A Denbighshire green energy champion has been shortlisted for two Welsh national renewable energy awards.
David Jones, Director of Denbigh-based Hafod Renewables, has been shortlisted for Energy Champion of the Year while the company are also in the running for the Renewable Heating Installer of the Year at this year’s Wales Energy Efficiency Awards at the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff on Wednesday, February 7.
It follows a successful showing in last year’s National Energy Efficiency Awards in Birmingham when the company was Highly Commended in the RHI category.
David Jones has also gone off-grid at his home in Trefnant, in the Vale of Clwyd, where all their energy needs, including those of the electrically-powered cars he and his partner, Jen Hay, run are met from renewable resources.
It means the former Holywell High School pupil and his family have a strong claim to being the ‘greenest’ in Wales, saving the planet and themselves a packet of money –£6,000 a year.
The 32-year-old set up the company in a small shop in Denbigh in 2010 with his father, Richard, and it now occupies a 125 square metre industrial unit on the town’s Colomendy Industrial Estate, employs nine staff and has become a key player in North Wales in the installation of solar and non-solar systems such as air and ground-source heating and biomass.
In those seven years they have fitted over 10,000 solar panels, stacked end on end they would tower over 29,028 foot Mount Everest and more than 300 renewable heating systems.
David said: “It has been a memorable last 12 months for us as a family and as a company because we have seen a big change in the market so that it is now RHI schemes which make up the bulk of our work.
“Solar is still important but increasingly people and businesses are looking at air and ground-source heat pumps, biomass and solar thermal systems.
“The sector has been very competitive in recent years and continues to be so and fluctuations in government support, particularly in the solar energy field, have seen many firms fall by the wayside.
“But we have been successful by being versatile, by being able to design bespoke solutions for clients, not relying on the solar sector and by using only our own dedicated teams of installers.
“Over the last 12 months a number of innovative new products have come onto the market and I believe it is vital to stay abreast of what is a rapidly developing industry because that’s the way to continue to grow the business.
“These products like the high temperature air-source system which can be retro-fitted to older properties are revolutionising the market and can provide hot water at 80 degrees C for radiators even when it’s -20C outside.
“The fact is that it’s necessary to keep up with these and other developments such as wall-mounted solar-powered batteries – if you stand still in this fast-moving industry then you’re finished.”
His company’s versatility, skill and willingness to embrace new products in a rapidly evolving sector has enabled it to grow so that turnover has grown to over £1.3 million in the last year.
David has also been asked to give a video interview for the National Assembly for Wales’ Outreach team as part of research for the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee on an inquiry into Low Carbon Housing.
He said: “The UK recently saw 30 per cent of its power produced by renewable sources – who would have believed that was possible even five years ago.
“In just a few years almost everyone will be driving electric cars and by then that figure of 20 per cent will be dwarfed by the power being produced by solar, wind, tidal and other renewables.
“It’s very exciting to be part of what is a power revolution in this country and beyond – things are changing so fast now and that is only going to speed up as technology really gets to grips with the challenges.”
For more on Hafod Renewables go to https://www.hafodrenewables.co.uk/