Raising standards: Green energy installer’s best practice pledge to customers

Chris Delaney on how to choose the right renewable energy experts

In a sector flawed by fragmentation and technical incompetency, GBR is becoming a standard bearer with a pioneering business model that brings together business acquisitions with investment and consumer protection.

The latter, a crucial element, is delivered through both its own agreements and membership of responsible trade bodies.

Now employing more than 200, the company’s aim is to be the UK’s largest local installer of renewable energy systems with a nationwide network of experts. Turnover is forecast to reach £100 million plus by 2025.

Expansion has been fast for the firm, formed in 2020 and headquartered in York, which now has 10 offices spanning the Midlands down to Sussex.

“Technical advice and installation are carried out by our highly trained teams in areas they are very familiar with. We only use our own installers, not distant contractors, and keep a good stock of components,” explains managing director Chris Delaney.

“Firms joining our network benefit from technical and procurement support. Customers need to know if they have any problems we can respond immediately and we’re building our in-house training hubs to help educate, train and retrain the renewable energy workforce of the future.”

Beverley Racecourse and Mencap are among GBR’s commercial clients that includes an array of councils, schools, sports venues, charities and farms – 15 in Yorkshire alone this year have opted for solar systems.

Energy efficient installations such as for York’s Tang Hall Community Centre “have been transformative in helping keep critical local facilities open at a time when costs have rocketed,” adds Delaney.

The type of homeowner now looking for green energy is changing too. Once they were off the gas grid and the 50 plus market, “now there’s a significant increase in younger customers and more urban locations,” he says.

“Solar systems are our biggest sellers, but demand for heat pumps is expected to increase as gas boilers are phased out.”

GBR’s parent is Efficient Building Solutions (EBS), a group that also comprises Green Building Store, which offers energy saving products and support, and sustainable engineering specialist QUODA Consulting.

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Some £20 million of backing for GBR’s scale-up has been provided by private equity firm Ansor LLP, while £3 million has been invested in its systems and processes.

To switch a two-bedroom home to solar costs around £10,000 for 10 panels plus a battery and GBR is offering financing deals including an interest-free one for homeowners and no upfront payment from October.

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How do solar panels work

“Buyers know where they stand from the outset with us,” declares Delaney. “We have a two-year workmanship warranty from the day of commissioning and the manufacturers also have warranties.

All customers get packs on completion. “Assessed, commissioned and installed correctly, solar, pumps, chargers all work fine. We can’t emphasise enough our commitment to high standards and full coverage of England and Wales by 2025.”


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