Inverness Garden Centre Goes Green

Simpsons invest over £100,000 in Solar and Energy Efficiency Measures

Inverness based garden centre Simpsons transformed its roof space this spring, taking a big step forward in its sustainability journey to reduce energy costs and increase energy efficiency across the business.

Over 300 PV solar modules were installed onto the main garden centre and restaurant roof area, generating up to 100KW per hour. It’s hoped this energy will contribute significantly to the daily requirements of the garden centre, greatly reducing their carbon footprint.

The solar panel project, installed by local business AES Solar, Forres, will also save 24.63 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, the equivalent to planting 1,131 trees. 

The garden centre has already made significant steps to reducing energy costs and become more energy efficient. Saving 25% in energy costs in the last six months alone by switching all bulbs on site to LED, as well as becoming more energy aware.

The solar panels installed will provide an additional 20% of energy requirements to the business.

Managing Director Andrew Simpson said: “Like many businesses, we have seen huge increases in energy costs. Our decision to move to green energy was made some time ago and the journey to becoming more sustainable and energy efficient started pre-covid. We considered a number of renewable energy options to enable us to reduce our energy costs and our carbon footprint. 

“We have a significant roof space to work with and by maximising the number of solar panels on here ensures we maximise energy production for use across the business. 

“We’d like to thank Resource Efficient Scotland for their help in auditing the energy efficiency across the garden centre as well as identifying and securing assistance with the implementation of these on-site measures.

“Small steps from changing our bulbs to LED, along with being more energy efficient, has already made a 25% saving on our energy costs. Adding solar panels to our energy mix, will significantly increase that saving and we hope to eventually run the garden centre wholly on renewable energy.

“Over 99% of what we generate through the solar project will be used across the garden centre. Going forward we hope to implement even more energy efficient changes, including the future introduction of electric vehicles for our florist and local deliveries”.

Jamie Di Sotto, Commercial Director of AES Solar said: “The entire team at Simpsons have been a pleasure to work with throughout the project. The site and daytime energy demand is ideally suited for solar PV and they can now look forward to decades of onsite energy generation”.

Simpsons Garden Centre was established in 2000 and is now a multi award-winning business. It was named Best Destination Garden Centre in Scotland 2022/23, and expanded in 2020 to their site in Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire.

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