Most readers will be more familiar with us rambling about the world of sustainability at large on here, but sometimes we have to update people of what the Energy Saving Trust as an organisation is up to.
And big news on that front is afoot. We’re currently a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, but soon, should all the i’s are dotted and t’s be crossed, we’ll be becoming a social enterprise, and will seek charitable status.
It would take a fair bit of digging head into sand to realise change has been on the horizon in the green economy for a while now. Big progress needs to be made fast in tackling the energy efficiency of the housing stock and changing the way we generate our energy.
At the same time the UK’s purse is tight – another point it doesn’t take a genius to observe. Hence the changes we see have to be done efficiently and at the best value. So our move is driven by the opportunities presented by Green Deal with the resulting shift of delivery away from the public sector to the commercial sector.
More from our CEO Philip Sellwood:
“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.
“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. 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 3000 products.”
But no need to panic, we’ll be sticking to our principles; remaining an impartial voice on all the detail involved in making our homes warmer and cheaper and our lifestyles more sustainable. We’ll naturally only take on projects that support our mission of cutting domestic carbon emissions and helping reduce householders’ fuel bills, and we’re not going to suddenly be seen about town in electric sports cars or sipping the sustainable champagne of Mr Perignon. All profit will be invested straight back into the business.
Speaking of business, we’ve won some exciting new work: a three year £8m initiative to retrofit social housing in the South West, funded by the European Regional Development Fund is the latest, following our involvement with the five year £110m New fuel poverty scheme in Wales (NEST), in partnership with British Gas, two three year schemes (£100m each) with Birmingham and Newcastle local authorities to deliver large-scale eco retro-fits, and an 18 month £9m insulation program in Hampshire, amongst other projects.
Cutting carbon and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels needs everyone to do their bit, and like any sensible enterprise, we are seeking further investment in our trading arm from social entrepreneurs and business leaders who our values and vision.