Bertoldos Bakery

An appreciation of solar is baked into the fabric of this successful business

Nothing personifies Griffith’s Italian heritage quite like Bertoldo’s. Established in 1952 by Bruno Bertoldo, this fourth generation family bakery continues to serve quality products to the local community. The Italian patisserie and panetteria trades from two locations, the flagship store for over 50 years at 324 Banna Avenue and a second, newer location at the lower end of the main street.

Concern about electricity bills mounted for Bertlodo’s a few years back as the cost associated with operating a significant number of machines and appliances including energy-hungry European ovens, lighting, cooling, cold storage, refrigeration, blast freezers and coffee machines, continued to soar.

“Our energy costs were getting out of control and eating into our margin significantly,” explains co-owner John Bertoldo.

“As a growing business we had to look at other options – we needed to contain our spending on electricity.”

Along with his brother, Stephen and son Aden, the Bertoldo’s educated themselves on the benefits of solar, the capacity of their premises and the most appropriate solutions before making the decision to invest.

“We made numerous calculations and looked at various panels to ensure we could get maximum output from the roof space we had available to us,” explains John.

Opting for a local business with an established track record, relevant experience and an excellent reputation among other local business, the bakery owners enlisted Solar Mad to help create a more energy-efficient future for their business.

“I received calls from Sydney, Melbourne even overseas about solar installation and special deals but we opted to go with a local business who had a good record and seemed very knowledgeable and trustworthy. A few other business owners in town that we knew quite well had used Solar Mad and they spoke very positively about them,” says John.

Solar Mad were able to provide a customised solution to suit their specific needs. The project saw a 70kw system installed on the main bakery roof using 300W LG panels, the most powerful on the market at the time, to achieve maximum efficiency from the small roof space. A year later Solar Mad completed a 41.5 kW the installation on the second Bertoldo store, this time using newly released 315W LG panels.

This resulted in a significant reduction in their overall energy use, with the two systems covering almost two thirds of the energy costs for the business.

“It took a little education. We needed to understand and plan for our main load times and the way we run our business, especially around opening and closing times,” explains John.

“Our electrician helped us monitor our use and develop a plan that eliminates spikes in our energy use.”

After monitoring the system for a year, the savings were evident and the true effect of their investment became obvious. Due to the considerable savings and the impact on productivity, the Bertoldo brothers have since installed significant systems on their residential properties as well.

“We couldn’t be much happier with the impact solar energy has had on our business and in our own homes,” said John. “We budgeted for a 50% reduction in costs and the savings have been much greater than that so we are extremely glad we made the move to solar.”