Solar Success in the West Midlands
27th September 2023
Craig Michael Renewables is one of many West Midlands-based businesses that have seen an exponential rise in the demand for solar PV and battery storage installations in the past year.
Founder Craig Haycock originally managed his own business for 13 years as an electrical engineer. After seeing the growth in demand for renewable energy, he enrolled on a solar PV course and his company began installing solar panels.
At the start of 2022, Craig fully transitioned his business to small-scale renewables after he became inundated with customers wanting to invest in home-grown energy. Craig and his team chose to become MCS certified for both solar PV and battery storage installations, knowing that MCS certification, as a mark of quality, would provide assurance to his customers and strengthen his business’s reputation.
On becoming certified, Craig said: “The renewables industry is a growing industry with plenty of work around, my sales have increased tenfold since I became certified”.
Craig believes that the dual cost-of-living and energy crises are having a big impact on the rise of small-scale renewables. “Many of my customers are just wanting to protect themselves from any future rises” he commented.
Craig expects the number of solar PV and battery storage installations to continue to rise across the UK in 2023 as we fast approach the Winter months. “I am already getting customers asking if we can install before Winter to secure cheaper electricity rates” he said.
We recently announced that in the first six months of 2023, more than 100,000 certified solar PV installations were installed in UK homes. This is only the second time this has been achieved by June, the previous being 2012, just before major cuts to the Feed-in Tariff were introduced, causing an expected surge in installations.
Craig and his team installed solar PV and battery storage on Stephen and Zoe Trotter’s house in Telford in March 2023. Their investment was motivated by many things: the desire to ‘grow’ their own energy, reduce their energy bills and to show their children and grandchildren that they are doing their bit for the planet.
Stephen used the ‘Find a contractor’ tool on the MCS website to search for certified solar contractors near to him, which is where he discovered Craig Michael Renewables. Craig and his team then carried out a home survey and discussed options with Stephen and Zoe which would be suitable for their home. Three months later work commenced, and the solar and battery installations were completed within a few days.
Commenting on the installation, Stephen said: “We are delighted with our system and just wish we had done it a little sooner! We now use the GivEnergy Dashboard to monitor our energy usage and bills. It provides a great ‘feel-good’ factor seeing not only what you are doing to lower your energy bills but also for the environment.”
Using the Dashboard, Stephen and Zoe were surprised to find out that within the first 6 months of having their solar panels, they generated 3,000 kW/h of electricity! This is more than the amount of electricity a typical household in Britain consumes in a year according to Ofgem estimates.
Commenting on the process, Stephen said:
“Sometimes we put things off because we think they look complicated. Getting home renewables isn’t as complicated as you may think.”
“If you are considering solar panels for your home or business, there is great information available not just through MCS but also from the Energy Saving Trust, Home Energy Scotland and Solar Energy UK. MCS certified installers are a great source of information, they will help guide you”.
Visit the MCS Data Dashboard to view the rise in solar PV installations in homes like yours across the UK in near-real-time.
Hear more from Stephen and Craig Michaels Renewables on our case study video below.