Thirty jobs have been created with the opening of a new call centre in Elland.

And Orchard Energy, which acts as an energy broker for business clients, expects to recruit more staff to create a 60-strong contact centre team over the next five years as it takes a major step into the domestic market.

Orchard Energy has been undergoing a series of changes following its acquisition last year by Romford-based Lakehouse, an asset and energy support services group.

Its new sister company, Providor, recently won a five-year contract with one of the big six energy companies to provide smart meter services.

Now Orchard Energy will deliver the UK-wide smart meter telesales services from its new call centre based at its existing headquarters, Orchard House.

The call centre will be open six days a week and will support government legislation which will see all homes installed with smart meters by 2020. Orchard’s remit will be to contact customers and arrange for an engineer to come and install smart meters in their homes.

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As part of the changes, Nigel Sutcliffe, who has worked for the firm in bureau services, and senior key account manager Laura Robinson have been promoted to team leaders of the new call centre.

Helen Ekuase – who recently joined Orchard Energy to help establish the new centre and has experience in telesales, customer service and contact centre management – has been appointed contact centre manager.

Gareth Henderson, of Orchard Energy in Elland
Gareth Henderson, of Orchard Energy in Elland

Orchard Energy managing director Gareth Henderson said: “This is a big move for Orchard Energy as we take a step into the domestic market, which has always been part of our long-term expansion plans.

“We have a strong track record in telesales and to be able to establish the new call centre at our head office will enable us to showcase our telesales expertise as well as cross-sell our other products to a wider audience.

“It’s an exciting project and we are proud to be able to create more jobs for the local community as well as contribute to the government’s roll-out of smart meters across the domestic market, which will ultimately help homes across the UK save money on their energy.”

Orchard Energy, which also has offices in Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle, Bristol and Northampton, specialises in energy purchasing, bureau services, energy solutions and water management for business across the UK.

Clients have included the Millennium Stadium at Cardiff, Sheffield-based wire products manufacturer Gripple Ltd, kitchen manufacturer Omega PLC and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.