Mears starts energy scheme

Marion Dakers
SOCIAL housing repairs company Mears has paired up with British Gas to work on carbon cutting schemes, the firm said yesterday, and is in talks to take over more of collapsed rival Connaught’s leftover contracts.

Mears said it will expand into energy saving for the 500,000 local authority-run homes under its care, enabling it to tap into government funds at a time of public sector cuts.

“It looks to be a strong partnership. As to what it might mean in terms of revenue or margins, we don't know. It feels as though this is a positioning move rather than a ‘we’re going to upgrade numbers’ move,” Panmure Gordon analyst Andy Brown said.

The firm will also make joint bids with British Gas for future social housing maintenance contracts.

Mears did not provide any financial figures for the deal, but said it would seek funding from the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, which the government estimates would stimulate about £3.2bn of investment by energy suppliers.

The deal will also target funding from the £350m Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP).

Mears chairman Bob Holt said on Monday that talks about adopting some of Connaught’s social housing contracts were ongoing and Mears was “very much on the look out” for acquisitions.

Shares in Mears climbed 3.4 per cent to 290p in yesterday’s trading.