Caplor Energy installed a 360 panel, 98kW solar PV system at Aztec Label, a commercial label printing company based in Kidderminster just over a year ago. We spoke to Colin Le Gresley, owner of Aztec Label and a happy Caplor customer, to find out more about his experience of using renewable energy in his business for the last 12 months.
Colin and his team at Aztec Label are huge advocates of renewable energy and strongly believe in their sustainability agenda. Being able to generate a significant part of their own electrical consumption through solar energy has really helped to drive efficiency and productivity throughout the business, but more importantly it has made a big contribution towards reducing their carbon footprint since the system was installed. In fact, the Solar PV system at Aztec Label has generated in excess of 130MW since it was installed, often more than is actually needed at the factory, meaning that remaining energy can be donated back to the National Grid.
Achieving commercial objectives
Colin’s original motivation for installing solar PV at Aztec Label was driven by corporate responsibility, along with the marketing advantages of promoting green technology within his industry. Aztec Label don’t employ sales people, all their business comes from word of mouth and the good reputation that they have developed over the years – in Colin’s opinion, being able to promote sustainability through solar energy contributes positively towards that reputation and differentiates his business from the competition.
Colin knew that it was going to be a big, long term commitment to install solar PV, but felt that whatever happened, it just HAD to be the right long term thing to do. The financial grants (at 45%) that Aztec Label were able to obtain certainly helped to justify the cost, but they were more interested in demonstrating to the market that they are a sustainable business. To Colin, it wasn’t about the cost of install, as the bold company statement and longer term benefits would far outweigh the initial outlay. When added to the fact that Aztec Label are a ‘zero to landfill’ company with their waste management, and have already moved a high proportion of their internal lighting to LED, they are really using sustainability as a key differentiator in the market – they believe that no-one else is doing as much in the print industry.
Since installing the solar PV system, Aztec Label have saved money on their energy bills whilst simultaneously sending a clear message to their customers that they care about their environmental impact. The have also communicated their sustainability efforts to the trade press and to a wider audience, both promoting the value of renewable energy and encouraging others, achieving positive media coverage as a result.
They are also on track to achieve a full return on their investment within 4 years by introducing additional energy saving technology and implementing new processes and systems across the business that are delivering further efficiencies in addition to the clear energy savings.
What does the future hold for Aztec Label?
Colin explained that the business has ambitious plans for growth and has recently acquired a further 4,000 sq ft of operational space, taking their total facility footprint to almost 20,000 sq ft. They have already investigated adding new solar panels to the roof of the new building in order to increase the capacity of their existing solar energy system and will install the new system as soon as the building is ready. With the additional power this will generate, Aztec Label will make huge steps towards meeting their long term goal of becoming completely self-sustaining in terms of energy use.
As Colin explained:
“As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m a huge advocate of solar power generation. We are incredibly proud of our installation and we look forward to increasing the relative size of our system as we move into the next year.”
The original case study for this customer was written in October 2019, 3 months after the solar PV system was installed. This article can be found here.