Sustainable Success for Dundee Energy Company

A Dundee sustainable energy company, which launched with two employees, one van and a tiny office in 2012, is settling into new premises with its team of over 40 staff and a turnover of £1.1M.

Callum Milne

Callum Milne

Sustainable Energy Scotland (SES) has moved to Wester Gourdie Industrial Estate after outgrowing its former base at Bridgefoot and, prior to that, its start-up premises within Business Gateway at City Quay.

Launched in March 2012, SES was created to deliver energy efficiency to ordinary people and organisations, with a passion for ending fuel poverty and making Scotland a more energy efficient nation.

Now, as authorised Green Deal assessors and installers, they can access funding for customers for a huge range of energy efficiency projects, counting Abertay, Hilllcrest and Fairfield housing associations amongst their clients.

They also work with private landlords and individuals seeking more sustainable and, in some cases, more aspirational energy solutions, providing and installing infrared heating to homes throughout Scotland and, more recently, supplying the technical support and design for infrared products within a flagship five-star hotel.

Working primarily throughout Tayside, Angus, Perthshire and Fife, but with plans to expand into the North East and the Highlands and Islands, the company puts its energy into optimising domestic, retail and commercial energy efficiency.

The company was formed by Callum Milne, Managing Director and his brother-in-law David Small, Technical Director.

Callum said, “David and I started the business with just one van, knocking on doors, climbing up ladders and installing the systems ourselves. Within three months, we had outgrown our Business Gateway premises and, two months after that, we had grown into a team of 19.”

Significant changes in the industry followed shortly after, with the Government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) being replaced by ECO and Green Deal. As a result, 2013 brought many challenges with significant investment required to gain staff accreditation to deal with these initiatives. However, the hard work paid off with the company breaking new ground in the UK, signing off their first ECO deal for hard-to-treat internal wall insulation for Abertay Housing Association’s Dryburgh Gardens site last Summer.

Now account managed by Scottish Enterprise, growth has been rapid, with SES now employing almost 40 local staff, split between technical surveyors, green deal advisors, energy assessors, insulation technicians and administrative staff. SES also recently welcomed Jim Meechan, Operations Director and Graham Anderson, Senior Quantity Surveyor.

As well as the obvious hard work, dedication and commitment involved, the growth of SES has been supported by Business Gateway, who saw the company’s potential from the outset.

Callum continued, “The support we have had from Business Gateway has been invaluable – enabling us in our first year of trading to exceed our business growth plans by 300%, move to bigger premises, take on more staff, and make a big impact on energy efficiency and energy costs for our customers. Their initial Growth Pipeline plan helped with advice and funding applications and we are now firmly focused on moving forward, with increased growth, greater employment and expansion in our sights.”

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