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I was wondering if you can answer my questions.
I have been working in the loft and wall insulation related work for a number of years.
Just last month My self along with 40 other workers were made redundant due to cut backs on the funding. the company which I wont name can't really be justified to why we was made redundant, since there is allot of E.U. funding out there for government grants relating to makings British homes more energy efficient.
What I have decided to do along with few other workers who were also made redundant, is to start up our own company, doing loft, wall insulation and draft proofing windows.
However we are hitting a brick wall with this, we just don't know how to apply for grants for people to have the work done for free.
I would be greatful if you could help us by letting us know how does this work. Do we go out to a property assess what needs doing and then the bill to the E.U and then do the work.
Or do we do the work and then bill the E.U.
Any information would be greatful such as any telephone numbers of people we can contact to find out how this grant system works.
Thanking you in advance
I think that you will find that this type of government grant funded work is administered by 'approved companies', like British Gas, Eon, Marks Group etc, who then in turn sub-contract some of the work to third party companies.
It would not be just a case of a few people buying a van, then thinking that they would be able to start this type of business. There would be certain criterias to meet, including the necessary paperwork and marketing.
Perhaps as a suggestion, you could contact your local MP or MEP, and see if they could offer any help or advice.
First the pessimistic view: the reason you have been made unemployed is because your former bosses understand the market more than you do, and they had good reason to let you go. The very questions you have asked could go a long way to demonstrate this.
Next the more optimistic view: Grants are available from a number of sources for insulaton and energy efficieny improvements. For example, energy companies run a 'private' scheme whereby they will fund loft insulation for low income households. You will need to contact the purchase contract managers to get details on this. You'll need to be added onto their 'approved supplier' list (or equivelant) to stand any chance of getting work from them. The billing of grant money is then up to your business to administer.
There is a government funded Warmfront scheme for energy efficiency changes for households. As has been suggested earlier, contacting your MP would be a good way to start finding out what needs to be done to be considered for being used as a contract company for this. Same as above applies - you get given the work by Warmfront. You bill Warmfront. Grants don;t come into it for you.
I don't really know, but I can't see it being a high margin business working on grant schemes. Private and commercial business is likely to be far more profitable.
I believe that most insulation companies are actually in partnership with 1 or more energy companies. The energy companies have to meet their carbon emission reduction target (CERT), therefore what i think normally happens is basically the insulation company basically goes out surveys a property, sees what needs to be done, the insulation company will normally offer a set price to the customer ie £150, then after the work has been complete the insulation company then invoices the energy company for the difference between the cost to the customer and the actual cost of the job (which is normally alot more than the customer paid) plus your cut.
Therefore my advise would be to get in contact with the energy companies but to be honest i think that you might struggle as everyone is offering these grants from, big insulation companies, small ones, local councils and hardware shops like b and q and i think as a start up business you might struggle to compete on price, for instance where i live (nottingham) there is a scheme called nottingham warmzone which is funded by the local council, scottish and southern energy and the Nottingham NHS PCT, the price they offer insulation for £49 or free for anyone over 65 or on benefits. I also know there are plenty of similar schmes throughout the country offering similar prices.
Another route to get into this business is to see if there is anything like a warmzone near where you are based and see if there is anyway you can become one of their insulation companies.
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