Green is Good for manufacturer saving £500k on energy bills
Type of installation
Size of installation
Annual CO2 saving
Energy costs at Leicester-based manufacturer Michael Smith Switchgear (MSSL) have dropped by more than £20,000 per year as investment in a solar photovoltaic (PV) energy system means around two-thirds of its energy now comes from the sun.
Results from its first full year of operation show that the solar PV system is generating 102 kilowatts (kW) at peak and produces approximately 97,000kWh of electricity annually. It means the MSSL factory has reduced its carbon emissions by more than 25 tonnes per year, the equivalent of taking five petrol cars off the road. Located on the Braunstone Frith Industrial Estate, MSSL has won numerous awards for its approach to business and sustainability.
Design and installation of the new energy system, which includes 284 solar panels on the south-facing pitch of the factory roof, was completed by specialist renewable energy installer Geo Green Power.
The Geo Green team worked for two weeks behind the scenes to install the solar PV system while the factory remained open and in full production of its range of electrical switchgear products. With two-thirds of its energy generated entirely emissions-free, Michael Smith Switchgear says the solar PV system has exceeded expectations. The company expects to see a full return on its investment within three years while saving more than £500k on energy bills over the next 25 years.
Sean Smith, Managing Director, Michael Smith Switchgear: “The installation of Geo Green’s solar PV system has given us independence and control over our energy bills and is another important milestone as we continue to reduce our climate impact. We became carbon neutral in 2022 and we were the first, and are still the only, UK switchgear manufacturer to achieve the accolade. Our approach is to look at every aspect of our business in relation to its climate impact – for example, we redesigned our products to reduce our use of copper by 25 percent, or more than 12 tonnes, every year.”
Emily Smith, Operations and Finance Director (see notes to editors): “In recent years we have removed all gas heating from our business and we changed our waste disposal system so that nowadays we send zero-waste to landfill. We’re not resting on our laurels though – we’re a forward-thinking business so now we’re looking at rainwater harvesting and the installation of a ‘green’ factory roof. And, after that, we’ll move on to the next thing.”
Michael Smith Switchgear manufactures low voltage switchgear assemblies and control panels, power distribution units and much more. Its products are sold to customers across the UK, from large industrial warehouse and factory premises, NHS hospital buildings, university and council buildings, as well as smaller commercial and industrial units.
James Cunningham, Managing Director, Geo Green Power: “Companies are becoming much more proactive on environmental issues and, with energy usage and costs continuing to rise, solar installation continues to makes sense financially. It’s not just solar either – we’re seeing a growing interest in heat pumps, battery storage, EV chargers and other products as well.”
Geo Green Power operates nationwide from a head office in Wysall on the Nottinghamshire/ Leicestershire border, providing solar PV installations, renewable heating engineering, battery storage systems, electric vehicle charging and other insurance backed renewable energy systems to both commercial and domestic customers.
At any one time the company is carrying out multiple renewable energy infrastructure projects, giving its customers control of their energy needs and supporting their sustainability goals.