Burntisland family firm turns to green energy with new EV van

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A Burntisland family firm is going green and becoming more energy efficient after adding solar panels to its premises - and hitting the road in an electric vehicle.

Smart Electrical Contractors has even changed the red flash on its van to green to underl ine the changes in its bid to reduce its carbon footprint.

The business began over 35 years ago, and is now run by brothers Willie and Brian Smart, with its team working across Fife and Edinburgh.

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The move to an EV is the latest development - one described as “a big jump” by Brian, but one which is paying off for the Manse Lane based business as it works across Fife and Edinburgh.

Burntisland - Fife - 
 Smart Electrics - Willie & Brian Smart with EV, powered by the Solar panels on the roof of their workshop 
credit- Fife Photo AgencyBurntisland - Fife - 
 Smart Electrics - Willie & Brian Smart with EV, powered by the Solar panels on the roof of their workshop 
credit- Fife Photo Agency
Burntisland - Fife - Smart Electrics - Willie & Brian Smart with EV, powered by the Solar panels on the roof of their workshop credit- Fife Photo Agency

“We are out and about every day, and are 100% more energy efficient,” said Brian. “We have recently added solar panels to our premises which charge the van - our aim is to reduce our carbon footprint, and encourage customers to do the same and try to grow this side of our business in the process.

“We’ve put solar panels in our own place, and now what we generate charges the batteries for our van.”

The business has also gone through the lengthy process of becoming MCS approved contractors for installation of solar panels and battery storage.

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The Microgeneration Certification Scheme is a standards organisation - a mark of quality for which members have to demonstrates adherence to its recognised industry standards; highlighting quality, competency and compliance.

“If you are getting solar panels installed, it’s the only Government body that you should be looking at, and not one of the cowboy firms doing the work,” said Brian. “It is quite a process to go through for a small company like ours - a lot of paperwork and training, but we think it is worth it. It is hugely important to be part of it. Anyone getting solar panels should only use approved businesses.”

The business is currently working on the long-running development of Leslie House, near Glenrothes, which aims to turn the historic landmark into 28 flats has begun, with a further eight houses being built on the grounds. It is also working in Dunfermline.

“We’re kept busy with a lot of commercial work from alarms to CCTV,” added Brian.

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