Renewables success in South West England
10th January 2023
When three school friends from Gloucestershire met one evening in a pub in 2018, they did more than have a drink – they established Cotswold Energy Group.
Robin Hodge, Aaron Stuart-Kelso and Jon Bonnar grew up in Gloucestershire. Over the years, each developed their own interest in making a difference via renewable energy and heating installation.
Managing director, Jon, achieved a Business Studies degree in 2002 and always had a flair for new technologies, strategy and people management.
Co-founder, Robin, began his journey to renewables after completing an Environmental Geoscience degree at Bristol University, before moving onto technical sales of heat pumps in 2013.
Aaron qualified as a heating engineer in 2007, having learnt the trade with several established businesses. He quickly went on to set up his own business, employing several heating engineers, before switching his focus to renewable installations by teaming up with Robin and Jon at Cotswold Energy Group a few months after it was founded.
Founding Cotswold Energy Group
By the end of that evening in the pub, the trio agreed that providing specialist heat pump consultation and installation was the way forward.
They spent £4,000 to set up an MCS certified business and focused on making heat pumps financially viable for the average homeowner.
In their first year they achieved a turnover of £1.3 million, and forecast £6.5 million in 2022.
“Installing an air source heat pump tends to be quick, with little disruption and is easy to manage for homeowners, as no planning permission is required. We are often in and out within a week.”
Jon Bonnar, Managing Director
The Renewables Industry
Cotswold Energy Group reports that air source heat pumps have experienced an exponential growth in popularity with year-on-year increases in enquiries and installations.
Since the publication of the government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy (HABS) in October 2021, the business saw three times the number of enquiries versus the same period in the previous year.
Between March 2020 and December 2021 Cotswold Energy Group completed 100 air source heat pump installations.
With more people now considering small-scale renewables as a feasible option for their home, Cotswold Energy Group has seen the average customer change. Having started out installing heat pumps at much larger homes, projects now range from two-bedroom terraces all the way up to commercial buildings.
Cotswold Energy Group is hopeful that interest in heat pumps continues to soar, as customers gain confidence and are incentivised by the introduction of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
You can visit the renewable specialists, Cotswold Energy Group here.
Our Low Carbon Landscapes report provides valuable data insights across the small-scale renewables industry as well as case studies highlighting successes and opportunities for growth across the home nations.
Data throughout the report can be found on the MCS Data dashboard.