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Terry Glassey

Terry Glassey on putting energy into the future

By Terry Glassey

Managing Director - 3 Futures Ltd.

3 Futures, the company owned and managed by Terry Glassey, is named from his motivation to provide a better future for everyone, especially his three sons. It’s a forward-thinking viewpoint that is reflective of the industry he specialises in: mechanical, electrical, renewable energy and construction.

Having started as an apprentice for Kier Building Services as a mechanical engineer and then having worked for a small domestic company as an oil heating engineer, Terry has been part of the sector for over two decades.

22 years on and with a wealth of experience under his belt, Terry is applying his problem-solving competence and mechanical expertise to future energies with his own business.

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What’s services does 3 Futures specialise in and can you give us some examples of your projects?

Commercial, mechanical, electrical, and renewable energy is our main business. We also carry out domestic work and we're breaking into the new-build housing market. We also have a construction refurb and fit-out arm to the business.

Two main refurbishment projects over the last two years have been a house in central Southampton dating back to 1880 – we removed the middle of the house out and rebuilt it from the inside out. And a project in central Winchester where we did a similar thing on a newer house including the installation of a basement cinema room in.

Have there been any highlights that have stood out for you since starting your own business?

Getting our own premises was a big one; receiving the keys to that was a big moment.

We’ve just become RECC (Renewable Energy Consumer Code) and MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) approved thanks to the hard work of our Ops Manager. For the size of the business that we are, we have invested heavily in certifications.

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Have you seen some big changes since you started out in the trade?

Yes massively. When I started it was a bit of a spit and sawdust old man’s kind of game and now it’s all very techie with renewable energies and different materials. Mechanically, it used to be copper and iron. Now everything is all about speed and there are no naked flames, no carcinogens, crimp fittings, heat-welded fusion, and things like that.

And electrically, the Smart Hub tech stuff has gone crazy, you can walk into a room and talk to the Hub now to turn the television on or turn the lights up; whereas before there was a grid switch on the wall, and you needed a hammer to turn the lights on.

How do you stay ahead of the game with those changes in things like technology?

We’re really pushing and staying up to date with our renewables side of the business and that goes hand in hand with new technologies – particularly with digital displays, smart homes, and smart hubs for our domestic work.

Our commercial work is much more led by a consultant and a spec; we have a tender package, and we have to adhere to that specification.

"When I started it was a bit of spit and sawdust old man's kind of game and now it's all very techie with renewable energies and different materials."

What factors are driving the demand for renewable energies in the market?

In the not-too-distant future, gas boilers won’t be going in on new builds so there are legislative factors.

The cost of living is also a major driver for renewables at the moment because the current cost of gas and electricity is so high, so that’s a big factor on the domestic side of things. But then people have got to be able to afford the initial investment of renewables too, so it can be a bit of a catch-22.

What are the challenges and opportunities for your business at the moment?

A challenge for us is the workforce – having commitment from people and finding the right people that share the same dreams, ambitions, and determinations.

And it’s a little bit cutthroat I would say at the moment; competition for work is a major challenge. The hardest thing is trying to stay firm with our price point rather than cutting our costs; and sticking with our beliefs that we charge what we charge because we stand out and we provide a better service.

We’re still currently on a learning curve of massive growth, and we’re trying to establish where our opportunities are and where we’re best suited.

"The cost of living is also a major driver for renewables at the moment because the current cost of gas and electricity is so high."

Terry Glassey - Managing Director, 3 Futures Ltd.

The business is named for your sons’ futures; reflecting on your journey so far, what advice would you give to them?

Believe in yourself and go with your gut. There is nothing you can’t achieve if you really want to get there. There might be some hurdles and some fall-downs along the way, but you’ve got to just keep trying and keep believing. The hardest part is staying focused that you will get there one day. You never really know what’s around the corner, but as long as you just try your best and keep going, everything will pan out with perseverance.

What do you enjoy doing together when you’re not working?

I run my twin boys’ football team, and I run my oldest son’s football team as well.

We’re also all a little bit obsessed with boats so we’re out on the water quite a lot. I’ve got my Level 2 Powerboat license and I belong to the Urban Truant RIB Club in Swanick Marina. Anywhere on the water is my happy place.