The Heat is on at Kensa
Richard Freeborn, managing director of Kensa Heat Pumps,
with Business Link Devon and Cornwall personal business adviser
The temperature's rising at a Falmouth company which took
on three new employees last year while increasing turnover
by 20 per cent and profit margins five-fold with help from
Business Link Devon and Cornwall.
Kensa Heat Pumps, of Tregoniggie Industrial Estate, near
Falmouth, are the sole British manufacturer of a full range
of ground source heat pumps. A series of narrow 2 metre deep
trenches or drilled boreholes are used to absorb renewable
heat energy for any size building.
Business is currently being boosted by a Business Link supported
state of the art website, featuring expert software that allows
customers to get an immediate on line quote for a heating
system for their house.
Managing director Richard Freeborn said: "The website
not only generated a huge upturn in interest but means that
only genuine and serious enquiries are actually coming through.
People know more about the systems, the optimal conditions
and the approximate cost before they decide to put in a call.
This unclogged our customer service system and allowed us
to employ a graduate engineer to deal solely with these serious
enquiries and help turn people's wishes into reality. Our
customer service is much improved and while sales have increased
the biggest benefit to our company is efficiency, which has
allowed us to invest in staff dedicated to customer satisfaction,
whereas before we were struggling to talk to all those who
enquired and I am sure potential sales slipped through."
Business Link also supported the company to exhibit in Dublin
which resulted in the first sales outside France and the UK.
Kensa now also have a joint venture with a Northern Ireland
distributor and recently won a contract to supply heat pumps
to all the Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboats.
Help sourced by Business Link personal business adviser Clare
Whitney included mentoring and the development of a marketing
strategy focusing on raising the company's profile through
PR and networking, including presentations at conferences.
Mr Freeborn said: "Clare is one of the few people
to have understood the difficulties of communicating how our
technology can really help domestic and commercial clients
and also address the needs to cut carbon emissions. Her help
over the years has been key and we only hope we see more of
her in the future as the company goes through a critical growth
Manufacture of domestic heat pumps will be outsourced to
the Far East to enable the company to concentrate on using
its Cornish manufacturing facilities for very large heat pumps
for use in schools and hospitals, where there is almost no
competition. It will help Kensa to maintain a competitive
advantage and concentrate on research and development, design,
project management and ongoing activities in the political
arena to encourage the government to pursue policies that
will make renewable energy more competitive. Kensa's Cornish
manufacturing capacity will continue to grow and the company
is currently seeking larger premises to enable further expansion
and job creation.
Links with engineering at sea led Mr Freeborn and technical
director Guy Cashmore to the geothermal energy world. While
developing sea water sourced heat pumps for yachts, they realised
the market potential for a similar heat pump which could be
adapted to convert heat sourced from the ground into a form
that could be distributed into a home.
Seven years ago the company installed the first UK designed
and built geothermal heat pumps and today it is the only UK
manufacturer of a full range of ground sourced heat pumps.
Kensa are the only manufacturing business based on renewable
energy in the whole South West and as a major player in the
renewable energy industry, also represents the UK on a European
Heat Pump Association project, currently testing heat pumps
with natural refrigerants.
Kensa's award winning heat pumps are used for heating buildings
of all sizes, including houses, offices, factories, hotels
and leisure complexes and suit almost any building which uses
under floor heating and which has some room to bury the ground
arrays. The heat pumps can reverse this process in summer,
cooling buildings by removing excess heat and dispersing the
excess heat back into the ground.
Looking to the future, the company employs nine in Cornwall
with more than 50 employed in association with Kensa Heat
Pumps across the rest of the UK. Kensa concentrate heavily
on product development and research and development. "The
Government Clear Skies grants of £1,200 that householders
can claim against our systems has stimulated massive interest
and is allowing us to expand and develop ever more efficient
methods of building heat pumps to keep up with the demand,"
added Mr Freeborn.
Geothermal heat pumps are under constant development and
refinement at Kensa, which claims that its products are not
only the most environmentally friendly way to heat a building,
but can also compare favourably with boilers on capital cost.
Kensa's research may hold the key to installing similar systems
in most of the UK's 23 million homes.
For further information please contact Lisa McGowan of the
Marketing-PR Company on 01566 771860 or email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall
and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Business Link Devon
and Cornwall through the European Regional Development Fund
(ERDF) and the European Agriculture Guidance and Guarantee
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439
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