Matchstick Men, Wigan - SME (Environmental Technologies)

A product sourcing firm in Wigan will potentially save more than £30,000 by replacing a transformer and teaming up with a nearby Manchester company for a full LED lighting upgrade.

Paul Walters, Facilities Manager at Matchstick Men, said: "We wanted to capitalise on the opportunity to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint, but we needed to ensure that lighting quality would be maintained or improved across our full site. That’s where the GC Business Growth Hub came into the picture”.

Matchstick Men Group is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the UK’s leading retailers, offering product design, sourcing and development, quality assurance, range and category management, distribution and end-user fulfilment services within the household electrical appliances sector.

To save energy in its warehouse and office areas, the company used Greater Manchester’s online Low Carbon Network, run by the city region’s Business Growth Hub, to find an LED lighting specialist.

Building business case

“We wanted to capitalise on the opportunity to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint, but we needed to ensure that lighting quality would be maintained or improved across our full site. That’s where the Business Growth Hub came into the picture”, said Paul Walters, Facilities Manager at Matchstick Men.

Through the Network and the Hub’s wider support, Matchstick Men Group built a business case for the upgrade and identified Holt Energy, a Manchester energy consultancy, as the perfect partner for the project.

Holt Energy specialises in providing high value, tailored end-to-end energy reduction services.

“As an independent consultancy, we were able to tailor a design to match different areas of activity and supply a solution that significantly improved Matchstick Men’s light levels and lighting quality, whilst also reducing energy consumption significantly”, said Ben Holt, managing director at Holt Energy.

“The total lighting upgrade has potentially cut annual energy costs by around £24,000 with a payback of less than two years, not including the additional savings from re-lamping. We were also able to source a capital grant from the Carbon Trust which drove down ROI even further.”

Transformer transformation

The energy saving push did not end there. Matchstick Men Group also wanted to replace two oversized and ageing transformers with a single smaller unit that would improve safety and cut energy wastage.

To explore their options, the Business Growth Hub’s advisors consulted with Electricity North West, who proposed an ultra energy efficient solution with voltage optimisation technology.

Alasdair Dalzel-Job, resource efficiency advisor at the Hub, said: “Matchstick Men’s old transformers were nearly half a century old. The new unit has reduced load to the site by a third, as well as improving safety and reducing energy waste, saving approximately £7,500 a year with a payback of just over three years.

‘Boosted bottom line’

“In total, the two projects combined have reduced carbon emissions by 134 tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent), enough to fill more than 74 hot air balloons. Matchstick Men Ltd. is left with a boosted bottom line and a lower environmental footprint - proving how beneficial energy efficiency can be.”

To find out more about the Hub’s support for Greater Manchester SMEs, or to read other success stories, click here.