A North Wales company which has installed almost 200 energy systems worth £1.5 million in the past 12 months is up for a brace of prestigious national awards this month.
Denbighshire-based Hafod Renewables have installed solar panels for a bakery and a steam railway and has been short-listed in two categories in the UK-wide Energy Efficiency Awards.
The event at the NEC Birmingham will be a glittering occasion, compered by BBC Breakfast and Football Focus presenter Dan Walker and hosted by film and TV star James Nesbitt.
Hafod Renewables, which was founded in 2010 by David Jones and his father, Richard, has been short-listed for the third consecutive year and in both the Solar PV Installer of the Year and Renewable Heating Initiative of the Year categories.
They again go to Birmingham as Welsh winners after being voted RHI Installer of the Year in Cardiff earlier this year and it is a remarkable rise to prominence for the family firm which now employs nine staff and turned over £1.5 million in the last financial year.
Managing Director David Jones said:
“We’re thrilled to have again been short-listed in two categories in these very important awards which are seen as the ‘Oscars’ of the renewable energy industry.
“The sector has been very competitive in recent years and renewables are now major players in the energy field in the UK – in just a few years we will be getting most if not all our energy from ‘green’ sources.
“There have been fluctuations in government support, particularly in the solar energy field, but renewable energy, particularly solar energy, has now made so many advances that it can stand on its own and compete against the traditional fossil fuel generated forms of power.”
In the past 12 months Hafod solar panels have helped dairy producer Aled Morris expand his herd at Marian Mawr, near Dyserth, cut the cost of producing bread and cakes at Henllan Bakery in Denbigh and helped the world’s oldest heritage railway, the Talyllyn, go green.
That’s in addition to the domestic properties which have been helped to reduce their bills by the new generation panels and modern battery storage.
They are also experts on air and ground-source heating such as the £55,000 ground source system which keeps farmer Llyr Jones’s 16,000 hens cosy 1,000 feet up on his farm on the Denbigh Moors, all powered by a mile and a half of pipe buried four feet below the grass on which Llyr’s sheep now graze.
They drilled down 300 feet to put another ground-source system in place for the National Trust on Anglesey while air-source systems have been retro-fitted to historic properties in Chester, the Ceiriog Valley and Bodfari.
David Jones doesn’t just install green technology, he lives it – he has air-source heating and solar panels at his home in Trefnant, near Denbigh, and drives a Tesla electric vehicle which is powered up at a charging point in the garage.
He said: “In just a few years almost everyone will be driving electric cars and by then most of our power will be produced by solar, wind, tidal and other renewables.
“Renewable energy isn’t a Cinderella-style operation any more. It’s a real contender and one with a better, cheaper long-term future than fossil-fuel or even nuclear generated power.
“Householders equipped with solar and battery are benefiting the most as they can charge their batteries with cheap electricity and use it in peak periods which not only saves their wallet but also helps stabilise the national grid.
“At times of high generation and low demand such as a windy, sunny Sunday afternoon the price of wholesale electricity can actually go negative which means the energy supplier pays you for taking electricity off their hands.”
Hafod Renewables installed their first system in July 2010 and since then they have fitted over 10,000 solar panels, stacked end on end they would tower over 29,028 foot Mount Everest.
Most of their clients have been domestic systems but they have also installed renewable energy systems on one of Wales’s biggest boatyards, a rugby club, a pet rescue centre and two golf clubs.