What is a CIC?
Warm Wales Cymru Gynnes established as a Community Interest Company in 2006 and its aim is to work with others to alleviate fuel poverty and to provide homes in Wales with affordable warmth. In doing so we aim to make a difference to the everyday lives of people in Wales by making their homes more energy efficient, healthy, comfortable, durable and affordable.
Community Interest Companies (CIC) are a type of limited company designed specifically for those wishing to operate for the benefit of the community rather than for the benefit of the owners of the company. This means that a CIC cannot be formed or used solely for the personal gain of a particular person, or group of people.
The case study below is taken from the government website on CICs:
An environmentally responsible CIC helping vulnerable people to escape fuel poverty and supporting community regeneration through training and job creation
When Warm Wales CEO Phil Roberts talks about the work his Community Interest Company does, something most of us take for granted – a heated home – has a whole new level of meaning. “It’s hard to believe but we’ve found children performing badly at school because they’re doing their homework in the living room in competition with the television,” he says, “because that’s the only warm room in the house.” Warm Wales has simple aims: to make sure homes in Wales have affordable warmth, while reducing the national carbon footprint. It does this by helping people connect to mains gas or renewable heating, insulate their homes and access any entitlements they might be missing. “We target vulnerable homes where budgets are tight and the rising cost of fuel increases the strain” says Phil.
Through its work, Warm Wales has a positive impact on the environment. At the same time, it needs to make sure that any technologies introduced are affordable. Warm Wales helps social landlords to meet their obligations towards improving housing stock and assists energy suppliers to meet their regulatory requirements to save carbon by improving energy efficiency. Warm Wales brings together those with the funding to invest and those with the expenses to meet, to deliver cost effective programmes of work using professional, technical and project management skills. As a result, recipients can heat their homes properly, meaning less illness, fewer and shorter hospital visits, better educational attainment and more employment. Warm Wales uses its business surpluses to discount costs and offer additional services to those who fall outside the net of conventional funding schemes.
Having established a reputation for bringing investment into Wales and successful delivery of large scale programmes, Warm Wales has gone on to manage schemes of work under the Welsh Government’s ARBED (Save) programme.
“We are proud of the way in which we fulfilled the programme remit to deliver a wide range of energy saving home improvements for communities and provide training and employment for local people,” says Phil, “In the future we intend to expand and build our quality services to provide our clients with excellent value and our communities with tangible benefits.”
Phil says that the company operates in a businesslike manner and decided against Charity status. “As a CIC we can build strong strategic partnerships, especially with local authorities because they know that we are regulated by the CIC regulator and work on an open book basis. Surpluses go into an asset lock and they can see exactly what happens to them and that they are reinvested into helping more and more people in their communities.”