Rutherglen and Cambuslang residents are in pole position to take 150 new jobs.
Home Energy and Lifestyle Management Systems, based on Cambuslang Road in the Cambuslang Investment Park, have revealed to the Reformer that they are creating the posts, after being awarded Green Deal Provider status by the Government.
The Green Deal allows people to make energy-saving improvements to their home or business without having to pay all the costs up front through the Green Deal, with improvements including loft or cavity wall insulation, heating, draught proofing, double glazing and renewable energy technologies.
And HELMs- formerly PV Solar - have already started their recruitment plans, taking on people who attended recent job fairs in Rutherglen and Cambuslang.
HELMs director Doug Wilkie said: “We are the first company in Scotland to be awarded Green Deal Provider status.
“The Green Deal is a finance mechanism that will allow people to have energy saving measures installed in their house, with no up-front cost to the occupant, but they must be a home owner.
“How it is works is, the money is put back from the difference between their existing energy bill and what their energy bill would be with the new measures installed.
“There’s no up-front cost involved. It’s not means-tested. So irrespective of who you are, you can get the Green Deal measures put in your house.
“The most obvious things are a condensing gas boiler or insulation - there are 45 potential Green Deal measures you can have and the whole object is to reduce carbon emissions and save energy.”
HELMs are one of a handful of firms to have been awarded the status, but they are delighted to be alongside Eon Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy - who are based in London .
Doug said: “We’ve already started recruiting staff – we attended the recent careers’ fairs run in Cambuslang and Rutherglen – and we’ve found some staff from there.
“By the middle of next month, we hope to have 20 GDAs - Green Deal Advisors - in place, using Government-prescribed software to analyse houses. They will do an EPC - an Energy Performance Certificate - on the house, create an occupancy profile, and feed in all this information, which will then recommend the best measures for energy reduction.
“This is the largest home improvement strategy since the Second World War. It’s going to create hundreds of jobs - thousands of jobs - getting people to work and it really won’t cost anybody anything. The Green Deal comes with an in-built golden rule - it must pay for itself over its lifetime.”
With extra staff being employed by the firm - which is located just across the old Orion Bridge in Cambuslang - they are preparing to expand their premises.
Doug said: “As a company, we’re doubling the size of our premises, adding another 9000 square feet, and we’re looking to employ at least another 150 full time jobs.
“We want to bring in local people - we’re positioned very close to Morrison’s in Cambuslang, which is just a short walk over the bridge, so we’re helping bring money into the local economy with our workforce shopping there.
“We’ve already got about 100 people here in Cambuslang, and we would like to become one of the biggest employers in the area -
“We started out as PV Solar UK in Hamilton, before moving to Cambuslang, and now have offices in Swindon and Cambridge.
“As a base strategy, we were a one-trick pony, unfortunately held to the vagueries of the Government changing the feed-in tariff which left the business in a vulnerable position, so to strengthen the base we saw the Green Deal as an opportunity to grow the business. That’s why we set up the company.”
Cambuslang’s Labour MP Tom Greatrex, the Shadow Energy Minister, welcomed the fact that local people were set to benefit from the growth in green energy.
He said: “HELMs is an important local employer and I am pleased to see the company expanding. When I visited last year it was clear that this is a thriving local company, employing many young people and with a bright future. It is vitally important that the energy efficiency of homes and workplaces is improved throughout the whole of the UK.”