Activ8 Solar Energies Secures 100% Customer Satisfaction Rating From IWA

Activ8 & IWA

Activ8 Energies works with IWA for our Insurance Backed Guarantees. We received our 2016 customer satisfaction rating of 100% on our Quality Installation Survey. This rating comes from independent, third party customer satisfaction reviews over the course of the year and after 99% in 2015, 2014, 2013 and years previous to this. This customer satisfaction is great news for everyone in our business, because here at Activ8 Energies, we believe that every single employee is responsible for our customer service and reputation.
After attaining our ISO 9001 accreditation for Quality Management Systems at the beginning of 2016, this recent rating backs up our dedication to the quality of service we try to deliver on a daily basis.

What IWA Means For Our Customers

The importance of IWA to our customers. The IWA third party warranty guarantees the investment of each of our customers if anything were to happen to Activ8 Solar Energies. As IWA state themselves:

“A company may cease trading due to insolvency, compulsory or voluntary liquidation, bankruptcy, death or retirement of all the principals. Whatever happens, an Insurance Backed Guarantee sets out to honour the terms of the guarantee, originally issued by the contractor.”

- IWA Website

As with all of our suppliers, our products, and our service, quality is the most important factor for us here at Activ8. That is why our panels are produced by the world leading producers. Why should our insurance backed guarantee be any different? That is why we are partnered with IWA. There are many providers offering Insurance Backed Guarantees but not all of them are specialists in the home improvement industry. A closer inspection of their small print may reveal hidden clauses or jargon that does not offer comprehensive protection.
IWA, on the other hand, has been in operation since 1985 and is the market leader in guarantee insurance and deposit protection. As a leader in helping the home improvement industry better its own standards, the company introduced the IWA Approved Trade Member Scheme.
Each trader applying is checked on their qualifications, expertise, financial security and track record for best service. The most important aspect for Activ8 Solar Energies, is that this is checked on a continuous basis through regular customer feedback to ensure that the high standards are maintained by each IWA approved company.
With these continuous checks comes the yearly satisfaction ratings from Activ8 customers. It is for this reason that we’re overwhelmed with our 100% customer satisfaction rating for 2016 through our Quality Installation Survey. In line with this award, as the pioneers of the one-day install, we show that even though we can get the job done quickly, we do it with exceptionally high standards of quality.

The IWA warranty brings a high level of security for home-owners making an investment in solar with Activ8 Solar Energies. When comparing us to other suppliers or smaller operators that may be able to offer the same service for less money, maybe consider their ability to offer third party insurance guarantees from the likes of IWA as well as the aforementioned ISO 9001 accreditation we received earlier this year.

Value For Money

For the better use of a cliché, you get what you pay for. When you’re receiving a 100% independent customer satisfaction rating for the work in the Irish solar industry, you must be doing something right.

“If any contractor/supplier employed by the customer for home improvement work ceases to trade, the insurance backed guarantee (IBG) certificate will protect their investment.”

- IWA Website


Increase In Energy Use In 2015 But Increase In Renewable Energy Too

The official body for sustainable and renewable energy here in Ireland, the SEAI, released their official national energy statistics on November 23rd. The report shows that there had been significant growth in energy use across almost all sectors of the Irish economy in 2015. Energy in Ireland 1990-2015, illustrates the first significant growth in energy use since 2010 at almost 5%. In line with this figure, energy-related CO2 emmissions increased by 6%. Both of these figures are understandably put in the context of strong economic growth in 2015 within the report.

Greenhouse Gas Emmissions

When looking at greenhouse gas emmissions, energy accounts for about 60% of the total. This puts a greater emphasis on the importance of developing low-carbon solutions in this industry for Ireland. Here at Activ8 Solar Energies, we’re obviously already providing this in terms of solar thermal and also solar PV, but we’ll continue to look at developing technologies and how we can help Irish homes make improvements in energy efficiency.

Renewables

Over 9% of Ireland’s energy use came from renewable energy souces, which is great. But we’re still quite a bit off our 16% target which needs to be reached by 2020. Looking at the 9% figure however, this has resulted in almost 4 million tonnes of CO2 being avoided as well a cut-down in over €400m of energy imports.

When it comes to electricity alone, over a quarter of our electricity needs were provided through renewable energy including wind, hydro, landfill gas and bioenergy – with our solar electricity levels at a very low level in comparison to countries with similar climates and circumstances to us. There is optimism that this will grow significantly in the next couple of years. In addition, renewables contributed 5.7% to energy use in transport and 6.5% in the heating sector.

On the SEAI website, Jim Gannon, SEAI Chief Executive said:
“The publication of these energy figures is a timely and pertinent analysis of Ireland’s energy usage following the conclusion of COP22 in Marrakech last week and Ireland’s ratification of the Paris Agreement earlier in November. We are seeing good progress on renewable energy and energy efficiency, however, this needs to be further accelerated to keep pace with higher economic activity and demand for energy. The Government is already responding to this challenge with significant increased funding committed to energy efficiency and renewable heat in Budget 2017. This allows us to build on the progress to date and continue to decarbonise our energy system which will reduce costs, improve energy security and reduce environmental impact.”
Jim Gannon continued: “In 2015 the average household emitted 5.5 tonnes of CO2of which 61% came from direct fuel use in the home and the remainder from electricity use. The transition to a sustainable, low-carbon energy system requires the participation of citizens and communities in both decision-making and action. It is vital that we have an informed debate about the choices for Ireland as we move to a low-carbon economy. SEAI is committed to the provision of timely, robust and transparent data to ensure that policy development, decision-making and our energy transition is based on high quality data and evidence.”


What Donald Trump Win Means for Climate Change in Ireland

The Climate Change Fallout of a Trump Presidency

With our friends across the Atlantic Ocean flocking to the polls and electing Donald Trump, the planet and the environmental issues that face us both in the present and the future were not important enough for consideration when Americans were deciding which candidate they voted for. Not only is the election of Donald Trump a disaster for environmentally conscious people in America, it is a disaster for climate change globally. After the tentative but progressive COP 21 event in Paris and subsequent agreement, this is not what our planet needed. We needed forward thinking governments, with like-minded leaders to help move the planet forward with an environmentally friendly, sustainable approach to governing. For all of us in not just the solar industry, but beyond, this election result does not bode well.

Could Donald Trump have been any clearer when we called global warming "a Chinese hoax", before definitively stating that he wants to scrap all of the major regulations that US President Obama put in place to reduce carbon dioxide emissions for the USA. With a republican congress, he has the power and ability to pass bills to stop a lot of the progress made in the previous presidency. Anyway, why does this matter to us here in Ireland?

Firstly, we all share the same planet, the same atmosphere and the same melting ice caps. What happens in America affects us all. Not only that, if one of the most powerful western countries in the world scraps their climate change efforts, that doesn’t set a great example for smaller western nations like ourselves. If the USA takes Donald Trump's lead and decides to denounce climate change, you can be sure that R&D efforts will drop, clean energy research will drop and future progress in this regard will be slowed. Unfortunately, Donald Trump openly stated he was going to repeal all federal spending on all of these things, such as solar, wind, nuclear power and electric vehicles. With R&D dropping in America as well as future demand for such, it may see the end of the slowly lowering alternative energy prices around the world, including here in Ireland.
The underlying reality is that a Trump presidency will lead to more coal burning, pollution and more CO2 emissions.

Is all hope for clean energy, solar and Irish renewables lost?

No.

Solar Energy in Ireland Will Continue To Grow and It Won't Be Alone

The reality is, solar power, wind power and electric cars have been getting cheaper and cheaper over the past decade and although that has slowed, these renewable energy pillars have become very affordable here in Ireland, so the American federal government won’t be able to change this anytime soon, bad news on that front would be slow. In which case, you would hope the proliferation of all these technologies would outpace such federal resistance in America.

It is also possible, just like past obstacles, that opposition to a figure such as Trump will help galvanise the next generation of clean energy advocates here in Ireland and abroad. Where there is a will, there is a way and people fighting for and towards Irelands obligations in 2020 and beyond will continue to do so with an eye on the COP 21 agreement, rather than the actions of the 45th US President.

It is undeniable that the landscape has changed with one single leadership change, but the reality is, we must continue our renewable energy efforts here in Ireland and keep working with our own government in order to effect change here in Ireland. The support for solar and other clean energy technologies is continuing to grow. With politics changing to a popularity contest, the more popular climate change becomes in Ireland, the more it will seep into Leinster House.

The Irish solar market is in a very healthy state, can we say the same about external optimism for America today?

No.


Activ8 Working With The Worlds Largest Solar Thermal Manufacturer

Activ8 Solar Energies Decade Long Partnership With GREENoneTEC

Activ8 Solar Energies has been working with GREENoneTEC for over 10 years, with Activ8 CEO Ciaran Marron establishing the relationship back in 2006. It proved be a very successful relationship for both parties. During the intervening time, GREENoneTEC has become the largest supplier flat plate solar panels in the world while Activ8 became the largest solar installer in Ireland also. With the world’s largest international study on the World Solar Thermal Industry recently releasing its results confirming that GREENoneTEC is still the market leader, our Austrian partner shows no signs of letting their position slip.

This success can be put down to numerous factors, but one thing that this relationship shares in its core, is quality. GREENoneTEC develop and deliver high quality products and when Activ8 visited Austria to meet and discuss the harsh Irish weather conditions, we were able to design and develop a panel for just those conditions. With this, the Atlas Solar Panel was born, our exclusive flat plate solar collector. GREENoneTEC production capacity is currently at 1.6 m² and that production comprises of more than 100 customer-defined collector variants and related mounting systems – one of which is the aforementioned Atlas Solar Panel designs, designed with the Irish weather in mind.

GREENoneTEC HQ

Over 7,000 solar panel installations later, it is one of the most used solar panels on Irish roofs. When you consider that many homeowners go for the cheaper option of evacuated tubes, it becomes one of the most popular solar options around the country. It is easy to see why many choose to pay more initially, for higher quality products. With longevity, something that the Atlas solar panel is known for, the initial extra cost in choosing a higher quality solution is wiped out with additional savings as well as the peace of mind that the products durability brings.

I don’t know if there is a better way to showcase the durability of the Atlas solar panel used by Activ8 Energies, than to put a rally car on top of the panel. Do not try this with tubes!

Rally car on solar panels

Solar Thermal Outlook

Looking ahead to 2017 and the growth of many forms of solar, including Solar PV, many would think that solar thermal is in danger of losing its top spot here in Ireland. This isn’t the case. Solar thermal is still the most cost effective form of solar here in Ireland. And with recent news that the HRI Scheme is being extended until the end of 2018, the solar thermal industry in Ireland is still growing. As for our partnership with GREENoneTEC, it’s just as strong.


Solar PV 56 kWp System Installed in Courtown Co. Wexford

One of our most recent installations, a 197 solar PV panel installation in Courtown, Co. Wexford is an indication of where the future of energy is heading here in Ireland. Solar panel installation continues to grow and the expected production of our system at Courtown Leisure Centre can act as a case in point of how commercially viable solar photovoltaic has become for Irish businesses looking to consolidate their future expenses when it comes to electricity and energy. You can watch the production of this system at the bottom of this post.

The Solar PV Process

After a successful tender for the contract on the Courtown Leisure Centre, we worked through the half hourly readings and along with CKEA (Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency) to optimise the size and set up of this heavy consumer of electricity.

The leisure centre themselves had already taken numerous progressive steps to reduce their consumption over the past year, shaving their peak consumption from an average of 93kVA right down to 71kVA. Not happy to sit on their laurels, they pushed on to apply for an SEAI grant for the installation of a solar electric system and with the help of CKEA they were successful in their bid.

Solar PV Specification

With this 56kWp solar PV system, Courtown will reduce their energy consumption by over 40,000kWhr’s (units of electricity) on a yearly basis. Due to the utilisation of Enphase Micro Inverters on this job, this system is guaranteed to continue production of electricity for at least 20 years, which leaves the leisure centre with the peace of mind that they have locked in the cost of approx. 800,000kWhr’s. So no matter what price electricity goes to over the next 20 years, Courtown Leisure Centre have secured approximately 40,000units of electricity per year, for the next twenty years at approximately 5cents.

In the short 18 days of October, the system has generated as much to offset the planting of 38 trees. To put that into perspective on a yearly basis, the installation of this solar system is equal to planting over 800 trees per year, for the next 20 years. Truly cementing Courtown Leisure Centre as one of the greenest and environmentally conscious in Ireland and a solar PV champion.

The installation consisted of 197 solar panels (generating DC electricity), and 197 micro inverters (converting DC to AC electricity) all mounted on a standing seam mounting system. The installation took 4 days, with the majority of the heavy lifting completed in just 2 days. With Solar PV looking to become a larger part of the Irish lexicon over the next five years, it really is great to see SEAI supporting such a system and CKEA helping a forward thinking business such as Courtown Leisure Centre become early adopters to what is sure to become the future of energy in Ireland.

Live Enphase Monitoring

When we had a look at the live monitoring of the system through Activ8 Energies and Enphase. For anyone not familiar with the equivalent units of electricity produced, look at the handy infographics provided. As an example, the 194kWh produced on Sunday October 2nd is the equivalent of the power produced by 64,689 AA batteries.


Solar Case Study: An 'Eco Pub' Uses Activ8

Andy's Bar & Restaurant Use Activ8 For Solar During Their Energy Efficiency Improvements

Andy's Bar & Restaurant in Monaghan Town featured in the Irish Independent as one of Ireland's first 'eco pubs'. It was great to see the family owned establishment getting national media attention given their environmental efforts in the running of their business. Something we here at Activ8 Solar Energies got to see up close and personal when we installed the solar thermal system on the roof of their premises in early 2016.

Solar panels on Andy's Bar & Restaurant roof
A dreary installation day in February did nothing to curb the enthusiasm of staff and their energy efficiency and environmental efforts.

Energy efficiency through solar and more

The family began their energy efficiency drive after the Monaghan premises was destroyed in a fire. With support from the SEAI and the cross-border Sustainable Together through Environmental Management (STEM) project. The Redmond family began their work by installing better insulation, it was at this point, that they contacted us here in Activ8 Solar Energies in regards to installing a solar thermal energy system to help reduce their heating bills and increase efficiency in this part of their business.

Their solar thermal energy system was installed on the roof of the premises after our standard technical survey that matched system specification with business need while factoring in the relevant conditions and circumstances. The system consists of 9 Atlas Solar Thermal Collectors, a system substantially larger than our standard domestic system. We pride ourselves on fitting the relevant system for our customers needs and the accuracy to which we can do this.

This was followed by other internal efficiencies, which included replacing glass doors on fridges with more energy efficient efficient doors, showing the extent to which Seán Redmond and his team were willing to go to ensure they continued their efforts to make Andy's Bar & Restaurant a more energy efficient, environmentally friendly business. Too many people look toward the government and its agencies for complete project leadership in this area. This case study is an outstanding example of how a business can improve business efficiency, reduce costs through an environmentally driven efficiency project. It really is a win-win situation.


Reception & Administration (Maternity Cover)

Reception & Administration (Maternity Cover)

Department:

Reception & Administration (Maternity Cover)

Reporting to:

General Manager

Job Description:

We are currently looking for a Receptionist to join our Administration Department.

Duties:

• Answering and direct all incoming calls. Ensuring correct detailed messages are passed on.
• Greet all visitors to the business ensuring their point of contact is notified on their arrival.
• General Office Administration
• Booking Solar Installations/Callouts/servicing
• Maintain and manage customer files
• Organise meeting room bookings
• Manage and control stationary & housekeeping stocks

Requirements:

• Experience an advantage but not essential
• Self – motivated
• Ability to work on your own initiative
• Good communication and interpersonal skills
• Competent computer skills

How to Apply:

Please forward your CV to: hr@activ8energies.com

Closing date for applications is Friday 23rd September.


What Apples €13 Billion Could Do For Irish Homeowners, Even Clear 30 Years of Water Charges!

In the wake of the European Commissions recent ruling of €13 billion tax payments owed to the Irish government, we decided we would put that figure into context that we here at Activ8 Energies and the citizens of Ireland would understand. Heating and powering your home can cost a lot of money, not quite in the billions though, so let’s see how the magnitude of such a sum compares to expenses within Irish homes. In the interest of balance, we won’t even mention solar.

The average cost of heating and electricity bills here in Ireland comes to €2,300 per year per household. If we took the €13 billion and gave everyone a dig out with their heating and electricity bills, we could pay for every single house in Ireland, for nearly 3 and a half years.

Let’s go one better, water charges. What if the European Commission and the Irish government decided to take the €13 billion and put it against the current household charges for water? We take the €160 & €260 charges and take €210 as an average per home for water? It would cover the water charges for the next 30 years at the current rate. 30 years! We could revisit the topic again in 2046. Thanks Apple.

Or we could look at making every home in Ireland more sustainable and efficient. With €13 billion, we could provide every home in Ireland with a high quality solar panel system and an upgrade on their current boiler. While we’re on the topic of sustainability, this figure would allow the government to give 1/3 of the countries households a new Nissan Leaf pushing Ireland in front as the world’s leading electric vehicle adopter per head of population without a doubt. We would become an even greater little country.
The figure is big, €13 billion. But we haven’t actually come across many outlets writing the number as it is. It almost makes more of an impact doesn’t it?

€13,000,000,000
What if the government took this €13bn and decided to supplement existing programmes and schemes? We can only look at our own industry and provide context that way, if we were to apply this figure to the SEAI grants, something we process on a daily basis, it would singlehandedly multiply the amount of grants issued by the SEAI from 2009-2016 by 67.

*Based off CSO figures in 2015.


Telesales & Call Centre Positions

We are currently looking for telesales personnel to join our busy Marketing Department and Call Centre. Applicants must have a professional telephone manner. Some experience would be an advantage but not essential as training will be provided.

Join our established telesales department and become part of an exciting team here in Carrickmacross and benefit from the full Activ8 Solar Energies package including social club and activities as well as favourable working hours in an exciting and fun workplace environment.

Please forward your CV to: aishling.smyth@activ8energies.com

For more information on the position please contact Aishling now on: 042 9690352

Closing date for applications is Friday 9th September.

Activ8 Solar Energies was established in 2007 having been previously known as Ciaran Marron Electrical from 2004. Since this distinct move, we are proud to have become Ireland’s number one installer of solar energy systems. In the solar industry for over 15 years the directors of Activ8 Solar Energies have gained their unrivaled knowledge and experience through the installation of over 7,000 systems supplied and installed across Ireland and the UK. In late 2015, the company gained ISO 9001 accreditation for Quality Management Systems directly reflecting the nature of how we run operations here in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. This is an excellent opportunity for the right person to excel in a position directly communicating with customers and potential customers on a daily basis.


Solar Thermal Service & Survey Engineer Position

Solar Thermal Service & Survey Engineer

 

Due to continued expansion Ireland’s largest solar installer now have a position for a Solar Thermal Service & Survey Engineer. We require a customer facing, professional service engineer with proven plumbing and heating skills to join our team.

The candidate will ideally be based in the North East attending homeowners working on solar thermal systems and heating controls, daily duties will include performing routine preventive maintenance tasks along with reactive maintenance on the systems. The role will also include site surveys for new installations ensuring our installation teams are fully equipped for our pioneered one-day install.

The position would suit an experienced plumber or heating engineer who has experience of service and maintenance of hot water cylinders and unvented systems with working knowledge of solar thermal and heating controls.

The ideal candidate must have the following skills and qualifications:

  • A fully qualified Electrician/Plumber/Engineer
  • Previous experience in Solar Thermal, Boiler and Heating control installations
  • Electrical experience is essential
  • Willingness to travel to jobsites throughout Ireland
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Competent computer skills
  • A full clean driving Licence

 

Safe Pass, Manual Handling, Working at heights Cert an advantage.

Remuneration

  • Salary negotiable
  • New Company Van
  • Company Phone
  • Company Tablet/Laptop
  • 20 Days Holiday + Bank Holidays
  • Social Club

 

Applicants should forward their CV and cover letter to:

 

hr@activ8energies.com

Closing Date for Applications is Friday the 9th September