A DISTRIBUTOR of solar panels is on course to break the £30m turnover barrier in its first full year of trading – thanks to the rapidly growing market for renewable energy.
Brighouse-based Zenex Solar Ltd, which was founded last year and began trading in February, has established itself as a leading supplier to the trade after securing exclusive distribution agreements with two global manufacturers.
And to support Zenex’s rapid growth, NatWest and RBS Invoice Finance have provided the company with a £2.5m flexible working capital facility.
Demand for solar panel technology continues to grow due to rising energy costs and government incentives designed to encourage the use of renewable energy such as the introduction of Feed-In Tariffs.
The tariffs involve power companies paying homeowners for any excess energy generated by their solar panels, with the energy transferred to the National Grid.
It costs about £10,000 to install a typical domestic solar panel system, which has a lifespan of up to 30 years. Supporters of solar say that with savings of up to £1,000 a year to be made from reduced energy bills and via the Feed-In Tariffs, most systems pay for themselves within a decade.
Zenex imports and supplies the solar panels and all the components required to install the kit.
All product installers must hold a Microgeneration Certification to benefit from the Feed-In Tariffs.
Zenex is part of the Evoco Energy Group which specialises in the development of small scale wind turbines for commercial and domestic use.
Julian Riley, Zenex Solar’s managing director, said: “Since we commenced trading in February the demand for our products has increased month on month.
“Securing UK exclusivity to distribute LG and JA Solar’s products has been a major achievement for us in terms of establishing the reputation and credibility of the business.
“The solar panel market in the UK has enormous potential and we are confident of further business growth once the benefits of using this technology become more widely known.”
Colin Andreassen, of RBS Invoice Finance, and Lynne Swerdlow from NatWest provided the funding.
Mr Andreassen, a business development manager at RBS, said: “Julian and his management team have made significant progress in just eight months of trading.
“The flexible funding package we have provided ensures they have the capital to continue growing the business.”