A MANUFACTURING company expects to make major savings on its energy bills after making a £220,000 investment in green technology.

Econ Engineering, which makes and supplies gritting and snow plough vehicles, has installed 800 solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of its Ripon factory - the move is expected to lower the firm’s electricity consumption by around 15 per cent per year.

Colin Trewhitt, fabrication manager, said: “As a manufacturing business we have unavoidably high levels of power consumption and the investment in solar panels will pay for itself in only a few years.”

He added: “We pride ourselves on our pioneering approach to technology, which enables us to stay ahead of the game when it comes to developing state of the art winter maintenance vehicles.

“We could see all the advantages of solar photovoltaic technology and were keen to go for it. We are also reducing the business’ carbon footprint, which is good for the environment as well as for Econ’s bottom line.”

Econ Engineering is one of Ripon’s fastest growing employers, with a workforce of almost 200 people.

The solar panels have been supplied and installed by sustainable technology specialist, Leeds-based G&H Sustainability.

The company’s managing director, Andrew Hudson, said: “We are seeing increasing demand for solar photovoltaic and other renewable energy technologies among savvy organisations like Econ.

“Not only is it cleaner and greener, but the government’s feed-in tariffs enable businesses that generate their own renewable electricity to both use the power they generate as well as paying them for it, so it really is win-win.”