A philanthropic broker? New energy firm to give profits to charity

An ex-broker has founded a new philanthropic energy brokerage which gives all its profits for charity. Derby-raised businessman Corin Dalby made his money by selling Direct Energy Purchasing, the firm […]

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By Vicky Ellis

An ex-broker has founded a new philanthropic energy brokerage which gives all its profits for charity.

Derby-raised businessman Corin Dalby made his money by selling Direct Energy Purchasing, the firm which handles millions of pounds of energy for multi-site firms including care homes, to Lancashire rival Inspired Energy for a reported £2-4 million.

Now he wants generate some cash for charities. The 45-year-old told ELN: “I sold my last business to plc broker and intended to stay out of the business…

“In the end it dawned on me, the best way to fulfil that, give back to society, is come back in the industry and start again.”

After conferring with energy suppliers on whether he was “barking mad or not”, Dalby decided to start what he believes is a “game changer” for the industry.

Called Box Power CIC, said Dalby, “It stands for community interest company. What that means in simple terms, is where shareholders would normally benefit and directors take big salaries, as CIC it’s set up in Companies House… but the difference being is profits given to charities.”

At end of each year a third of profits will go to the national cancer charity, Macmillan, half to an autism charity Dalby’s wife set up, “because they also have challenging times”, while the rest will go to local hospices.

Dalby added: “There’s no way of getting money out of the business other than give to charity. It’s got an asset lock. It’s not like I can sell the business and benefit. This one I’m not a shareholder and any money produced from sale goes to charity.”

He said of the consultants and brokers industry: “It’s got a mixed bag, some are top notch but there are those who are not necessarily looking out for clients’ best interests.”

On the competition, Dalby said: “I can’t be too worried about other brokers. I’m aware of many brokers being excessive on fees so we’re going to be very keen on margins. Because we’ve not shareholders to worry about we can undercut a broker on fees anyway.

“But we’ve got people telling us, you don’t need to be undercutting them. Just by price-matching that’s sufficient for them. They know profits going to [a good cause].”

If it’s a £200m energy broker market, he argued, “You’re still only 1% of the market. Big enough brokers don’t have to worry about us… it’s still early doors.”

He concluded: “There might be some brokers out there who are not keen on what we’re doing but they’ve got their own reasons for that. I think anyone who’s genuine in the industry would be supportive of use.”