Rick Maughan and Mark Price on the newly launched Clearwater Utilities, which is based at Spectrum Business Park in Seaham.
BNNE editor Leanne Fawcett caught up with the businessman to find out more about Clearwater Utilities, why the company was launched and its plans for growth in 2024…
The ongoing energy crisis has left many businesses facing huge increases in their monthly utilities bills. Many don’t know where to turn and are struggling to find the additional revenue to cover the extra costs they’re facing to heat or power their buildings. But a new name in the energy sector is promising to do things differently, to bring customers the very best deals to save them money.
Clearwater Utilities is the creation of Seaham entrepreneurs Ranj Gill and Gursh Kahlon, who are the men behind the hugely successful commercial property company Clearwater Developments.
The duo founded the business after spotting a gap in the market through their existing company, and also feeling that a utilities business would complement their commercial offering. Clearwater Utilities, which is based at Spectrum 5 at Spectrum Business Park in Seaham, was launched on June 1 and experienced industry professionals Rick Maughan and Mark Price were quickly recruited to run it on a day to day basis.
Rick, who is business partner with a focus on pricing, said: “I have been involved in utilities for 15 years, and latterly I had seen how the market impacted on the businesses that didn’t have expert advice to lean on. Because they weren’t getting the right support, they were staying with the same provider for ease and were ending up with deals that weren’t right for their business and ultimately, costing them money. With the ongoing energy crisis, the impact of which has hit us all; seeing foreclosure of local businesses and large energy suppliers, Ranj and Gursh felt there was a gap in the market to create a company that could bring the most competitive and bespoke energy packages to market and give businesses a bit of confidence back that they were in safe hands when it came to their utilities provider.”
Drawing on their vast experience within the industry and existing relationship (they worked closely together consulting to businesses on utilities for electricity, gas and water, Rick also worked for EDF Energy while Mark spent many years at Seaham Hall Hotel), Rick and Mark can offset charges and find other savings through better procurement, longer term contracts rather than only an option of a short term renewal and finding clients exemptions on taxes, charges and levies dependant on their business type. Their USP is developing bespoke packages for businesses depending on their sector, and sourcing deals that can run for as long as the next five years, giving them the confidence that they won’t be faced with huge price hikes that they haven’t factored into cash flow projections.
Mark, who is Clearwater Utilities’ corporate account manager, added: ‘We want businesses to have confidence in us, by providing a brilliant customer service experience. First and foremost listening to their current problems, provide solutions on those matters, advising on best routes to market and go through options to future proof their business.
“Secondly, we know the burdens and strains businesses are presented with on a daily basis, we want to take those headaches away by allowing us do the work on their behalf so you don’t have to. We are a no obligation service and only ever here to advise, we review everything and provide you with options to give you budget certainty and peace of mind.”
It’s been just six months since Clearwater Utilities was launched, and in that time Rick and Mark have been focussing on breaking into the hospitality, industrial and commercial sectors, which draws on their own experiences with previous employers. However, as we move into 2024, they will be branching out, targeting community and sports groups and other sectors that they think have a natural fit with their business model. They’ll also be building on their Corporate Social Responsibility programme, which has seen the company become the main shirt sponsor for Hartlepool Rovers Rugby Club (Mark is a Hartlepool lad) and a key partner for South Northumberland Cricket Club.
Rick added: “2024 is about spreading the word about what Clearwater Utilities can offer, building our client base and forming new strategic partnerships. It’s been a good start since we launched in the summer, however Ranj and Gursh have big ambitions for the company and it’s myself and Mark’s jobs to ensure their targets are met. Those targets will be supported by further recruitment at the turn of the year, which we hope will help us cement our place as one of the leading energy brokerages in the region.”