East Midlands energy company defies recession as business grows

Intelligent Energy Solutions Ltd (IES), a fledgling business founded by a young engineer, has made a confident leap of faith by relocating to a larger office space and showroom on Hamilton Industrial Estate in Leicester.

IES, which was recently awarded the title of Energy Management Installer of the Year at the national Renewables Roadshow, is the brainchild of Peter Searancke, who having graduated from Nottingham University with an honours degree in engineering and coming from a construction background, identified a gap in the market for a renewable energy company that offered a comprehensive consultancy and installation service centered on bespoke solutions for domestic, commercial and public sector applications.

Unlike other specialist providers, IES focuses on the full range of renewable energy solutions including solar photovoltaic panels, solar thermal collectors, air and ground source heat pumps and rainwater harvesting systems. By not confining itself to one system, IES has positioned itself as a consultancy, offering bespoke solutions to clients’ requirements as opposed to a generic, ‘one size fits all’ approach. This, combined with the technical expertise and passion of its in-house design and installation teams, has been the pinnacle of the business’ success in its first three and half years of trading.

“From the very beginning I wanted IES to be different, and with renewable energy being a fairly new concept for consumers, I saw our role as advisory and educational, we are not sales people, we are technical engineers installing systems and providing solutions to help homes run more efficiently and economically, that is the ethos of the business,” explains Peter, “And because we have a technical background our range of products is extensive, innovative and reliable.”

By combating the ‘fit and forget’ culture that epitomises so many of its competitors, IES rapidly developed a loyal client base from both domestic and commercial sectors, resulting in the need for additional staff and office space. Since inception, the business has grown from one employee to 16, including four apprentices, and one depot in Loughborough to a new head office in Hamilton and two offices in Gloucestershire and Leeds.

Looking ahead, the next phase in the business development plan is to expand geographically, incorporating a franchise scheme and thereby providing other likeminded individuals with the opportunity of starting their own business secure in the knowledge that they will have expert back-up.

“To date, we have helped over 300 families towards a greener, more cost effective future. Looking globally, we must address how people heat their homes, because gas and oil is not a long term solution, that’s why informed, technical advice is important, especially with all the incentives the government and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) are considering,” Peter said. “I am sure this is one of the reasons our business is growing, we’re not just a sales company, we want long term relationships with our customers that will help us continue to bring the renewable energy sector from the margins to the mainstream,” he concluded.