Edinburgh entrepreneur sees future for gas boilers after COP26

November 22, 2021

Name: Michael Cairns

Age: 37

What is your business called?

Celsius Plumbing and Heating (Edinburgh) Limited.

Where is it based?

Portobello in Edinburgh.

What services does it offer?

Domestic plumbing and heating, gas boiler installations and servicing, planned maintenance and reactive plumbing services.

To whom does it sell?

Domestic customers, landlords, including Airbnb landlords, property managers and light commercial businesses.

We embrace technology which allows our team to work consistently, with many of our formerly ‘manual’ processes now fully systemised.

What is its turnover?

For the year to 31 August, it was £780,000. We set a target of £1 million of turnover in 2019 and, without the pandemic, would probably have reached that figure by now.

How many employees?

We employ 15 people and work alongside three partner sub-contractors.

When was it formed?


Why did you take the plunge?

Just before the financial crash of 2007 / 2008 I was made redundant and, reluctantly, had gone self-employed, I was told by my former employer that I could pick and choose any jobs that might come up. Then, with my older brother as an apprentice, the crash came. From there we had to make a go of it ourselves. That was a hard lesson but one that stood me in good stead. I chose to call the business “Celsius” because at that time, as a young engineer, I was really interested in the heating side of the trade and thought Celsius was quite fitting.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I left Portobello High School and did a variety of jobs. As well as selling pies at Easter Road Football Stadium, I worked in a bank and in another financial institution where I learned a lot about how big corporates operate. I was late in starting my apprenticeship at 19, and because of the commitments I had at the time I continued to work at night, including in a city pub, which I greatly enjoyed, to supplement my earnings.

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