Dacombes goes solar and shines in sustainability

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Installation of the 99 panel, 41kw system was a complex project utilising five roof elevations

Wimborne’s oldest independent home electronics store, Dacombes, is now harnessing the newest technology, with solar energy powering its extensive array of domestic appliances and home cinemas in its spacious Dorset showroom. The family-run business, which was founded in 1920, has been working with Low Carbon Dorset, the green grant initiative run by Dorset Council for local business.
Matt Renaut, Dacombes’ managing director, noted the significant electricity demand of their operations, likening it to ‘three kettles on the boil all day long.’ With energy prices constantly climbing, Renaut pursued a green solution by securing a grant from Low Carbon Dorset – the process took five months from application to project completion.
Steven Ford, Dorset Council’s corporate director for strategy, performance and sustainability, said: “Officers from our Low Carbon Dorset programme worked closely with the team at Dacombes to help them make significant strides in reducing their environmental impact and boosting their energy efficiency.’
A total of 99 solar panels, creating a 41kw system, were fitted by Ringwood-based Empower Energy. Mark Wingrove, business development manager for Empower Energy said: ‘This was a complex project utilising five roof elevations.”
But the challenge was worth it. Matt Renaut says that even through the poor spring weather, the panels have been generating enough energy to power the store during its opening hours.
Mark Wingrove said; ‘Unlike domestic users, there’s no price cap protection for businesses – managing the recent soaring costs of energy bills is a huge strain on cashflow.

Matt Renaut, Dacombes’ managing director

A greener future
Dacombes is now in control of its own energy usage and costs, as well as reducing their environmental impact.’
The solar panels are simply the latest in Dacombes climate-conscious technological developments. Matt Renaut has also installed two EV chargers and a Tesla battery, the firm uses a heat pump and energy-efficient lighting and devices throughout its operations. Looking ahead, he is eyeing ‘phase two’ of their green energy initiative, which includes transitioning to electric delivery vehicles.
Dacombes’ commitment to sustainability recently earned it a nomination for Best Independent Retailer Focused on Sustainability Consumer Electronics at the upcoming Innovative Electrical Retailing Awards. Locally, the store supports the annual Planet Wimborne Green Festival.
‘Our aim is total energy self-sufficiency, despite the substantial investment,’ says Matt. We’re committed to a sustainable and responsible future, prioritising environmentally-friendly practices for long-term benefits to the planet alongside the significant savings to our business model.’

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