David Jones, Managing Director of Hafod Renewables and his team.
David Jones, director of Denbighshire-based Hafod Renewables, has been shortlisted for two Welsh national awards for renewable energy.
The entrepreneur himself has been shortlisted for Energy Champion of the Year, while the company is 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, 7th February.
The shortlisting follows a successful outing in last year’s National Energy Efficiency Awards in Birmingham when the company was highly commended.
David 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 by renewable resources.
This means that the former Holywell High School pupil and his family have a strong claim to be the greenest in Wales, saving themselves around £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.
The business now employs nine staff and has become a key player in North Wales for 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, which, if stacked end-to-end, would tower over the 29,028 ft
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 willingness to embrace new products in a rapidly evolving sector has enabled the company to grow such that it has reached a turnover of £1.3 million in the last year.