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Energy-efficient fine furnishings

Pietersen Fine Furniture is a business specialising in the manufacture and installation of bespoke furniture and fitted interiors. Their main building is a 1960s industrial unit, which is mostly made up of workshop space, with a small office, toilet block, and kitchenette too.

Determined to reduce waste and trim costs while maintaining their high standards, they turned to Energy Solutions Oxfordshire (ESOx) for a comprehensive energy efficiency assessment (pdf). Understanding the importance of sustainability in their industry, Pietersen Fine Furniture took the opportunity to optimise their energy usage and contribute to a greener future.

As expected, their operations include numerous woodworking machines alongside an air extraction system designed to eliminate sawdust from the air. They received guidance to implement measures ensuring all equipment is powered off when idle, with automated controls put in place. Additionally, they were encouraged to monitor energy consumption meticulously, pinpointing instances of waste such as during evenings or weekends.

The premises originally relied on a gas heating system, resulting in high carbon emissions. To address this issue, they opted to install a biomass boiler, enabling them to repurpose waste wood from the workshop effectively. This transition not only utilised workshop by-products but also improved the efficiency of the heating system, eliminating dependence on fossil fuels.

A typical feature in manufacturing premises is the presence of large loading bay doors, frequently opening and closing, resulting in heat loss. Their steel loading bay doors lacked insulation, allowing heat to escape even when closed. To address this issue, they received advice to upgrade to modern, insulated doors, effectively reducing heat loss and improving energy efficiency.

Manufacturing businesses often operate in workshop or warehouse-style buildings, which tend can have large roofs which lend themselves to solar PV rooftop panels, such as Thames Travel (photo below) have done..

So, if your business has a spacious, flat, south-facing roof, it would be an ideal spot for installing solar rooftop PV panels. Doing so would let your business to generate cheaper, green electricity.

As a social enterprise, Low Carbon Hub offers the installation of solar PV panels – at no cost to your business, providing cheaper, cleaner energy. Moreover, the profits derived from this initiative go towards supporting community carbon reduction projects.

Thames Travel solar panel rooftop installation