For brothers Zac and Ashley House, family always comes first and after taking over the reins of the family business from their father, theyve now started employing their children to ensure that Gasworks Ltd on the South Coast is still going strong for many more years to come.
Both Zac and older brother Ashley left school at sixteen and enrolled in an Engineers Apprenticeship scheme with British Gas. They left the gas board together in 1990 to begin working for their father in his plumbing and heating business Gasworks Limited, which was established in 1969. Then, 17 years ago, the pair convinced him that it was time to retire and bought the firm from him.
Zac explains: Plumbing and heating certainly runs in our family and both Ashley and I wanted to follow in our dads footsteps and now were delighted that my daughter and Ashleys son have joined the workforce. Our mums the company secretary too, so we are totally family owned and run, which were very proud of.
Zac and Ashley have kept up to date with the renewable sector of the heating industry since the UK first began to embrace the technology in 2005.
They were two of the first eight installers to join the Worcester Accredited Installer scheme which now has over 1600 exclusive members. Being a Worcester Accredited Installer meant that Zac and Ashley were two of the first installers to hear that Worcester was to launch its Greenskies solar water heating system in 2005 and ever since then, they have geared their business towards supporting renewable technologies alongside boiler installations.
As more renewable products have been launched, Gasworks offering has diversified. Zac revealed: I was one of the first installers to attend the Greenskies solar training course and we have been fitting Worcesters panels ever since. The demand has been steadily growing over the past four years but it is now really starting to speed up, which is very pleasing.
Both Zac and Ashley have been in the midst of making large refurbishments to their respective homes, which meant the timing was ideal to add a new heating system to each property as part of the project to avoid causing further disruption in the future.
Zac has had four Greenskies FK-1C in roof panels fitted to his five bedroom detached home. To take advantage of the sun throughout the day, he fitted two panels facing South East and two facing South West.
Zac explains: The panels are linked to an existing Greenstar 30CDi conventional boiler with a 450 litre capacity thermal store cylinder. Having a thermal store connected to the solar system means that, not only does the sun pay for most of my hot water, but it will also help to provide some of the heating, reducing the load on the boiler and therefore saving more on my gas bills in the long run.
To further improve the systems efficiency the ground floor has had underfloor heating fitted throughout.
It makes sense for us to test the technology ourselves. Weve both had major renovations done so it was the right time to make these installations. The savings, as we well know, will also be valuable over the years. Zac added.
My garden is south west facing so it made sense for me to take advantage of Worcesters Greenskies solar panels and it was logical for Ashley to fit a Greensource air-to-water heat pump because he had decided to replace his oil-fired boiler.
Ashley had a 9kW Greensource air to water heat pump and cylinder fitted to replace his old oil-fired boiler in his 18th century detached cottage.
The oil-fired boiler in his property was around 15 years old and needed replacing. This, combined with rising oil prices, proved it made sense for him to switch to a Greensource air-to-water heat pump.
Ashley said: Air-to-water heat pumps are going to prove very popular over the next few years, particularly for replacing oil-fired boiler systems. I think this will be the biggest market for this type of renewable product. Anyone without access to natural gas should consider a Greensource air to water heat pump if they are looking to invest in renewable technology for their home.
Although its too early to have seen a difference in heating bills, the pair are really pleased at how smoothly their respective systems have been running in the initial weeks. Ashley added: We have complete confidence in both systems, they are high-quality products and we have already seen how pleased our customers are with the previous installations weve completed. Not to mention the fact that we already have two energy showrooms around the region and are set to open a third very soon.
The brothers are now in the process of completing their third energy showroom, which contains a number of Worcesters fully-functional renewable and energy-efficient heating products, allowing Zac and Ashley to demonstrate the different products they offer and how they work.
The first two showrooms are situated in the centre of Southampton and the New Forest and have proved very successful, hence the opening of the third venue in Winchester.
Gasworks Ltd will be celebrating 40 years in the business this year and they are as strong as ever. Proof that forward thinking and keeping it in the family is a blueprint for success.