A Hull company which helps businesses reduce their energy bills has secured significant backing to help it scale up to meet escalating demand.
Spiralling costs have seen River Business Services Group called upon at an unprecedented rate, with the 10-strong team set to grow to 16 to handle the increasing trade.
Launched five years ago by brothers Ashley and Guy Hunter, it provides gas and electricity contracts and telecoms services from a range of suppliers, and helps companies to compare rates to find the cheapest deal. It also conducts energy audits and offers expert advice on how to reduce energy usage, as well as installing renewables such as solar panels.
The pair were previously behind Nexus Hull Telecoms, exiting as part of a national buy-out of the company in 2016.
Guy said: “The rising cost of energy is not only painful for consumers, it is also having a major impact on businesses. With short-term government support now on the table for businesses, it’s crucial to maximise the benefit and fix in rates for budget certainty. We help them get the best possible deal in a volatile market, as well as monitoring their usage and finding other ways to cut carbon and costs.
“That might include anything from switching to LED light bulbs and installing solar panels to rearranging shift patterns so they are using energy at the cheapest times of day. We have seen a big increase in demand for our services in recent months and the funding will enable us to increase the size of our team and take on new clients.”
Trading under River Energy & Renewables and River Telecommunications from The Bloc, Anlaby, it has secured a £150,000 loan from Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, which is managed by Mercia Debt Finance and supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
Rebecca Pickering, investment manager at Mercia, said: “Energy is at the top of the business agenda right now. Tackling rising energy bills will be key to the survival of many companies while at the same time consumers and shareholders are demanding companies reduce their carbon footprint. “River Business Services helps businesses to tackle these challenges and the funding will enable it to extend its support to many more companies.”
Sean Hutchinson at British Business Bank, the orgnisation behind the investment fund, said: “NPIF’s impact on businesses has been wide-ranging, providing funding to new staff hires, breaking into new markets and even acquiring new facilities. We are pleased this loan will help River business Services strengthen its team, and go on to support more customers to reduce energy use and cut carbon. This investment demonstrates how funding can make a measurable difference to businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region.”
Andy Jewitt from Specialist Finance Solutions provided fundraising advice to River Business Services.