Affordable Renewables is the vision of Richard Klimowicz, who after leaving school in 1980 took a short career in agricultural research which ended in 1982 when his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was Mike Klimowicz Senior’s wish that Richard would follow in the family plumbing and heating business he had set up in 1960. Working alongside his eldest brother who entered the profession in 1972, Richard soon found that his true ability was in the plumbing field rather than one of soil. Still on the tools even now, over the years, many different projects have been undertaken from the humble dripping tap to the latest heating systems and specialist bathrooms and wet rooms, from design to completion including building and electrical works.
It was clear to Richard that the end of cheap fossil fuels meant that people had to look elsewhere for alternative methods of heating and although qualified to fit solar water heating back in 2006, he never promoted it. It was also unfortunate that lack of regulation meant all the rogue traders started to sell and fit this with lies about savings you could make and delivering disgraceful workmanship. Thankfully, many of the less reputable companies have now vanished. But with the inception of the feed in tariffs in April 2010, everything changed. Suddenly, renewable heat and energy was cost effective and with the RHI in 2011 it can only improve. It was decided in March 2010 to look at viabilities and required qualifications to expand. But the decision was made to build a new, specialist company to work alongside the already successful Klimowicz & Sons Ltd to ensure staff members were of the highest quality in their field of work.
Richard Klimowicz; “I would say that the turning point for me was after attending a conference at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds in spring 2010. The conference was about ‘building with care’ (www.buildwithcare.eu), and in turn, the design and construction of low energy buildings. I originally only went to attend the workshops on heat pumps and ventilation but was absolutely amazed by the outright ‘common sense’ that the opening address of David Frost and David Daniels spoke of. Later in the day there was an address by Anders Linde from the Swedish Passivhuscentrum, who for me, put perfectly into words the problem with the British building industry. He said that in Sweden, we don’t just build houses, we create environments in which to live, be happy and healthy. In Britain it’s all about how many houses we can squeeze in to a particular area, how cheap we can build them and how large can we make the profit margin by sticking in a lavish bathroom or kitchen to distract from the many other problems. In Sweden it’s more about what you want from your environment. You construct a home that you want to be in and concentrate on comfort, running costs, design and environmental impact. The emphasis is on getting it right from the very beginning.
It was then that I decided it was time to follow what I passionately believed in. It was also important to my loving wife, Julie and I to give something back to the planet. It was then that we approached ‘Rainforest Rescue’. We highlighted what we wanted to do and the fact that we are 100% against bio fuels as we feel we should grow more essential food, not fuel as this creates more problems than it solves. After an exchange of emails, they allowed us to use their logo in the promotion of our new venture. Quite simply, the more successful this business becomes the more money we put into the conservation and rebuilding of the rainforest and saving the animals that reside there. Let’s hope our vision of the future is correct.’