The Energy Saving Trust is set to become a social enterprise and will seek charitable status.
The move comes as the government’s Green Deal programme has provided the impetus for the private sector to drive eco friendly energy initiatives to homes, businesses and community spaces.
Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said the organisation had been planning for change for some time, due to the imminent cutting of grants from the Department of Energy and Climate Change:
“Reduction in public subsidy has come as absolutely no surprise which is why we have been planning for change. Even after the reduction in funding from DECC, our revenue will still be 75 per cent of previous levels. We are ideally placed to continue in our success of winning long-term contracts post 2012 when our DECC grant funding ceases.”
Continuing to promote green power
The move means the Energy Saving Trust will still be able to continue its important work promoting green power. The Trust’s new status will mean it will be able to bid for new government and private sector contracts and continue to provide leading energy saving expertise.
“In terms of our delivery for the public sector in England, DECC have clearly stated that the functions required to support the Green Deal Programme will be put out to competitive tender,” said Sellwood. “We are confident that our market-leading position as the go-to body for independent and trusted advice, make us well placed to secure ongoing contracts from the public sector both centrally and regionally.”
Major eco improvements
It has already been commissioned by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund to deliver a three-year £8m project to provide eco improvements to homes in south west England.
Other important projects the Energy Saving Trust will be working on include:
- the five-year £110m Welsh new fuel poverty scheme, working in partnership with British Gas
- initiatives for eco fitting homes in Birmingham and Newcastle worth £100m each
- energy conservation advice for Southern Water, Bristol Water, South West Water and Yorkshire Water
- testing new air source heat pumps with a major multinational organisation
- a £9m project to insulate homes in Hampshire
Well placed to thrive in the future
It shows that the Trust is already successfully working with private enterprise and is well placed to thrive under its new status away from central government funding.
The Energy Saving Trust’s organisational shake-up will see the creation of a new charitable parent company plus a wholly owned trading subsidiary. It will also retain its current status so it can continue managing existing government-funded activity.
Its new trading arm is set to attract investment from social entrepreneurs and environmentally minded business leaders, and should provide plenty more positive benefits for UK householders.
New projects to support core energy-saving mission
The Trust has already pledged that it will only take on projects supporting its core mission of cutting home carbon emissions and reducing householders’ fuel bills in the process. All profits will go back into the business helping it grow further, and the popular Energy Saving Trust Recommended scheme will also be continued, good news for UK consumers.
“With Green Deal on the horizon the private sector will have a huge role to play, and we have modified the way we work to reflect this by providing quality assurance for goods, services and installers,” added Sellwood.
“We continue our work on the most ambitious portfolio of technology field trials in the UK. Our Energy Saving Trust Recommended scheme goes from strength to strength, with 245 members across manufacturers, suppliers and retailers, and the logo on more than 3,000 products.”
With the government firmly committed to the private sector leading on green energy, the Trust’s move means it will be best placed to grasp the new opportunities this presents and deliver meaningful benefits to householders.