KBB manufacturer J and J Ormerod (JJO) has invested in solar panels to cut energy bills at its main base in Bacup.
The company said that with soaring energy prices and the fixed-term supplier agreements coming to an end, the time was right to look at renewable sources of energy.
As harvesting power from the River Irwell was not an option, JJO decided solar panels were the way to go, despite having initially shied away from it because of the local climate, where, joked managing director Stephen Greenhalgh, “sometimes it feels like it rains in Rossendale for 300 days of the year”.
“We did due diligence and have selected a provider,” added Greenhalgh, “and we will be installing solar panels on the roof of Olive Mill and Avalon House in Bacup. In four years’ time, the panels will have paid for themselves and we will have reduced our energy bills by 10%.
“If it proves its worth, as we expect it to do, then we will be rolling it out across all our company buildings where we can use the power that is generated.”
Greehalgh added that the benefits of installing the solar panels would be twofold. Firstly, it is better for the environment and an investment for the future for us all, and secondly that “it is economically smart to be green”.
JJO, which has sites across the Rossendale district of Lancashire and is one of the area’s largest employers, has already invested in other green solutions and more than 10 years ago installed a biomass boiler to turn all waste into heating for its manufacturing premises.
It also invested in a range of electric vehicles and hybrids for local staff and area sales managers and has switched to LED lighting and power factor correction equipment, which regulates the flow of power to machinery so that it only gets the power it needs.
Greehalgh concluded: “We have won numerous green awards over a number of years. The solar panels are a huge investment, but it is future-proofing our business. There is a drive for renewable energy sources and it is up to us to do what we can to minimise fossil fuel usage.”