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Passionately Frustrated

15 May 2017

Written by Giles Hankinson (CEO, UA Energy)

When we've exhausted house prices, schools, the weather, politics and other such topics of global importance, I often find myself talking to my friends about not for profit organisations. Honestly, I do. And I still remain regularly surprised. Not, as you may think, about how this becomes a topic of conversation at all, but rather about their assumptions and attitudes to the principle.

The cry is often heard that the people running the organisations aren't in the business of running a proper business. After all, they have no need to watch the profits. After my now customary outburst of incredulity dies down, I remind them that profit and efficiency are the very things that these organisations must watch like a hawk watches its next meal. Becoming more efficient to these types of businesses means they can reinvest any savings they make into providing better outcomes for the people they support. Money saved sensibly in one place is a chance to do some good in another.

I guess my incredulity extends to frustration because I'm incredibly passionate about what my business does. Passionate that we help organisations get the very best energy prices. Passionate that this allows them to "pass it on", often to people who need it most. And passionate that I have a job that lets me keep my conscience in a good place.

This passion extends to our regular support of the organisations we help. We're delighted, for example, to be sponsoring the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations' Annual Conference. It's us giving back, just like they do.

One final thought I'd like to share is on regulation. You probably won't be surprised to hear it's something I'm both passionate and frustrated about. There's a running theme here. The need for our own industry has never been more apparent. The big six firms don’t seem too keen, worried no doubt about their erosion of profits. Yet regulation would bring a far fairer playing field for all and, ultimately, financial benefit to thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of people who need it. That's certainly something worth fighting for.

This blog is the first in a number of ones coming soon. We want to show the importance of what we do and how it makes a real difference to so many worthwhile and socially important organisations.

We think it's a great story and worth sharing. We hope you do too.

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