Things are looking bright for an award-winning Derbyshire firm that’s used an energy-saving grant to go 100% LED.
Penny Hydraulics, which makes swing lift cranes for vans and lorries as well as its own range of goods lifts, installed the low energy lighting after receiving £15,000 from the Derby and Derbyshire Energy Efficiency scheme (D2EE).

Not only are the LEDs helping save money on energy bills, they’re also enhancing the quality of the Clowne-based firm’s products due to the improved lighting.

Managing director Robin Penny said he was pleased to have received the grant which meant he could replace all the lights at once, rather than over a longer period of time which would have been disruptive.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved,” he said. “In particular paint spraying and assembly has been made much easier and better due to the incredible improvement in light quality. The fact that there is also a large cost saving is a real bonus.”

He added: “It would have been difficult for the company to justify the expense of going 100% LED in one go and so the grant has brought forward quality improvements, overhead reduction and the corresponding CO2 savings. A real win-win situation.”

The D2EE scheme is a partnership between Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and the University of Derby and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It aims to help SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) audit their energy use and introduce energy-saving measures.

Around 20 companies have benefited so far, but there are still up to 180 grants available for firms across the county interested in using less energy and saving money.
Mr Penny added: “The grant application went very smoothly and only took a week to get approved. Without it we couldn’t have afforded to change all of the lighting in one go, we would have had to do one building at a time, which would have caused a lot of disruption.
“The guys in the factory are happy as it makes their jobs much easier and it is a better place to work.”
Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for economic development and regeneration Councillor Tony King said: “Small and medium-sized businesses are a vital part of Derbyshire’s economy and by supporting this project we are giving them access to state-of-the-art equipment and technical expertise designed to improve efficiency and innovation.

“Grants are available to SMEs in Derbyshire and Derby and I urge companies to get in touch.”
Penny Hydraulics employs 85 people at its plant on Station Road, Clowne, which has been on an energy saving journey through modernisation of its premises including solar panels on the roof, an upgrade to some of the lights and an advanced heating controller.

The £15,000 grant was put toward the total cost of the project which was £40,000.
The firm’s finance director Ashley Holmes said the investment in energy-saving technologies helped the company become more resilient for the future as it was less affected by changes in energy prices.
He said: “Having LED lights throughout the factory will go a long way in supporting our commitment to the environment and help with our ISO 14001 environmental management application.”

To find out if your business could benefit from a D2EE grant, visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/energyefficiency or email gemma.sylva@derby.gov.uk