that program and using the following real steps if we go to the next slide please so for us um the solar process is split down into four key stages and so the feasibility stage and the development stage the installation stage and the maintenance stage and my plan for today is to talk you through the different challenges that you find within each of those stages to give you guys an understanding of uh maybe challenges that we've experienced but challenges that you may experience if you're in the market for cider and interested in looking at this on your own premises just to touch on the timeline and one of the things that's worth noting is that actually the timeline for PV is quite long we're looking at between 5 to 12 months typically for a system and that can even be elongated if we're talking now about larger larger systems I guess you'll see that obviously the the largest part of that timeline is in the development stage and that is due to third-party consent so that is the grid that is planning that could be a whole host of other external consents and approvals that we need to obtain before we can move forward but nine times out of ten it's the grid that's the longest lead time and that's what's normally taking us that at that length of time to sort of three months shall we say and to get the grid back and then depending on system size it may go up to to the National Grid statement works and unravel a whole load of uh open a can of worms but we'll get into that in a minute if we go to the next slide please

first time so what are the challenges of the feasibility stage I guess first and foremost with anything um you need to look at your objectives what's the priority that you're trying to to achieve here and often a lot of customers come back to us and and it's about financial returns it's about environmental offsetting it's about self-sufficiency um I guess that what we what we tend to find is that generally people are looking at how do I get the best return on investment how do I get the best payback but also how do I get the Mac system and that's generally where that where it needs to lie but I guess you need to look at your your priorities and your objectives and understand what am I trying to achieve here is it financial and play is it a long term a total cost of ownership play and is it that I'm just trying to generate as much power as I can from my roof space and that's what I'm looking to do to try and future proof um and setting that objective at the start helps as you flow through and I guess the second question that we would ask any prospective customers is how are you looking to fund these projects you know the solar panels uh two-thirds maybe even more of the system cost is is in the equipment itself and these equipment are quite expensive you're looking at tens of thousands of pounds if not hundreds of thousands of pounds for commercial industrial projects and at the same time it can always be scaled back and but that's the kind of you know you're talking thousands and hundreds of thousands in some instances and often you know we have done projects that are in the millions um and I guess in that regard there's three key funding options really which is obviously to invest yourself self-finance it through cash um to look at an operating lease or some form of asset finance and get someone else to lend you the money and the savings help repay those that loan um or the rental roof type scheme whereby you let an external investor pay for the capex pay for the Opex and then sell you back that power at reduced rate and depending on what you're trying to achieve and going back to the objectives will depend on which is the right Avenue for for yourself but obviously if you do have the cash then that's going to give you the best option because you've not got anyone taking a return on their money um one of the big the big comments that we get when we're talking to any of our customers is how do we compare apples to apples how do we know you know what what you guys offer comparison to what what the others offer and that's something that's really difficult and particularly when most people uh it's the first time they've ever explored solar PV it's the first time they've ever bought solar PV and it's not living and breathing it like perhaps those in the industry are and therefore it's very difficult to obviously get the knowledge to then procure it um and ultimately I think it comes down to trust and a lot of the times we get a lot of feedback from our clients that say we just don't know who to trust and we want to make the most of it but how do we trust the relevant provider and and I guess that's where we need to try and step up and build that trust and and also what we tend to find is that by doing a really good project for one of our clients more often not they'll introduce us to some other clients and that's really what we're we're trying to build our business on is is being that trusted install partner for for our client base um because listen from our side things it is there is some unfortunately some some companies out there who don't necessarily hold themselves to the best value um and and maybe aren't doing the best of jobs out there and but for the most part there's a lot of people who are doing it but it's a fast growing industry and and it's one of those things that you need to to make sure that you uh you don't get burnt when you're when you're looking at solar if we go to the next slide please

so the development stage and as I mentioned there was 48 sites that we looked at at Coventry city council um of which we installed 39 which is 81 and of those that fell by the wayside one of which was due to roof condition uh one was asbestos concerns we had one where there were shading issues and one site where it just wasn't cost effective practically to put the system in and then most of them that fell by the wayside were due to structural concerns um I think that highlights the importance of getting a really reputable competent third-party structural surveyoran to give you an impartial View and that's I guess what we look to do and and basically work with our customers to get an impartial third party into actually do a structural assessment tell us whether or not it's it's it's viable basically um and as you can see 10 of the projects we looked at weren't viable now in this instance we've got a whole house sorry Frank someone put yourself on here saying things are wrong hi Frank can you meet yourself please thank you good good um so time friends I think we touched on time frames and I guess the grid issues um so one of the biggest issues and one of the requests was to talk about grid issues it's one of the biggest issues we have as an industry as a whole in terms of commentary we weren't actually impacted by grid too much there's about three sites I think it was where we had grid issues and generally speaking that was because of the fact that we were looking to put solar and storage together now unfortunately and the way that the grid looks at things is on a worse case scenario so what they look at when they see a battery and the solar system is that they're looking at two generators and what they base it on is the fact that that batteries can export to the grid and that side is going to export to the Grid at the same time which obviously is not what we're trying to achieve by pairing those two technologies what we're trying to achieve is that the battery soaks up any excess solar power and then discharges it when the sun isn't shining but regardless that's the way the grid considers it on the worst case scenario and they're the only occasions when we had grid issues um other than that we were fairly fortunate because of the I think the size of together these systems are all at the lower end of the spectrum and because of the fact that we're talking about City Center properties and as opposed to some of the bigger larger commercial structures that we're we're doing and where we're seeing an awful lot of good issues um because of the fact that we've got an old and aging infrastructure um the other issues that we see are Asbestos and we had one particular project whereby the whole basement was riddled with asbestos and we weren't allowed to touch the ceiling or the walls and that's where the electrical infrastructure was so we had to to Cable our way in there without disturbing any Asbestos and that's something that um we got an r d survey and to understand where the asbestos is how we identify it and then how we mitigate that in in terms of our cable runs which we were able to do and but it's another consideration when you're doing the development of a project is actually is there any asbestos that's going to be affected by this by this um by this installation a structure we touched upon mechanical I was looking at all the different types of systems and Roofing types that we've actually touched with in Coventry city council and everything from flat roofs metal roofs Dean roofs hooks anchors uh in-roof systems onroot systems limpets and I guess it actually looked like it was easier to to talk about what we didn't touch with Coventry city council because we pretty much touched everything apart from ground mounts carports and facades they're the only real types of mounting that we didn't do as you can see from some of the uh some of the images on the bottom um and that was really I think what was most impressive about Coventry for my side of things was the the sheer variety of sites that we did in terms of doing 39 different sites all in a very small area but of all different ages and types across you know listed buildings and all sorts of different um curveballs that came our way which we'll talk about in a minute and I guess uh you know mechanically electrically lots of it old infrastructure a variety of different types the same as the the roofing side of things environmentally I guess the main one and you can see it in the photo in the bottom and that's one for our great by the the commentary train station it's about seven stories I can't remember off the top of my head how many meters high is 20 30 meters high something like that and obviously you can imagine that there's quite a bit of wind up there um now actually in this particular instance we've actually got ballasted systems so it's not actually secured to the roof it's ballasted down to the roof in a massive grid type system and it's the most ballast that we've put on a system to date um per panel shall we say and but that's something that's all taken into consideration when we're looking at environmental considerations in this instance we're looking at wind up left and what that looks like um but we have done projects which are out on the coast where we're looking at wind uplift we're looking at Salt corrosion factors and various other environmental factors that need to go into the consideration when you're looking at the development and Stage uh planning-wise planning permissions is something that we constantly get asked about um and in essence for most commercial systems it forms uh permitted development as long as you eat within certain criteria and follow certain criteria which is fairly easy to do but within coventry City council's portfolio we actually did a number of buildings which were listed buildings and within that we had various conditions such as one of them being um to do with bats which as you can see on the bottom right hand photo from within was obviously something that we had to deal with and actually that is Coombe Abbey Visitor Center which many of you may know if you're local to the area and actually we had to segregate the system what you can see in that that image is two separate segments whereas actually we were hoping to the whole roof but I had to um had to avoid the the roof voids because of the presence of bats so there's all sorts of weird and wonderful things that we've come across within this program that that has obviously uh been good good experience in terms of what we're doing and I guess the other thing when we're talking about mechanical which you can see from the bottom right hand photo is the roof condition and there was a couple of sites that unfortunately when we got up onto the roof and started to look at taking the cover off the take the cover off the hood as they say um that it's not quite as good as you want and we had to do re-roost there so that's just an example of one of the sites where where the roof condition was really really poor and then we actually had to end up doing a complete re-roof on that particular project to make sure that that was built to last shall we say and I guess the final thing and it's more for the sort of commercial clients who potentially on the call is um is obviously insurance and what does that look like because the insurance companies are getting hotter on solar PV and the safety features and benefits and one of the things that probably noticed running through the theme of this presentation is uh is that obviously solar Edge and Henry's kind words and obviously rich is advocacy of solar Edge runs through and that's something that we share in terms of um the quality of the products that they produce a bit like the quality of a bit like a chef talking about really good quality ingredients I guess it's the same in the soil industry is that when you work in the Solar Edge they make life easy for us because of all the benefits that come with it so it's something that we're really pleased to have rolled out across the whole of the commentary Pipeline and are rolling out a number of other clients um a number of our other clients properties if we could go to the next slide please

um installation what are the challenges I mean listen I've named a few that's not exhausted by any stretch of the imagination and there are obviously lots and lots of different considerations when you're looking at at the installation stage it's often the quickest stage of the the actual timeline if you think most PV sites even the big ones are sort of two three months at best um and I guess everything happens quite quickly on site and you're talking about quite a lot of kits so logistically there's quite a lot of logistics to consider there's access issues to consider you know we've done places like um Central Library where we've had you know uh lorries going into the main High Street and and all the other good stuff that goes on there and you've got a number of solar panels being moved around in these very short confined spaces so Logistics that takes a lot of consideration access takes a lot of consideration the electrical mechanical aspects take a lot of consideration in terms of of the various different bits and and points that you need to look at there and that I've listed and and then obviously first and foremost is really health and safety and making sure that you know when you're working a height when you're working with electricity in all sorts of weather conditions that obviously everyone gets home safely and that's fundamentally the key to to any of the works that that we do um and that's just some of the the challenges that you you get the installation stage but if you're in good hands then most of the time that's uh it's all taken care of and it's nothing to to worry too much about um so yeah if we go to the next slide please

foreign maintenance what are the challenges I guess this maintenance section is the bit that's often overlooked and lots of people will sell you solar panels and then quite happily walk away and that's not really what we're set up to do what we want to do is is build a relationship that's going to last for 25 years and we want to come and maintain those systems for for 25 years and I guess um for me maintenance starts with monitoring and as per the famous Peter Drucker quote you can't manage what you don't measure and what you need to be able to do is monitor your system as an absolute minimum in my opinion and again not trying to bang the solar Edge drum but one of the key benefits for me or solar Edge is the monitoring which you can see on the bottom of the bottom right of the screen you can see what the system's doing but also on the right hand side you can see at wyconcraft which is our largest site in the commentary program of 306 kilowatts you can see what every pair of optimizers are doing and and you can see if there's any issues on site which also means you can pinpoint issues and get to them and resource them appropriately and which when you're working at height is a real big benefit a real big advantage as I said you've got a gotta actually look to cost for maintenance and so there is a capex cost but there is an ongoing Opex cost with solar systems and that is often overlooked and it's something to think about going forwards and I guess the one of the things that we had when we were looking at offering maintenance to our to our customers and comparing contrasting with our competitors is how do you define maintenance and solar maintenance and what's required and what's not required is very vague and that's one of the reasons and we joined the silo trade Association and helped pull together and contribute towards the industry best practice manual on operational maintenance of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems and and that basically tries to to bridge the gap in terms of what should be done in terms of electrical testing what mechanical inspection and obviously with mechanical inspections on rooftops you've got to think about the accessibility of these panels how are you going to cost that whether it's going to be permanent whether it's going to be temporary what that looks like and is there going to be walkways and also if you have a leak and there's a roof repair how are you going to do that because obviously you might have a load of panels over the top of the roof and one of the big things that we get asked about frequently and is about solar panel cleaning and you'll see on the right hand side or you may be able to see the right hand side of the screen a man on a cherry picker and he's driving a solar cleaning robot and that's basically in layperson's terms of a remote control car with big dating fans like you might see at the car wash and that ultimately wash and clean solar panels which when you're doing a few thousand solar panels is um is obviously makes life a little bit easier and a little bit safer in certain instances if we could go to the next slide please

buy all the challenges and hopefully hopefully you'll see that there's obviously some real key benefits to going solo and and benefiting from solar panel power I guess as an industry I wanted to touch on some of the issues that we're facing because I believe that it's uh it's a two-siders it's a two-sided transaction and then I guess from a solar industry perspective we're seeing a massive amount of demand and at the moment trying to find resource to to supply that demand is one of the big issues there's a real lack of skilled and competent people out there and and that's something that as solar companies are growing it's trying to to scale that growth and resources a big issue for us at this moment in time Supply chains is another big issue in terms of availability and traceability of the products that we're we're buying and putting on people's roofs and what that looks like and and then finally good constraints obviously we've got an aging infrastructure and we've got intermittent solar technology um and obviously storage to go alongside that I guess we're hoping that we a lot of our clients are self-consuming what we generate um but what they're not self-consuming we're looking to how can we marry that up to storage how can we try and reduce that intermittency and make sure that every kilowatt hour of PV that is generated gets used in our in our customers buildings um if we could go to the next slide please and I've spoken a lot about Commerce City Council who were obviously one of our value customers but we have worked with a number of different local authorities and also a number of different private sector customers as you can see um on on our track records slide if we could go to my final slide I'd like to obviously thank Jonathan and Maria for inviting me to come along um I would obviously welcome any questions that you may have either on here or by the details that you can see um and we'll open it up to any questions that there may be perfect thank you Angus that was really informative um thanks again um I think it's just important to say as Angus skirted on on his on his last couple of slides these aren't these aren't negatives the installation problems are not negatives you need to be considering Seoul you need to keep your eye on the prize which of course is that quick payback for you for your investment so a good supplier will help you obviously keep focused on that and get the right solution uh in store for your sales so if you are interested reach out to us or reach out to our our speakers today for that proper expert bespoke advice I'm pleased to say Angus we've got some questions in the chat which I'll I'll run through quickly um Neri if I've uh correctly sorry I'll I'll quickly um run through your your second question your first question you've mentioned Paradox you're exactly right I'm going to get that one answered for you in the chat via text if that's okay due to time but the first question uh Angus for yourself um we're looking at if you look in the chat I'll read it out the rest of the rest of the people on Library anyway low-rise buildings a disadvantage do with over high-rise ones especially in crowded urban areas have you as an installer come across such situations will there be a need for new rules and regulations to counteract that so I think what we're saying is if you've got a a one-floor building in an urban area how do how do they overcome the fact that you're shaded based basically listen I guess shade is not our friends fundamentally it's not something that we we want to put on any of our solar panels and again occasionally from time to time you may get some shade on some panels because of uh neighbouring Furniture shall we say it's one of the one of the benefits of solar edges that if a you know certain times of the day and maybe that's a pipe that that will car shade in the morning on the Eastern side of the array and but then it will be gone by halfway through the day one of the benefits of solar edges that it won't knock out the rest of the panels it'll just knock out that one panel and you may do your cost benefit analysis and say actually yeah I'm going to take take the losses because actually on the on the whole that that generates enough and meets my my return threshold so um yeah shade is not something that we we want to we want to be putting our panels in but ultimately it does happen from time to time with regards to the question of low-rise buildings um I guess not unfortunately not every building is suitable for solar and ultimately there's some which are much better suited than others um you know uh that's just the nature of the Beast with regards to the low rise buildings and high-rise buildings yeah unfortunately that's that is the way that the way that it is I guess where we try and focus our time is on Commercial and industrial buildings where you tend to find that they're more there's they're not as built up obviously within contraceptive exact Council as the example given there's a lot of built up projects that we talk about but that all gets taken into effect on our into consideration in our modelling really um but yeah if they're funnily enough one for our gate where we put it they've just built too far great next door and and that may or may not create a bit of shade so we'll see we'll see how that goes and that's something that's very difficult to to plan for no thank you good answer um just jumping I'm constant time so I'm going to uh quickly ask a few more questions if it came in as our as our predefined questions if that's okay uh first one for all of our our solar panel and this is more of a policy question um which you might be able to answer but it is interesting do you foresee a time in the near future when we'll have compulsory solar panels on new buildings be it commercial and residential obviously if you did that would be great great for your sales obviously commercially but uh is that coming basically do you think I'm going to pass that to the head of the solar Edge residential team Mr Richard fuel

to be honest with you I think it's it's disgusting that it's not already as a mandatory um technology installed on new build will it come I think we need uh some changes in the government for that to actually come um it's it's it's mind-boggling that in 2015 we signed the Paris climate change agreement that was eight years ago and nothing's really changed since that's that's the it has to happen um I I I laughed when I heard the question because I'd love to be a politician boy I asked it basically yeah it's a good question and you drive past a new Builder State and it's it's it's yeah it's criminal Jonathan it's criminal yeah okay good answer so thank you and then I'm gonna drop one final question into you all which you probably know what's coming uh solar panel before we move on to our next speaker and a lot of people do ask us when we're out in the field about the ethics of Supply chains for solar panels where do they come from you know how ethical are they what's the environmental concerns behind them can you just give us a quick some summary of um of the supply chain that people should perhaps be looking for or what concerns there might be around that

yeah I guess there was uh Infamous Guardian article on the the solar industry or the solar module suppliers so the majority of solar panels come from China which I'm sure isn't a surprise to anyone on this call um and ultimately um Unfortunately they found links back to the the um I guess cool as is the sort of concentration camp type um setups that were were in the I think it's the yoga Muslims in the jingzang province if my pronunciation is correct um and unfortunately they highlighted the issue um that I think a lot of people was perhaps unknown and certainly to myself was an unknown issue until it was highlighted and I guess what we've seen off the back of that is that a number of these panel manufacturers are trying to become more transparent because a lot of the drivers for for certainly the utility scale and the commercial scale is coming from Big Blue Chip companies who are doing this from an ESG perspective and esj reasons so all of a sudden traceability of Supply chains has become a massive thing within the solar industry and and the the you know the Chinese silent manufacturers who were multi-billion pound industry uh desperately trying to to provide traceability and and provide reassurance to their customer base about where that comes from but yeah I think it something that is a work in progress for sure okay as well Jonathan as well just um what you'll find as well with a lot of corporate companies whether they're in Renewables or whether they're not they're now almost being forced into um putting together sustainability reports so as Angus was saying about ESG and you will find this coming through and it's not just in the manufacturing of solar panels it's it's our technology in in smart Tech it's it's electric car makers it's it's everything and um you know one of the questions I've had quite a few times is how much energy does it cost to actually make a solar panel and the returns of that and from my understanding and my knowledge of it it's about a year and a half to actually accumulate the energy back that the solar panel will give you compared to the energy that went into it in the first place so the the one thing is is that you're always going to get it from the other side it's same thing with batteries as well you know you're trying to do the right thing with the renewable side but then you're mining to get the lithium regardless of what you're trying to do we know that coal and oil and gas is bad and we still continue you to do that so if there's another Bright Idea then perfect bring it on um but yeah so that's that's it keep your eye on the bigger picture most basically that's what it's about we need to migrate from fossil fuels so um so yeah good answers thank you thank you everybody right we're a little bit behind but it doesn't matter as far as I'm concerned because it's all been very informative um I'd like to um introduce our our final speaker uh and this will actually tied with them together quite nicely and so I'd like to introduce Chris Barrett to the call uh Chris is the managing director of Wickman who the green business program helped out with the solar Grant uh recently and Chris will explain how the installation went on site and give you all some nice figures which will show the payback periods and also other things that his business has considered to make themselves more energy efficient so over to you Chris yeah all right good afternoon everyone and um thanks for waiting and I'll keep this um as short and sweet but to the point as I possibly can um from our point of view Wickman is a it's a international Machinery business we've been based in Coventry for almost 100 years um between 1925 and 1990 we were building only new Machinery in Coventry over the last um 30 years we've been rebuilding Machinery so a huge amount of our effort goes into buying back the old machines which we rebuild and repurpose we bring them up to spec we put new control CNC and BLC onto the onto the machines in that I think we would probably save a couple of hundred tons of cast iron a year by using the old castings from the machine which is three or four hundred tons of carbon that doesn't go off into the into the air so the slide that you're seeing now will show where we where we get the machines back from so something that might have been out in the field running for 50 60 years we bring it back it's all rebuilt re-specified and goes off into the market and I think that's enough of a plug on Whitman um for now we use a fair amount of uh energy in the company and not as much as we do would if we'd be making new castings and I'd say back in 2014 we decided to start looking at the state sustainability of the company in terms of our energy and to look at our environmental impact and what we were doing and that's when we first got our Benchmark of what we were doing um early doors we were introduced I think by it was by the Chamber of Commerce introduced us to the council and we started to manage to access some small um small grants one of which was a new boiler that we put in which gave us better heating saved us saved us gas consumption which was all really good and started us on our way but I think probably the most important thing we did in 2014 is we actually sat down and took note of what we were using in the business in both terms of electricity and gas and benchmarked it um and made a line and then it became a management note on every management meeting we held after that to see where we were up to and what we're doing and I think that was probably the most important thing in the business is people starting to realize what we were doing and where we were up to you can move it on please Maria um so there is our Benchmark figure in 2014 we're using rough and dirty 166 000 kilowatts of energy in the year um and in that same year when we we saw where we're up to on there we started to look at look at PV um at that time a theoretical 106 kilowatt array that would have gone up taking up the whole of our roof with 523 panels would have cost us in the regions of 200 000 200 000 pounds we can move it on please

um it was real I want you to do it I wasn't able to persuade my business partners at the time that it was viable and looking back now I don't blame them um it was only 5.4 Pence per kilowatt in 2014 when we look back at the bills and what we were paying so the justification of spending 200 000 pounds and possibly saving 9 000 pounds a year um was just you know out of the way for them and there are more important things to to spend our money on um what was interesting and we probably didn't concentrate you know long enough at the time was we would have got 14.38 B per kilowatt of what we were selling back to the grid that's that's back in 2014 . you can move it on please Maria

um 2021 we we've done bits and pieces of projects 2021 we had already started speaking to a lady called Sarah and then we got involved with with Jonathan came in and um did a great job in the business went round had a look what we were doing see what we'd already done and we were speaking about what we what we could do um Jonathan and the team there they put together a really interesting useful report for us um and it was good good for me in terms of championing the thing is that I could go back to my shareholders and the other people my partners in the business and say look this is where we're up to we could go and speak to the bank as well and say look this is what a third party external company or you know Authority is telling us what we can do if we start to to change what we're doing um so it was it was a no-brainer we went um we got some quotes in it looked like about 75 000 quid to put 100 kilowatt up onto the roof we had to spend another five grand on in improving our income in Supply upgrading our fuses and getting a few things changed so 80 80 000 pounds and spend and the council Green Team there they came in with almost 25 000 pounds Grant so cost of the company was 55 000 pounds and we move that on so a few months later there we go we the array that we put up was actually physically hot almost half the size of the one we've been quoted um nine years previously and we managed to get it on the most productive bases on the roof so the the the predominantly south facing slopes on the roof um we'll keep moving them on

there's there's the numbers and I need to I need to come back to that so we started in 2014 with 166 000 kilowatts was our usage through our own savings which I'll come back to which was sort of changing a lot of things that we were already doing the factory we dropped that down to 101 to 55 000 a year rough and dirty a thousand a thousand a week um and I asked to make now that the PV has kicked in we're going to take that down to below 50 000 or below um in this coming year so down to down to around a thousand kilowatts per week we'll be using in the business so the PV I think would save us 50 000 and the other work we did would save us the the rest of it um money Savings in terms of where we are if our rates are where we are the work we've done I think we're saving a 17 peer kilo we're paying now we're saving around 20 000 a year and we are just in the discussions now to get a new rate and the quote lowest we've been quoted at the moment is 32 be a kilowatt so we're holding out a bit longer but that will be if we get up to that that means that the changes we made in the business over the last um seven or eight years will save us around 38 000 a year um moving on please

yeah so in terms of our actual cost um we anticipate the actual cost of electric when we're down to where we are with the PV in and our other changes are made we'll be spending about 16 000 a year on electricity and we believe that that would have been if we hadn't made any of the changes then put the PV in would have been in excess of 50 000 a year so absolutely you know substantial amount of substantial saving that in the interest of fairness I think we've got to say that we I haven't calculated in the cost of borrowing that money to finance the project obviously the the council and the green Grant came up with a third of it we've had to borrow and keep the third so they have got to be some interest you know interest paid to the bank taken into consideration um but again I think the whole what we've done there is it's really going to pay us massive dividends over the years um feeding tariff is a bit of a problem at the moment we have not managed to sort anything out on that and when um Angus was talking about pitfalls or one of the talking about pit bulls we didn't really think of that too much at the beginning um so unfortunately I haven't I have didn't get a feeding meter or feed out me to fit it at the same time as put in the putting the system in so we we need to look at that and we're speaking with the um we're speaking with the dno about it and we're speaking with um our current power you know supplier to see what we can do at the moment the best rate we found was 8B so whoever said that they found 14p in one of those earlier slides I'd love to find out about that and because that can give us that can give us a good good amount of money back um backtracking a bit so between 2000 and 2014 and where we really sort of kicked in on in 21 with a PV we started off very gently and we're just really replacing bits of Kit well first of all we had a big push to make sure equipment that wasn't being used in the factory was turned off and over a year that gave us an eight percent saving um then we started tackling as as units like units in particular were dying we started replacing those LED and between 2014 and 2021 when we in 20 early 21 we changed everything from the factory to LED that's when we made the what turns out to be a 55 000 kilowatt saving on power so between what we spent on LED or we did on LED and better management of our electricity um that's where we came to remember the next one please yeah I think we just we just been through that that was you know always surprised me and that was nothing more than just getting people to turn machines off when they're finished getting people to turn PCS off you know there was an eight percent saving that we made straight away um so on the switch to LED our biggest single usage we've determined in the factory was on the lighting you know there's lighting everywhere in the factory we slowly changed out all of the old all of the old Lighting systems the LED put in a full new system in 2021 when we did everything we introduced a lot of PIR so traditionally areas like our stores and corridors as soon as people came into the factory in the morning they would turn the lights on and the last thing at night everyone gets turned off so we put a lot of PIR switching um in the less frequently used areas and that again has paid massive you know massive dividends in terms of the savings that we made both in terms of money and air consumption um and that's our estimate on the LEDs we spent about 25 000 pounds which was sounds a lot but the savings were very very quick um the other the other win on there just reading down on that because the other win on that was how much better the light is across the factory in all the working areas both offices and and in the battery itself so overall everything we've done 166 down to 101 and then we we're hoping we're gonna get down below 50 000. um a couple of photos there one that shows the old compact fluorescent tubes they're new to new LED tubes let's keep going and then LED lights up in the up in the factory as well which are really really you know been superb for the battery for all of our employees and everyone comments so much better the lighting is in the factory now next project that we're looking at

um better management electricity in the business I'm still I've got I've become a bit obsessive because I think on all these graphs that um solar Edge was showing and uh the other guys as you can see what you're using all of the time and what's being generated um and I'm just astonished that we use seem to use 30 kilowatts overnight and which doesn't sound a lot but it soon adds up ten thousand over a year um when there's no one in the factory we've got a couple of fridges the server a UPS and other bits and pieces running and I just don't know where it's going um and one of this has been really interesting for me listening to everyone because batteries is absolutely one of the things on my agenda that I want to look at and how to better better use it I think someone mentioned about putting um hot water you know using your excess to heat of hot water tank that you can put back again that's sounds like a genius idea to me as well you know electric extra savings stop using the gas to heat the water and use the electric with for producing during the day we're going to find out about batteries just um I put a view of the curves that come off ours our our inverter doesn't look quite as good as the solace one so and doesn't do so I had to do my own hand drawn graph um we get pretty much this was our this was our best day which was only a couple of days ago we've got 380 kilowatts off in the day um I think we track it about 30 30 35 kilowatts um that we use per hour and what we need to buy now is how to fill these gaps where we're not producing enough of the um we're not producing enough off the route to to um fill out demand that we're taking from the grid if we could find if we're going to pull the batteries and again perfect perfect bell curve I guess a couple of you mentioned that that was that was the best curve I could find on our system you know a nice build up during the day and a gentle drop off and that was a cold February day but it was that the sky was blue and the sun was out and it was um it was the best day we'd seen in terms of the shape of the Curve

okay so I think again would just be a one there's one more so selling back to the grid um we need we need to get back onto that and I need to find out about that the other astonishing fact that we've found out now is that the delivery of electricity in our Factory um which we've got a three-based of buying that should be coming in at 208 volts per phase and he's actually coming in at between 240 and 248. um and if you remember your physics and the Ohm's law volts equals amps times Watts or however it goes and we've soon found out we're getting stung for about 18 more electricity than we actually need um which is we've got to sort out and you can buy units that do it and the other the other thing that we've absolutely found out is that um units that we are designed to run at 200 volts and so most of the light units around 200 when you start putting 240 248 in um their lighter than diminishes pretty pretty quick um so one we're burning too much electric or getting too much electric in there and two the units are actually um breaking quicker than they should do because of over voltage Supply to them

so a lot of things we need to other these other little projects we've got a couple of EV charges we want to add some more but we want to add some of these smart ones that will only take the power when the sun is shining and we're producing excess um I desperately want to look um to see how I can actually use that the cars that are plugged into the factory during the day how we could use those as a battery to put power back into the facility of the off peak times because you know I've got a nine to get a lot of battery in my car which if I could use that and put that back um at the times when we're not producing on the roof it would it would solve a lot it would solve a lot of problems and I think it would um it could be quite a good solution along the line for vehicles that probably might be coming into their Road life but you could probably use the batteries in there for doing what you want to do in the in the building um last couple of things I will go quickly so gas once we've done electric and we've done electric you know hopefully we'll get that done in the next year we've really got to push under gas because whilst we've been doing all this work on our electric we've we've not done anything without um gas-fired um air heaters um so they carry on to use a they'll have a lot of um Power and then compressed air is the other one which we've just been highlighting that now compressors are running and running and running uh and little leaks are ignored so we're having a big um a big campaign at the moment to get rid of all our leaps and then we'll start to look to see whether our compression was actually efficient or whether we need to upgrade that because I think that's probably the highest usage of electricity in the in the building at the moment so that's me done um I hope if anyone's got any questions let me know um anyone who's based in Coventry if you wanted to come and have a you know a discussion at any time I'd be more than happy for people to come and uh have a chat if they want to come and have a look at the factory to see absolutely you know what we've done and how we've done it you know I'll be happy and I've learned a lot I've learned a lot today as well you know things that I wish I'd known um before I set off on this so I think that the guys that have spoken before me it's been been really good um and and thanks to you all on the Coventry group team as well for helping us and getting us along along the line no thank you very much um so thanks for your well first of all thanks for your kind words Chris and thanks for your really informative presentation really interesting um I hope the semester me is on the call that's perhaps got some food for thought there and obviously Chris is kindly offered to guide you a bit further on uh on the pitfalls maybe and uh what he's done to move forward so well that's really brilliant thank you very much again um we're short on time as I keep saying um if anyone's got any final questions please raise your hand please drop it into the chat if not I will start to draw things to a close um I'm a little bit questioned out to be fair I'm sure our panel of the uh the same in all honesty so speak now or forever hold your peace Chris I've got a question for you actually oh there's always one sorry sorry it's it's quite an interesting topic that you started with um at the very beginning of your your presentation about how you thought it was a good thing to do um and I got the impression that there were potentially challenges from other members of your of your team about you know spending out this excessive amount of power uh money on installing this massive new technology where it requires the Sun and you're in Coventry and the Sun never shines and all those different things um how did you overcome those challenges to actually um engage with your your your peers I I think the first thing was that that we got it as a management agenda minute so it was always every three months when we sort of get everyone the management team it was discussed so that it would be uh it would come up it was very very difficult when elections because we're so low and the install costs were so high but as that has sort of swung um then that you know people that were they used to think as me as the tree other probably and you know Chris is only doing it because he loves all these green things and um as we as it changed and it actually people could start seeing what it was costing us and what the costs were likely going to be and then you know other people that were invested in the business you know started to to sit up and to sort of say well we're going to do something about it um which and it's happened it's a shame which probably should have done it all that time ago and would have been a lot further along but we didn't so we can't you know we can't go over that again now um personally I wish we'd done it 20 years ago because I think would have been a lot further on um oh yeah that was it I think economics in the end was what you know was what has really won it um and you know this this terrible situation that we're seeing now with the rising prices and all all the other things and the uncertainty about it I think it's it's really brought us into line thank you thank you um just quickly we have a couple of questions just drop in which I'll answer very very quickly before we move on um question about grants uh only for commercial buildings um I'll touch on this very shortly um in terms of the green Business program the grant says they were and I say were past tense were only for business premises so we would hope that there might be some more government assistance for domestic properties me included I'd love to get uh solar Edge on on my roof but at the moment it's just business premises only um so I hope that answers your question um and then finally um we've actually answered that one before about the bespoke panels um essentially the more bespoke you get the panels then the the higher the cost goes up unless anyone else on the panel can can add to that that's my understanding of the the solar slates and so on uh and then final question um from Rob uh once you have installed a solar system uh can you connect in other Renewables such as on-site wind generation or small scale Hydro Etc wow okay I've not had heard that question before is that one that you guys have come across at all yeah I could say this one and basically it all comes down to the grid once again um if you've got a a grid connection so basically as I said at the very beginning the power needs to go somewhere and it doesn't matter if you're using all the power on site what happens on bank holiday Monday when we've all got a day off work and that's a really nice sunny day the power's still got to go somewhere so it would come down to the grid you can have different Technologies all together if it's a wind turbine if it's solar panels if it's Hydro um there's lots of different things you can but it comes down to the grid especially there it's like having a TV in your house and a DVD player the two work together and they're just doing it wind is particularly very good because wind can happen 24 hours a day solar obviously only works during daylight hours um but if you're looking at residential wind I don't think you will it'll never it'll never it will never generate enough power it will never cost Effectiveness maintenance it's it's it's a real shame because I've looked into it personally myself my own house um it it won't it won't get there unfortunately okay lovely good answer I'm going to draw things to a quick close now um so if I can just jump to to my slides over to me now I wanted to just bring you all a quick bit of an update on the green Business program uh what we've done so far as many of you may know we are literally drawing the program to a close at the end of this week we've been running since 2019 and we have as you can see from the slide we have administered over two and a half million pounds in Grants to our local business Community saving over three thousand tons of carbon per annum so we've been really successful we are currently processing the last claims because we have that cut off and unfortunately we can't accept any new applications now we've known this for a while obviously because that's the Natural end of the program and we're always been asked what new funding is available which goes back to the question just in the in the chat we have applied for more funding and we are waiting for a decision from central government that's all I can say we we want the funding obviously we know there's a there's a definite demand for it and we really love what we do in the green Business program so we're hoping we're successful so when we are successful we will release that detail on our on our media channels so we also don't know what the funding will will also look like in terms of the framework so follow us on our media channels join our green business Network as soon as we know we can start to start to engage with you next slide please Maria um just a heads up on our on our next event because even though the funding bid is finished we're still trying to promote assistance and guidance 10th of May is our next Network event to try and encourage some some networking for our community 10th of May put it in your Diaries and we'll hopefully see some of you uh some of you there more details will follow and then possibly finally um if well if you follow our channels and follow the local media you'll know that Coventry has recently relaunched a consultation for its upcoming climate train strategy which ties in nicely with with us and what we're looking to do in terms of Coventry it's all about feedback from our community and our and our businesses across Coventry there's a link there we'd love your feedback we want to make sure this is the right uh strategy moving forward and everybody's input is vital so click on that link fill it out if you could that'd be fantastic and I think this is the last slide yes indeed thank you all for joining thanks to our panel of guest speakers thanks to Chris really informative we do appreciate you giving up your time to to help us out thank you to everyone that joined everyone that's joined everyone that's given some questions everyone that's given us some good feedback fantastic keep your eyes out for future events as I've said we will send out a recording of the webinar we'll send out the presentations as well so if you want to engage with our speakers feel free to do so and then finally we'll also send out a server like if you can fill that out for us that just gives us a bit of feedback how we can improve things we've done wrong over running on time for example all those kind of things just let us know and then the next event will try and make it as tight as possible so thanks again thanks to our speakers and thanks for joining

but uh Jonathan thanks Maria thank you thanks so much guys thank you congratulations cheers bye

Link to the media
Published date