A RENEWABLE energy business which has seen its staff more than triple in three years - growing from five to 27 - has moved to new headquarters in Perranporth.From its humble beginnings at a tiny storage room in St Agnes, Natural Generation is now based at Cligga Industrial Estate, where its founder, Mike Field has plans for further expansion.
The move represents a meteoric rise for its newly appointed managing director, Ivor Thomson, who joined the firm as an electrician three years ago."In one week I moved house, became MD and was made the new station officer for St Agnes Coastguard search and rescue team," said the father of two.Having dyslexia and leaving school with just one GCSE, he puts his success down to a willingness to achieve and believing in the company.
He said: "Many firms did well during the goldrush years of renewable energy taking advantage of the Government's feed-in tariffs, but the domestic market has tailed off. Feed-in tariffs are designed to help people with their energy bills, it's not about investors making a fast buck. Competition has increased although firms are folding, but we are expanding and have a good reputation, especially for after care and installation."
While its core business is wind turbines sold to landowners in Cornwall and PV solar panels, it has just appointed a new sales manager, Robert Grimsted, targeting commercial businesses for the first time.It is currently installing solar panels and electric charging points at Dales car showrooms in Scorrier and Summercourt.
"Dales contacted us wanting to do the right thing and be environmentally friendly, but the key incentive is it's saving them fuel costs," said Mr Grimsted. "In Cornwall industries relying on electricity for their production, such as catering, are seeing up to 30 per cent return on their renewable energy investment where there is high demand for electricity," he added.
Dales director, Carolyn Peters said: "The solar panels project supports the environmentally friendly electric car we are promoting with four models available, including an electric van and the new Zoe coming in April.
"The project is saving the dealership £10,000 a year in fuel costs and provides charging points for customers at competitive prices." Mr Grimsted said such deals are proving lucrative for all concerned, adding: "One of our surveying engineers was spending £350 a month commuting from St Austell to Perranporth.
"He bought an electric car and charges it up overnight on the cheaper tariff and his monthly commute costs have dropped to £40. This is a saving of nearly £4,000 a year not to mention there is no road tax for zero emission cars."
For further information go to www.naturalgen.co.uk