Challenger energy supplier Igloo has received a £20 million investment from Japan’s Osaka Gas, which will be used to develop its innovative home services arm.
Igloo Works is rolling out smart thermostats and hybrid heating technologies to UK homes, to help them cut their energy consumption. The company is also developing software which analyses energy consumption data and provides bespoke suggestions to homes about how to save energy.
The venture was launched earlier this year, with government grants totalling more than £1 million, from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and InnovateUK, and following a £600,000 crowdfunding campaign.
The minority stake investment from Osaka will allow Igloo to fast-track these developments and offer its efficiency solutions to more households, especially for heating.
Heating homes accounts for 14% of the UK’s total carbon emissions. For the UK to meet its net-zero commitments, more than 20,000 need to switch to low-carbon heating a week between 2025 and 2050, Igloo estimated.
Igloo CEO Matt Clemow said: “Helping customers transition away fossil fuels to heat their homes is a critical aspect of how we reduce the impact of climate change.
“Osaka Gas is one of the world’s largest installers of domestic combined heat and power (mCHP) boilers. Their experience in rolling out alternative heating technology to consumers’ homes at scale will be invaluable to Igloo as we undertake to do the same in the UK.”
Igloo, which is now valued at £45 million following the Osaka investment, serves 85,000 domestic customers with a single tariff, Igloo Pioneer. It made headlines earlier this year for slashing the prices on that tariff three times in three months, leaving customers paying £130 less than they were at the beginning of the year and up to £420 less than customers with the Big Six were, Igloo said.
Igloo is also committed to helping its customers use less energy. In January it launched a smartphone app it claims can reduce the emissions associated with charging electric vehicles by 20%.
The app, trialled with Tesla drivers, identifies when carbon emissions are lowest—when low carbon generation is providing the most power to the grid—and automatically charges the vehicle during those times.
In 2018, Clemow claimed that Igloo customers using smart technology see their energy consumption and thus their bills fall by up to 30%.
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