Local retailer makes a mark with solar
Rossies Foodworks is ranked in the Top 10 Foodworks supermarkets nationally and number 1 in NSW. It’s been a successful family business for over 50 years.
When Tony and Joyce Jones took over the supermarket from Joyce’s father 10 years ago they were spending $1000 a week on running the air-conditioning alone.
The business used a lot of electricity as it also had to run lighting, commercial refrigeration, cool rooms, hot water and the point of sale and back office systems 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Although the electricity costs in the business were massive Tony only really seriously considered solar after researching it for the family home.
“I actually started looking into it for home. I did a lot of research so I was very comfortable with the power of solar,” he explained.
“The big government rebates had just been wound back so I assumed the potential benefits wouldn’t be as great but I actually found the lower rebates had reduced the cost of the hardware. And with the roll back of the carbon tax the potential savings were also accentuated.”
With the help of Solar mad, Tony and Joyce installed a 100kw system on the roof of the iconic supermarket at the top end of Banna Avenue in Griffith in February 2014.
And the impact was immediate.
Rossies electricity bill in January 2014, typically the most demanding month, was almost $20,000. In January 2015 it was just $8000.
Tony explains that they replaced the old fluorescent lights with energy efficient LED lights throughout the store in conjunction with the move to solar which has also added to the savings.
“The benefits have been immediate and significant. We calculate we have saved almost $40,000 on our energy bills in the first year,” says Tony.
“On our best day, the system generated 700 kilowatts of power and, on average, the cost of electricity has dropped from 2300 kilowatts to around 1600 kilowatts per day.”
About dealing with Solar Mad, Tony says: “I’ve know Brian for years. He’s a bloke you can trust. When he says he will do something you can take him on his word.”
“Also, the Foodworks ideology is all about keeping things local and supporting local communities so we never even considered using someone that wasn’t from the local region. I think that’s very important.”
“Solar Mad have been extremely professional in every aspect of the planning , implementation and follow up service. I’d recommend them without hesitation to any other operator of retail or commercial space. It’s been a rewarding experience for us and the investment will continue to pay dividends for years into the future”.