Lotus Electrical Turns 20 Years Old
We’ve reached a milestone here at Lotus Electrical Services Ltd. From humble beginnings, we’ve grown from a one man band to a team of 33 - and we’re still growing!
Having served his apprenticeship in Electrical Installation, Company Founder Greg Hutchings always had aspirations to keep learning, progress his career and create a successful business. In his early 30s, with his academic achievement and work experience, Greg returned to his native Dumfries and Galloway, And so Lotus Electrical Services Ltd was born.
“I actually started in 1997 as a freelance engineer working all over the UK, but don’t officially recognise this date as the real beginning of Lotus as we know it, as all I did at that stage was to offer my services to other large electrical contractors like ABB automation, Bechtel, and Elsac Bailey”.
Going for Growth
In the winter of 1999, Greg finally made the decision to start procuring and managing his own projects, which meant returning to his original training as an apprentice to focus on domestic work.
“Lotus Electrical’s first job was the rewiring of a local village hall, and from then on the work just kept coming in, and built up year on year. My industrial background stood us in good stead when the Galloway Hydro-electric Power Scheme approached us to price a contract for a large refurbishment. There’s a real shortage of electrical contractors with the type of experience required for that work so our relationship with the Galloway Hydro-electric Scheme grew and is still strong to this day”.
2006 was another memorable year in the Lotus Electrical journey. After a long selection process, Howie Sawmill in Dalbeattie (now BSW Timber Ltd) nominated Lotus to carry out the power and lighting package for their new sawmill line. Despite the challenge of providing the manpower to meet the demands of this high profile contract, the Lotus Electrical team rallied together and a resulting case study impressed the judging panel at the annual industry body SELECT Awards, and the Lotus team were delighted to win the category for Best Small Electrical Contract of the Year.
Industry Recognition with SELECT Awards
The publicity from the SELECT Award helped boost Lotus’s reputation even further and growth has been steady since - including Runner Up in Best Large Electrical Contractor and winner of Best Use of Training Award at SELECT Awards in 2018.
“We are now at a point where the highly technical commercial/industrial contracts fill more than 50% of our annual workload although we still care for our rural clients for domestic or agricultural projects.
“The team has grown from the days where it was just me and a friend with accounts experience who would come round every Thursday to help with invoices and admin. We survived like that for a couple of years until we employed our first full-time admin and accounts assistant, and before long we were employing two full-time electricians and one apprentice. We now have seven office staff over the accounts, project admin, general admin, electrical design and estimating plus dedicated contract managers.
We’re a close team at Lotus and many of the staff have been here for more than ten years. We support all our staff with training and excellent working conditions, and our Health and Safety record is far above the industry norm.
Outstanding Service from Design to Aftercare
One of Lotus’s longest-serving members of Staff is Stewart Crossan. Stewart has been with Lotus Electrical for more than seventeen years and is an integral part of the team. His adaptability allowed him to switch from project to project depending on the technical requirements. Lotus is very proud of all its staff and feel that that respect is reciprocated from them to the company. These values are passed on to the customer and great pride is taken in delivering outstanding service from design to aftercare.
Futureproofing for Success
Businesses don’t grow by standing still - keeping up with advances in technology in an ever-changing landscape is tough, but this is where Lotus Electrical have excelled.
“Futureproofing with technology has been a major factor in the business, and I’ve always been interested in all things electrical, so back in 2007 I read an article on Solar PV - and spotted an opportunity.”
A long approval process ensued:
“The Solar PV qualification process was long and arduous but worth it, and so far we have more than 250 Solar PV installations under our belt. Around the same time wind turbines came on the scene and as luck would have it, the large switchboards and controls they employ was something I was very experienced and comfortable with. Ongoing research allowed Lotus to bid for - and win - our first project. Since then we’ve connected 371 turbines all over the UK amounting to 1038MW of generation.
The expanding range of services doesn’t stop there:
“We also now provide 11KV private networks and all associated controls and monitoring, and most recently we’ve been approved as a smart chargepoint installer for electric vehicles by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), and have already bid for our first multipoint charging network installation”
It's always good to look back at old photos and recognise how we have grown! Thank you to everyone - staff and clients - who have supported us along the way. Here's to the next twenty years providing excellent customer service and high-quality work across the UK.