A North East energy consultancy is giving back to the local community by paying out more than half of its profits to charities.
SwitchAid, based at Langley Moor, County Durham , helps UK businesses save money on their energy bills while at the same time allowing them to donate to their favourite charity.
The founders decided to set the businesses up in a way that would require them to give back to their community.
David Judge, co-founder, said: “As a business we choose to put our profits into to good causes; as we are a registered Community Interest Company the percentage of our profits we do this with has to be 65% or over.
“SwitchAid.org is specifically designed to support the local community, improve the sustainability of third sector organisations and offer an ethical option in the energy and telecoms sectors notorious for sharp business practices.
“Looking at it from a business point of view makes perfect sense.
“It’s proven that companies that support charities and their local communities benefit from improved sentiment from customers that bolsters reputation and indirectly differentiates them from their competitors, driving sales and making them a more appealing place to work.”
Childs Play Private Nursery is one organisation that has benefitted from the scheme, receiving £1,330 in grants while at the same time saving £700 on energy costs and £1,440 on mobile phone costs.
Ferryhill Sport and Education Centre also saved £14,473 while gaining £5,000 in grants from SwitchAid.
The REfUSE Café – which makes meals out of food waste – is also looking to benefit from the grants.
Nikki Dravers, a co-founder of REfUSE, said: “SwitchAid.org has been great, they contacted us last year at a time when we were in the middle of stressful building work trying to get the café ready to open and we were approached by various energy consultants who I felt were trying to hoodwink and exploit us.
“What SwitchAid has done is advise not sell, which has taken away all the worry about our energy supplier and we’ve recently received our first cash payment of over a £100 with the expectation that this is the first of many regular payments. This will potentially unlock hundreds of pounds on a regular basis and by supporting us in this way SwitchAid is contributing toward making our not-for-profit business model more sustainable.”