Energy switching service helps boost charities
Published: 3 September 2019 - Carly Wills
A national energy and telecoms switching consultancy has helped businesses to save over £80,000 on their energy bills and reinvested £16,000 in grants to their charity customers, thanks to its innovative concept.
SwitchAid, based in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, is a not-for-profit social enterprise which helps businesses and homes divert cash to the third sector which they might normally pay as commission to brokers or comparison websites.
The scheme gives back over 65 per cent of its profits to the local community and has already unlocked over £100,000. The founders decided to set the businesses up in a way that would require them to give back to their community.
SwitchAid.org director, Dom Ryan, said: “Our whole ethos is to generate revenue that can be redirected into the local community, cash that would normally be lost to energy and telecoms companies and consultants who keep the hefty commissions.
“As a business we choose to put our profits into good causes; as we are a registered Community Interest Company, the percentage of our profits we do this with has to be 65 per cent 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."
One organisation that has benefited from the scheme is charity YMCA North Tyneside, which has saved almost £24,000 and is set to receive a grant of over £680.The substantial cash windfall and energy savings will help its future sustainability and the delivery of vital services to young people and their families in the region.
The REfUSE Café in Chester-Le-Street, Co Durham – which turns waste food into healthy meals – also signed up and is looking to receive a boost from the grants. REfUSE Café is part of the UK-wide The Real Junk Food Project, a network of organisations challenging surplus levels of food waste, operating on a ‘Pay As You Feel Basis’ and is entirely run by volunteers.