Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Solar savings lead to innovation

As businesses transition out of a challenging 2020, some NSW-based SME’s are investing in solar and using the savings to innovate and undertake business improvements.

With payback periods plummeting to around two years, companies can use the savings generated from solar energy not only to improve their bottom line but to invest in new initiatives. One company doing just this is Cooks Confectionery.

Based in Albion Park near Shellharbour, Cooks is a family-owned business which produces premium quality chocolate, toffee and nut products.

The production of chocolate is high in energy with the need to refine it for 10-12 hours, motors on for the same amount of time and heaters working for 24 hours.

Managing Director Daniel Lezcano says that given the size of their power bill, it was a “no-brainer” to look at installing solar on the roof of their 1000sqm property.

The company reached out to a number of providers and chose Energus on the basis of price and its strong track record.  Keen to have as many solar panels as possible on the roof, the company made the decision to install its 70kw system in July 2020.

Energus Sales Director Thomas Bell says Cooks’ huge reduction in energy costs enabled the company to double its shifts.

“Even with the introduction of the second shift and operations spanning from 6am to 10 pm, the company’s energy bill stayed the same, thereby saving them $10K/quarter,” he says.

“We effectively doubled production without increasing our energy costs,” Mr Lezcano added.

The 52.2MWh of energy produced in the first six months since installation is enough to dry 49,671 kilos of laundry or to boil 645,230 litres of water.

Mr Bell commented that Energus has seen a significant increase in solar from companies of all sizes as they look to save on power costs, reduce emissions and use the savings to invest in other parts of the business. This was particularly evident during the pandemic and has continued in 2021.

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