A new call centre launched just a month ago by a leading energy broker is already seeking more staff.
The call centre is part of a five-year contract won by Orchard Energy’s sister company, Providor, to provide smart meter telesales services for one of the Big Six energy companies. Orchard Energy and Providor are both part of the Lakehouse Group.
In its first month, the call centre has exceeded its appointment booking target by 17% and smashed its target of securing 85% capacity of engineers’ time – instead scheduling 95% of its capacity.
The centre created 30 local jobs when it launched last month and expects to double that to 60 to accommodate the growing interest nationwide in smart meters in the home.
Demand for energy-saving smart meters is rising in response to a new government legislation which aims to fit 53m digital gas and electricity meters in 30m households and business premises across Wales, Scotland and England by 2020. There have already been 3.6m installations in Great Britain so far.
Smart meters allow consumers and smaller businesses to monitor their gas and electricity more closely and help them understand their bills and what it is costing them.
Orchard Energy operations director said Colette Costello said: “The success of the call centre in its first month is phenomenal. Despite it being a new team, working with new systems and techniques, all staff have exceeded our expectations.
“Consumers are becoming more savvy when it comes to their energy consumption and how they can save money and smart meters are being seen as a logical solution to monitor that, which is why take-up is so high for appointments following our calls.”
Orchard Energy’s call centre is open from 8am until 10pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 6pm on Saturdays.
Orchard said the centre operated flexible hours and shift work, making it suitable for jobhunters ranging from students to stay at home parents looking for a few hours’ work a week.