Solar panels set to save Panaz up to £18,000 a year

Flame retardant fabric specialist Panaz wanted to operate more sustainably. Following a carbon audit by MaCaW, the Making Carbon Work project.

Panaz was already on its sustainability journey when it contacted MaCaW (a University of Central Lancashire project funded by the ERDF and UCLan, and supported by Boost, Lancashire’s business growth hub). The global flame retardant fabrics specialist, based in Burnley, had already made its products more sustainable by introducing tiles and carpets which incorporated recycled materials. “Yet when we looked at the building,” says Group Chief Financial Officer, Nadeem Memon, “We hadn’t done a great deal more than change the lighting to LED.”

MaCaW’s carbon audit

Nadeem asked MaCaW for a carbon audit with the primary aim of doing more in terms of carbon reduction and sustainable operation. The potential to reduce energy costs was a welcome additional factor, although thanks to a good deal secured pre-energy crisis, it wasn’t an immediate priority.

The audit took place in January 2022 and Nadeem found the process extremely valuable.

“Most of the team here are so ingrained in the business that we don't see the things that somebody coming from outside the business can see. An example of that would be leaking air flow from our air compressor pipes,” he says. “MaCaW highlighted these and other issues, such as the benefit of a full roof repair in terms of reducing heat loss. They also showed us what would happen if we upgraded our fleet vehicles to electric or hybrid.”

The biggest potential carbon reduction of all lay in installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof (although it needed repairing first to support the installation). At time of audit, MaCaW calculated the solar PV installation would save 27.81 tCO2e/annum, a 10.9% reduction in Panaz’s annual carbon footprint. It would also save £6,263/annum in electricity costs. With costs increasing by around 300% in the intervening period, once Panaz’s existing energy deal expires that saving would now be closer to £18,000pa.

Were all of MaCaW’s recommendations implemented, including the solar PV, Panaz would stand to reduce its annual carbon footprint by more than 30%.

"They were able to demonstrate that installing solar panels would save us up to £18,000 every year."

Nadeem Memon, Group Chief Financial Officer at Panaz

Recommending MaCaW

“MaCaW’s experience and knowledge opened the floodgates for us,” explains Nadeem. “The roof repair is complete and we've begun the process of changing the fleet too. Our first EVs arrived in July. The grant-assisted solar installation was completed in September. In fact, we’ve just taken delivery of an analytics device that will give us a clear view of our energy usage and savings.”

Nadeem is hugely enthusiastic about MaCaW’s audit work. “They have the expertise to place a value on the carbon reduction activities you make. For example, they were able to identify the £18,000 annual saving from installing the solar panels. Their calculations are important because they mean you’re not making sustainability improvements in the abstract. You have the data to support your actions.

“It's rare to be able to access that kind of expertise – and for free! I would definitely recommend MaCaW's audit work.”

To explore how MaCaW could help support your carbon reduction activities, contact the MaCaW Team.

MaCaW is a UCLan project, an industry and academic collaboration funded by the ERDF alongside UCLan, and supported by Boost, Lancashire’s business growth hub.