As part of my marketing strategy to promote my copywriting & blogging business, I spend some of my time networking. As a result, I have met some wonderful people working in all sorts of businesses. With my innate interest in “all things business” I invited Rob Worthy, Heating & Renewables Specialist from Solaflair, to tell me his business story. Here it is…
Meeting Rob Worthy, heating and renewables specialist from Solaflair, was extremely timely. After a wonderful summer, the nights drew in and perhaps more than just a few of us thought twice before turning the central heating on at the beginning of winter..
I met Rob at the beginning of October when many people consider it acceptable to put their heating on for the winter. For some people, turning on the heating is a symbolic summer to autumn ritual. My guess is the decision to turn the heating on was not taken lightly given the costs and environmental factors involved – not to mention concerns about whether the heating and boilers were actually working correctly.
It is exactly these sorts of concerns that trigger enquiries to Rob and his team at Solaflair. Rob is seeing a definite increase in homeowners and business enquiries about how they can save on energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions.
How can Rob and Solaflair help?
Rob has always had an interest in alternative energy. In the 70’s and 80’s he held the view – which was ahead of his time – that it is neither viable nor environmentally-friendly to continue to use fossil fuels. Rob could see a future in renewable energy which comes from resources which are continually replenished such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and waves.
With over 35 years’ experience in the energy and gas industry working with British Gas as an engineer, he then moved on to lecture in Gas Safety at Oxford College. He became a Gas CORGI inspector and, later on, he obtained his D32 and D33 Vocational Assessor Award.
After a period living in France working on renovations and renewable installations Rob returned to England. Then, in 2006, he established Solaflair, a family-run business based in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, as an independent installation and consultancy service for renewable energy and gas services to the domestic and business markets. Rob keeps himself continuously updated on industry changes and standards. His skill and expertise is in bringing an in-depth and current knowledge of the heating and renewables sector to the customer’s door.
What makes Solaflair special?
Solaflair are MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) accredited which means customers can claim Feed-In-Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive Grants on their installations, and it also means that Solaflair know about and can install the most efficient technology available. They are a member of the Sustainable Building Association, IGEM (Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers) and they are Gas Safe registered. Solaflair recently joined the Oxfordshire Green Construction Network (OGCN) as founder members.
In a climate that is sensitive to both financial and environmental pressures, Rob advises his customers on how they can achieve a greener sustainable lifestyle through practical adjustments in their home or business premises. The solution might be servicing the boiler, adding energy efficient control systems, installing a solar hot water system, a wood-burning stove or some other form of renewable energy.
Every option is designed to suit the premises taking into account factors such as the environment, location and even whether or not the building is listed. Solaflair is entirely focused on the needs of the customer; they are not tied to a particular manufacturer therefore they can offer a genuine solution for the customers’ needs based upon a wide knowledge of products and technologies.
How can money be saved?
Firstly, reduce energy consumption (you don’t need to generate what you don’t need!), insulate, install low energy light bulbs and – when replacing white goods – ensure they are A-class efficient and so on.
For homeowners who install electricity-generating technologies from a renewable or low-carbon source, such as wind turbines or solar panel electricity systems (also known as solar photovoltaics/PV), the UK Government’s Feed-In-Tariff scheme (FITs) could mean that the customer receives money from the energy supplier. The supplier pays the homeowner for the total amount of the electricity generated, plus a further payment at a lower rate for electricity which is deemed to be exported back to the grid (50% of that produced).
A solar thermal hot water system which collects heat from the sun and uses it to warm water which is stored in a hot water cylinder can provide about a third of a home’s hot water needs. It can also save up to 580kg of CO2 emissions, depending on which fuel is being replaced. According to Rob, there is no better feeling than taking a shower in ‘free’ solar hot water. Rob calls this “showering in the sunshine”! An air source heat pump which absorbs heat from the outside air can produce savings of up to 70% on hot water costs as well as reducing carbon emissions. Replacing an old gas boiler with an A-rated high-efficiency condensing boiler and improving the heating controls can also save up to £300 per year.
However, there is more… In July 2013, the government introduced the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The RHI provides a fixed payment for the renewable heat generated by the homeowner. There are a number of steps in the process but, fortunately for us, Rob and his team at Solaflair know their way through the scheme and can guide customers through it.
Rob is a true specialist in his field. With his knowledge of the heating and renewables market, he can evaluate the effectiveness of his customer’s current setup and see opportunities his customers might not have thought about. He can then suggest and show his customers how their home or business could be altered to provide a ‘greener’ sustainable lifestyle.
To take just one example, Rob was asked to install a solar PV on a customer’s home. When he was on-site, Rob could see further opportunities for the customer in terms of cost-savings if the homeowner considered going a bit further. The customer could immediately see what Rob was saying and, a short while later, he agreed to install a solar thermal hot water system, an air-source heat pump, a wood burning stove and a new hot water cylinder. The customer’s energy bills plummeted!
If you would like to know more about how Rob Worthy at Solaflair can help you save on energy bills and/or reduce your carbon emissions for your home or business, please visit www.solaflair.co.uk. Alternatively, please email email@example.com or call 01865 424869.
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