New grant funding awarded

Mike Andrews, February 2021

We are delighted to be able to report that The C.H.E.E.S.E. Project has just been awarded a substantial grant to permit expansion of the project and the establishing of a new company to social-franchise the Energy Tracers survey system. The details of the grant and funder are at present confidential, but will be disclosed in due course.

The grant has been awarded for C.H.E.E.S.E. to develop until it is financially sustainable without further grants, thus to become a model franchisee. The new parent company will be for profit and limited by shares but its will be operated firmly as a social enterprise with charitable aims. To make this concrete, we aim to make it a B-Corporation (analagous to Fair Trade).

On establishing the new company, and provided we hit certain milestones by the end of June, our funders will provide further substantial funding over three years to develop the parent company and its franchising model. By then we anticipate that several replica franchisees will be operating and that we will be able to raise investment for further expansion.

The grants will be sufficient to employ:

These posts will be advertised shortly.

In the meantime, during lockdown, the Board have been busy developing the business model, including a new Heatview camera, blower door, on-line survey management system and revised training course.

Thanks to the help of our members, staff, volunteers and friends, our success together has led to this wonderful opportunity. Together we can look forward to making a real difference to carbon emissions and fuel poverty. The potential for expansion is enormous if we can get it right.

At present, we hope to be carrying out a few surveys on empty properties during the next few months. Brian Harper is also experimenting with warm-weather surveys to extend the survey season. We hope that it will be possible to train more Energy Tracers in October, and start surveying in the Autumn - this will depend on government regulations, and our own precautions for Covid.