Energy efficiency specialists aim to double workforce with innovative solar panel model
A firm of Houghton-le-Spring energy efficiency specialists say they are on track to double their workforce and reach and eight-fold increase in turnover, over the next 12 months.
Evolve Business Centre-based The Energy Experts, who specialise in solar PV and home insulation products, are implemented a new business model aimed at driving orders.
The two year-old firm currently has 19 staff and an annual turnover of £4 million, and now plan to use investors to fund the cost of solar panels for homeowners. The investors will then receive Feed in Tariff payments from the Government.
Business development manager, David Murray, started The Energy Experts with Alex Kurek after they previously ran a lead-generating alternative energy company.
They received financial backing from Sunderland Enterprise Park-based Captus Pronet and are now at the start of a major growth trajectory.
David said: “There is now a viable opportunity to make around £15k back over 20 years with the Feed in Tariff from an investment of less than £6,000.
“Typically with an ISA, you get a 2% return so this is much more interesting to investors because you are guaranteed money at that rate, index-linked and tax free for 20 years.
“It means we can effectively offer people free solar panels. They are paid for by the investors and the users get the electricity generated while the FIT goes to the investors for 20 years
“It’s an interesting proposition for the investors for 20 years and a good opportunity for the public to get solar panels on their roof and save on their energy bills.“
The Energy Experts received up to 100 enquiries a day when it ran a radio advertising campaign for the scheme featuring actor Brian Blessed. It is also planning to offer finance itself for people whose homes do not meet the criteria for the free solar panels.
The company received advice and support from Sunderland City Council and is continuing to explore what assistance is available from the City Council’s business investment team.
David added: “Sunderland City Council’s business investment team has been great. We are looking to expand our offices and they are now also advising us on that. We plan to stay put as we grow and keep the jobs in Sunderland.”
Sunderland City Council deputy leader, Councillor Harry Trueman, said: “The Energy Experts has a solid plan for growth and job creation and this is just the kind of business we are keen to support.
“This is an ambitious company, which is benefiting the wider Sunderland and regional economy. We would encourage other businesses with big plans to get in touch to find out how the City Council can help them to achieve their goals.”
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .
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