Local motor trade company, Great Coates Motors Ltd, is hoping to be the first organisation in the area to go completely ‘green’ with help from solar photovoltaic specialists – Wil-Lec, gas central heating experts – Mayne Gas Heating Ltd, and the Green Renewable Environment and Associated Technologies (GREAT) project, led by the Grimsby Institute Group.
GREAT is a new £5m business advisory service, being led by GIG in partnership with Humber Chemical Focus, and the project supports the development of renewables and environmental technology businesses in North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire and West & North Yorkshire.
The project is designed to address the Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEPs) priorities to develop the ‘Energy Estuary’, as well as support existing small to medium enterprises to improve efficiency, innovate and develop through this ambitious knowledge transfer project. Great Coates Motors has have now removed their connection to the mains gas supply following the installation of an air-source heat pump by Mayne Gas Heating Ltd.
The pump takes heat from the air into the central heating system, comfortably heating the reception and office areas. Wil-Lec installed 40 solar panels on the roof, which produce electricity and have significantly reduced electricity bills. Allan McCartney, Managing Director of Great Coates Motors and Grimsby Van Centre, met Tony Swinburn, GREAT’s Renewable Development Advisor, at a networking event and they arranged a meeting to discuss the project and the ways in which could help Allan achieve his goal of becoming the first business in the region to be run using renewable technologies. Allan explained:
“We were already considering having renewable technology installed with and meeting with Tony gave us the reassurance that we were doing the right thing. We were looking at making cost savings and we’re now looking at a 70% cost saving on our bills after we have repaid the loan, which will be in approximately seven years.
“We work for some of the larger corporations in the region and they are looking for their suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint. People often have a negative view of the motor trade, thinking they produce lots of CO2, this is our statement to let everyone know that we are doing our best to combat that.
“The heating system is now better than it was before. If anyone that is interested in doing this themselves, I would invite them to come and take a look at what we’ve done and I’ll gladly show them around. The real-time display on the wall in our Reception shows visitors what the savings are.
“I would recommend this kind of project to anyone that can gain the funding. The money that you will be paying out on the loan repayments will be less the savings you will be making on the bills.”
The GREAT project has recently seen the appointment of a new Director, Dr Victoria Dunn, who has joined the project with a high-profile background in the environmental industry. Dr Dunn studied for degree in Chemistry and PhD Environmental Chemistry at York and Leeds. Dr Dunn then went on to work for Groundwork West Midlands, supporting businesses with resource efficiency, diagnostic visits and energy and waste issues. More recently she served as Lead Officer at Groundwork Lincolnshire. Dr Dunn said:
“I really believe in the goals of the GREAT project and that the green economy is the only way to go. It will bring local jobs, will reduce our environmental impact and will make the community, the region, and the country as whole more ready for the future.
“Resource prices are going to become very tight and, like it or not, business practices are going to have to change and businesses like Great Coates Motors, that are grasping the new way of doing things now, will be in a much stronger position going forward.”