The entrepreneurs running fast growth companies can emerge from many different walks of life and this year’s No1 company is no exception. In 2010, Anesco was spun out from Scottish & Southern Energy by executive board director Adrian Pike, 46, and Tim Payne, 50, who was managing director of SSE’s contracting division. Between them the pair had 45 years’ service at the utility under their belts. Anesco advises homeowners, businesses, such as Whitbread and the Bodyshop, and local authorities on renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services. It then provides equipment and financing and secures maintenance contracts. Its markets include insulation, solar energy and biomass schemes. It also sells remote energy efficiency monitoring services that use its bespoke software. The majority of revenues come from domestic and commercial solar installation, energy efficiency measures for homeowners, and ground-mounted solar panels – it installed and maintains one of Britain’s largest solar farms, in the New Forest, which can generate enough electricity to power 1,000 homes. Anesco also benefits from home insulation work for energy companies under the Energy Companies Obligation, a green levy that was scaled back by the government last week to cut energy bills. Anesco first featured in the Fast Track 100 last year, ranked No19, and this time saw sales grow by 267% a year over three years to £55.1m. It is forecasting sales of £108m by 2014. Pike and Payne anticipated the rapid growth and recruited a management team that could handle the increase in scale and complexity. They were able to invest and over-staff, partly because they had a £3m cash fund from SSE Ventures, which initially held a 40% stake, and a further £3m from Zouk Capital. The Reading business works with investors to help finance new renewable energy installations. In return, investors earn regular income from the electricity generated, from a share of energy savings and government incentives. In September, SEP and Hermes acquired Zouk’s stake for an undisclosed amount, in a deal that also enabled the founders to cash in some of their shares. With plans to curb energy bills and carbon emissions high on the political agenda, things look bright for Anesco.
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