company with a solar panel in its roof

Embracing Renewable Energy: Country Valley Foods Ltd’s Journey Towards Sustainability through Solar PV Installation 

Background: Country Valley Foods Ltd, founded in 1971, is a leading non-specialised wholesale supplier of food, beverages, and tobacco, with a particular emphasis on fresh meat. Centrally located in the North of England, the family-run company partners with farmers and suppliers across the region to ensure exceptional product quality. They cater to various sectors, including hospitality, retail, education, and healthcare. The company sought to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs and thus participated in the SME Energy Efficiency Scheme (SMEES), a project to support small and medium-sized enterprises in implementing energy-saving measures. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supported the project as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme. 

Decerna undertook an energy efficiency audit of the SME’s building, which revealed the best option for cost and carbon reductions was to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system to generate clean electricity. Decerna worked with the client to support the procurement process and, via the SMEES project, provided a grant of £49,999.00 towards the total cost.  

Outcomes: The installation of the solar PV system yielded significant results for Country Valley Foods Ltd: 

  1. Annual Cost Savings: The solar PV system generated yearly cost savings of £67,804 for the company, significantly reducing its electricity expenses. 
  1. Carbon Emissions Reduction: The solar PV system reduced approximately 141.9 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) emissions annually, demonstrating the company’s commitment to sustainability. 
  1. Payback Period: With the grant, the payback period for the solar PV system installation was reduced to 2.4 years, showcasing the financial benefits of renewable energy. 

Conclusion: Through their participation in the SME Energy Efficiency Scheme, Country Valley Foods Ltd successfully installed a solar PV system, allowing them to generate clean and sustainable electricity. The project resulted in substantial cost savings, a significant reduction in carbon emissions, and progress towards a more sustainable future. Country Valley Foods Ltd is an example of how medium-sized businesses can adopt renewable energy solutions to achieve financial savings and contribute to environmental stewardship. 

Eddie Munro, joint MD of Country Valley Foods, said that:

We engaged with Decerna through the SMEES project because we are quite an energy intensive business that needs lots of refrigeration. Having made many efficiency improvements, we needed advice on making further reductions. Decerna gave us professional, impartial advice on the best approach, and ultimately recommended a rooftop solar PV system, which we decided to go ahead with. Decerna supported us all the way through grant application, procurement, and installation, which really helped ensure we ended up with a system that met our requirements. As a result, we’re on track to reduce our electricity bills by around 30%!

More Information

Please visit the overall case study for the project on the Decerna website here.

SMEES is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

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