A West Lothian-based company is predicting Scotland is in line for major jobs boost after becoming one of the first companies to secure business through a new Government-led home eco-improvement drive.
Direct Savings, specialists in home energy efficiency, has secured a multi-million pound partnership to deliver various home improvements to help households cut heating bills.
It is expected that Direct Savings will need to recruit at least 100 people as the surge in homeowners wanting the energy-saving work increases.
And such is demand that the firm is now desperate for 20 boiler fitters to join the team immediately to keep up orders.
It is being predicted that the energy efficiency sector – driven by massive cash injections by the big energy providers who need to meet tough carbon savings figures – is set to become a prime focus for job opportunities in the future.
Edward Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said he believes developments in the sector will empower SMEs to enter and expand the growing energy efficiency market, providing key innovation and the creation of new jobs at local and national level.
The jobs drive is fuelled by the Government’s Green Deal and ECO schemes which are designed to reduce the UK’s energy consumption and to support people living in fuel poverty. Through ECO in particular, householders on low income or benefits will be able to qualify for loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or boiler replacements – all provided free of charge through a staggering £1.6bn annual funding provided by the big energy providers.
Direct Savings have entered a partnership with Essex-based Climate Energy – the UK’s leading independent provider of energy efficiency services – which potentially see 12,400 loft insulations, 1800 cavity wall insulations and 1800 boiler replacements carried out under the ECO scheme by the company over the next 12 months.
The initial ECO contract is worth around £12m but Direct Savings believes there is massive potential for further partnership work with Climate Energy in the coming months which could see further programmes of work easily topping £70m.
Direct Savings Managing Director Ged Smith said he is delighted that the eco-boom is set to create so many jobs.
He said: “It’s just fantastic to see so many new jobs being created thanks to the eco-drive. This really is a time for people looking for work to look very closely at the opportunities in the energy efficiency sector.
“The green sector is growing rapidly and the need for more staff is increasing alongside. We want passionate, hard-working individuals that can be part of this push and ultimately save homeowners money and reduce carbon emissions.
“We are creating jobs in a sector that has so much to offer and in terms of its future, is very exciting and more importantly, secure.”
However, business was not always booming for the energy specialists who suffered badly when the insulation industry collapsed at the start of the year – bringing the company to the brink of closure.
Instead of closing its doors, Direct Savings chose to keep going and decided to invest £1.5million in training and credentials to get the business back on its feet and to begin working to service the new eco-schemes.
Ged added: “We took a big risk to invest in the promised new future when the future looked very dark. However, the business has now completely turned around and it is all looking very positive.
“Now we’re just looking forward to welcoming many new faces to our team and watching the green sector grow.”
One key example of the gamble taken by Direct Savings was the decision to effectively have 30 staff on full time training as Green Deal Assessors for six months, but the decision means the firm has the properly trained personnel to process the assessments for the Climate Energy ECO work.
Direct Savings, which was launched in the back of a garden shed of Ged and wife Eileen Smith in 2010, operates out of four bases – its head office in Livingston, Peterhead, Milton Keynes and Bradford.
The company has a sister business Direct Savings Heating, based in Perth, which has specialised in developing its Infranomic Far Infrared heating products. The heating panels have been installed in hundreds of properties across Scotland, and have been hailed as the next generation of domestic heating.
Sustainability and climate change consultancy experts, VercoGlobal, who conducted an independent study to determine the benefits of Infranomics, reported the panels use a minimum of 41% less kWh to heat a room to the same temperature in comparison with electric storage heaters.
For more information on Direct Savings’ visit: http://www.directsavings-heating.co.uk