Soaring costs send motor dealer green

A FAMILY-OWNED motor dealership has invested in more than 100 solar panels after becoming dismayed by its annual electricity costs.

Nissan and Suzuki dealer Blackshaws, based in Alnwick, took action after discovering it was spending more than £30,000 a year on electricity.

The company has had a 30kWh solar PV system installed at its site on Lionheart Enterprise Park. The installation, by Newcastle-based renewable energy company Eco Environments, consisted of 122 Hyundai solar panels.

The total payback over 25 years is expected to be around £460,000 while the annual Co2 saving will be more than 12,000kg.

The solar panels are the latest in a number of green initiatives being undertaken by Blackshaws, which employs 35 people.

The firm owns three electric Nissan cars, two of which are used by staff to car-share to work because of the tax breaks available, while the third vehicle is used to make customer collections.

Managing director David Blackshaw said: “The Eco Environments team did a fantastic job in the face of horrendous winds to get us installed.

“A survey was done on our lighting consumption which revealed that we could make savings over three or four years of as much as 25 per cent.

“We see it as a very good financial investment which will also significantly reduce our carbon footprint over the coming years. It is great to know we now make money even when we aren’t open for business and we are excited about the full potential of the panels when the sun comes out.”

David Hunt, a director with Eco Environments, said: “An ever growing number of businesses with significant energy consumption are choosing to invest in a range of renewable energy technologies with solar panels being the most popular. Businesses can receive a return on investment of up to 15 per cent combined with huge savings to their carbon footprint.”