Now just entering their seventh year of business, Professional Energy Purchasing have a customer base whose loyalty is unmatched. unLTD’s Sasha Mossman spoke to managing director and owner Linda Spencer to find out more
Tell me a bit about the business.
Professional Energy Purchasing are a local independent energy consultancy supporting commercial businesses.
We provide a procurement service for the purchase of gas, electricity and water contracts, and we also provide our customers with energy management which helps businesses to save money through monitoring and managing energy use more efficiently. The management of energy is often neglected, even though there is considerable potential to save energy and reduce costs.
I started PEP in January 2013 – so we’ve just celebrated our seven-year anniversary! I decided to branch out on my own after working in sales and marketing for over 30 years and working my way up to an executive level.
How has it developed over the years?
The company now has a portfolio of more than 300 companies who we provide our services for. We have been self-financing since we started up and we are operating with a good capital growth each year.
We now employ seven staff, who have helped the company to grow with the different roles and responsibilities which each member of the team is expert in. We were originally based in an office in Ecclesfield and moved to Thorncliffe Park in April 2017. We then again moved to bigger offices in the same building in 2018, as we needed a separate meeting room and to accommodate more staff for the future.
We now have increased the services we offer to include energy efficiency audits, management reporting, site works, bill validation and working with associates to deliver energy savings products. We have also recently employed a new member of the team to develop new products and deliver Energy Management and Risk Strategies for our customers.
What particular projects, products, or services have been particularly successful?
First and foremost, I’m proud of the fact we’ve never needed any financial investment – it’s been solely provided by us. As time goes on, we’re now able to put 100 percent more of our products and services out there.
We support local business by using their services wherever possible and we support local charities so that we can give back to the community.
We are the preferred supplier for Sheffield Chamber of Commerce & Barnsley & Rotherham as the Chambers Energy provider for their members. We are also Friends of The Cutlers in Hallamshire. We have advised customers on Climate Change Levy relief, where we have saved them over £100,000 in refunds claimed back for customers who have overpaid CCL tax.
What are the key milestone achievements in recent years?
Growing the business financially was a major milestone – the first year I worked unpaid, so from the second year onwards profit began to grow and everything snowballed from there. Our milestones are mainly target-driven, as that way we can see our growth.
In 2017 we won the Sheffield Business Awards for Professional Services and in 2018 we were shortlisted. We are looking to enter more in 2020.
We are members of the Energy Institute, ICO Certificate of registration and DPS registered with Delta eSourcing OJEU compliance. In February 2019 we achieved IS9001:2015 accreditation Certificate No: GBO1553. We feel that working towards good standards helps to show our customers the commitment we provide to offer quality services.
What sort of feedback do you get from staff about the company culture and workplace environment?
We’re an open plan office and we have a friendly environment – I get some amazing staff feedback too. We have lots of meetings so we’re all open to discuss whatever anyone needs to – we regularly get together to ensure we’re all on the same page. I like everyone to be able to put forward their ideas and have equal input into the company.
We believe in training our staff well and provide bespoke training tailored to our specific market, as what we do is very industry regulated. In place we have development reviews which is outsourced with regular feedback.
What are your plans for the future to drive further success?
We have always updated our customers with industry knowledge and now we can do this more efficiently through the launch of our newly development user-friendly website. We are looking to increase our social media presence with informative information to support our presence in the market.
We hope to continually develop our customer base each year. In order to support that growth, we are developing a retention programme and are investing in systematisation software products for a new bespoke CRM system and bespoke Management system, with the support of individual expert team members.
On a personal note I would like to say thank you to the team and all our customers.
Joining the team at Professional Energy Purchasing in 2016, Kayleigh Thompson is often the first point of contact for complex and detailed enquiries. Having achieved a Level 1 qualification in Energy Management, Kayleigh often finds that her role is to translate the intricacies of a volatile worldwide market into a very simple message to their clients – that effective planning will reduce their costs.
Kayleigh told unLTD “Understanding a business and their activity is really important to me and getting to know the people is a really enjoyable part of my role. Ultimately, my job is to make savings for businesses, and that’s a really rewarding journey for me. Recently, I was able to save a customer nearly £30,000 by procuring their energy at a time when the market was very low.”