Plumber and heating engineer Lachlan Mclnnes has answered the burning question on his customers’ lips.
When repeatedly asked if he knew someone who installed green energy heating products, the 26-year-old realised this was a chance to expand his expertise.
The qualified gas engineer and plumber set up L McInnes Plumbing and Heating Ltd in Inverness after being made redundant in 2010.
But regular queries about renewable energy led him to branch out.
Lachlan said: “I thought I’d better switch over before I get left behind. It is the biggest emerging industry in the UK and I couldn’t ignore it much longer .”
L McInnes Plumbing and Heating Ltd has only been installing biomass heating systems and thermal solar panels for the last five months, but already business is booming.
Lachlan said: “It’s expanding a lot faster then I anticipated, which is excellent, and I’m already far over my targets for this time of year .The renewable energy side is definitely pushing the business forward.”
He added: “Most of my new customers come from referrals, which shows that our clients are satisfied with our level of work and the excellent customer service we provide.”
Lachlan has had so much demand for renewable installations that he has had to sub-contract some of the business and is looking to develop his workforce quickly. “At the moment it is just me and my apprentice, but I am looking to take on another fully qualified employee because we are so busy,” he said.
“I actually need a plumber and an electrician, but I hope to find someone qualified to do both.”
L Mclnnes Plumbing and Heating Ltd installs carbon neutral biomass heating systems such as pellet or wood chip boilers and stoves.
All products are sourced from reputable companies, and Lachlan provides afull servicing contract for all energy products he installs.
The government is expected to announce a reward scheme for private consumers of biomass heating later this year, which Lachlan expects will boost sales further.
At the moment only commercial properties benefit from a government funding initiative on biomass systems.
The plumbing and heating company also installs thermal solar panels which use the power of the sun to provide hot water for homes and businesses.
The business has recently undergone assessment by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) so its solar panels are eligible for the government’s renewable heating scheme.
As well as providing high quality biomass and solar thermal heating, L Mclnnes Plumbing and Heating Ltd continues to provide general plumbing and heating services, with particular expertise in stove installation and technically challenging jobs that other companies might avoid.
L Mclnnes Plumbing and Heating Ltd covers the Highlands and will travel to the islands or further afield for big contracts.
‘It’s expanding a lot faster then I anticipated, which is excellent, and I’m already far over my targets for this time of year .The renewable energy side is definitely pushing the business forward’