For Ben Collard to be the recently appointed Director at gfw-Renewables is particularly apt. Ben not only lives and breathes Renewable Energy in this high profile post, but with his enthusiasm for fast paced sport, he appears to have harnessed some renewable energy for himself along the way.
Ben plays squash for teams in the Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland County leagues, runs competitively and is currently training for a marathon in the Arctic Circle in June this year. Outside of work and sport, he’s also studying for an MSc in Renewable Energy and Enterprise Management at the University of Newcastle.
Prior to running gfw-Renewables, Ben worked as an Energy Specialist for Renew at the Centre for Process Innovation on Teesside where he designed, managed and delivered a renewable energy feasibility program for over 50 regional SME’s and directed projects across a wide range of renewable technologies.
gfw-Renewables was set up as a wholly owned subsidiary of George F White Chartered Surveyors in 2010 who employ 95 people throughout the North. The 7 strong gfw-Renewables team based throughout the North East, in Alnwick, Wolsingham, Bedale and Shiptonthorpe in Yorkshire, has an in-depth understanding of property, land and renewable energy as well as the financial complexities of the feed-in-tariffs (FiTs) and managing finance. Ben and the team successfully guide clients through a renewable project from first appraisal to installation and energy generation.
The company specialises in the five main renewable sectors comprising wind, solar (solar thermal and solar PV), biogas, hydro and renewable heat. Interested clients can present any type of scenario: from a caravan park owner wishing to install a wind turbine to generate electricity; to a developer putting solar PV panels into an eco-friendly housing development. A farmer may want to generate power and income using an anaerobic digester (biogas); or a factory, or country hotel may be keen to harness the power of the water on their land to provide electricity for their business premises and provide additional income.
Unlike many other renewable consultants, gfw-Renewables is not contracted to any manufacturer of renewable technology; they are professional advisers and project managers only. This means clients will always be given the best, most up to date, impartial advice on the most appropriate system for their property which meets their objectives and budget, allowing the right, informed decision to be made.
Not surprisingly Ben is enjoying the challenge of his new post - particularly because it’s so fast paced - and he’s impressed with gfw-Renewables’ ability to be constantly ahead of the game in order to deliver a comprehensive service to clients.
Ben says: “It’s great to work with a knowledgeable, professional team that is forward thinking and on the ball - not only about the huge benefits of renewable energy generally - but about exactly what will suit one particular client in a particular setting and what would be best for another.
“So many people – landowners, farmers, business people and householders - are considering installing some sort of renewable energy, especially in the light of FiTs and upcoming Renewable Heat Incentive, but are confused about the best system for their location and property. Because gfw-Renewables is closely linked to George F White Chartered Surveyors, we not only have the professional, technical and financial expertise to guide you through the maze, but we can call on our knowledge of property, land, planning, taxation and valuation to ensure that whatever renewable system you’re thinking of installing, you get the best, possible advice and service.”
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