Green Angel Syndicate's soon to be new investee company, AirEx, has been approved by Ofgem as one of five innovative energy efficiency system providers under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) 3 scheme for its IoT-enabled smart ventilation control system.
ECO3 is a government initiative that places legal obligations on large energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency and heating measures to homes across the UK. As part of the scheme, AirEx will be deployed on a large-scale Demonstration Pilot in partnership with EDF Energy, with delivery partners Bill Save UK and Build Test Solutions. Once complete, the AirEx product will receive a ‘deemed score’ based on the pilot results, which will then determine the value of ECO subsidy available for each home. Independent validation suggests that the ECO subsidy will fully cover the cost of the product and cost of installation, making it effectively free to the end user: social housing tenants and private homeowners.
Under the new ECO3 scheme, solutions that are deemed as being an ‘innovation’ are eligible in energy inefficient (D, E, F, G EPC rated) social housing properties, as well as any private homeowners or tenants on qualifying benefits including child support. The new ECO3 scheme will therefore incentivise energy companies to find ‘innovative’ solutions to improve the energy efficiency within homes rather than relying on traditional energy efficiency solutions, such as insulation and boiler upgrades.
AirEx provides extremely low-cost solutions for reducing fabric heat loss, improving thermal comfort and protecting residents’ health by passive airflow control. The AirEx team has developed an innovative ‘intelligent air-brick’ system, which uses sensors and smart algorithms to selectively open and shut air vents, resulting in 10-20% reduction on household energy bills. The system is passive, does not require electrically qualified installers, and pays back in 2-3 years through reduced energy bills. Based on rigorous field trials and independent validation undertaken previously, relating to cost savings from energy efficiency measures and core archetypal home properties, (number of bedrooms, main heating fuel of the property, etc.), AirEx could be implemented in 17 million homes in the UK, with a high proportion of these households now qualifying for subsidy under the ECO3 scheme..
Agnes Czako, Co-Founder and Managing Director of AirEx said: “We are really excited to be one of the pioneer innovations on the ECO3 programme. We continue to work with Ofgem, energy companies and installers to deploy this solution in millions of UK homes, fighting Fuel Poverty and Climate Change.”
Emma Gardiner, EDF Energy’s ECO Monitoring Executive said: “Technically this is a simple product, quick to install and relatively cheap, so the potential return on investment (on time and cost) is great as an innovation measure. EDF Energy believes that the AirEx product can really make a difference to improve energy efficiency and benefit the fuel poor.”
For more information please contact AirEx at firstname.lastname@example.org. AirEx and its partners will be happy to assess your housing stock, estimate funding options and secure ECO3 funding on your behalf.
Power Roll has installed two mini solar grid systems in rural locations in Africa and India. These grids demonstrate the use of their innovative solar film and energy storage technologies that have the potential to disrupt the global solar power market.
Paul Laidler, project lead at Power Roll, explained:
The mini solar grid systems use flexible solar PV that is thin, light, easy to install and can be used off-grid. This makes it very attractive to communities who might struggle to get access to technology, particularly if their location is remote.
Power Roll's solar film will be produced as a roll and can be used on a variety of surfaces in off-grid settings; for example, curved around a technology pole or attached to a fragile roof. Its lightness and versatility give it numerous advantages over silicon solar panels not only where it can be deployed, but also in ease of transport.
The technology can be applied in a number of ways in off-grid settings, including lighting, charging laptops and mobile phones and pumping water for irrigation purposes.
We want to make solar energy affordable and available to everyone – and that means having a low-cost solution that works in off-grid locations where people have previously found it difficult to access power.
At scale, Power Roll's solar technology will generate electricity at a cost which is at least 40% cheaper than silicon PV, and it weighs as little as 2% of current silicon PV products, which is a distinct advantage.
The technology will also help the UK achieve its target of becoming net zero by 2050.
Power Roll participated in two Energy Catalyst brokerage events and achieved funding as a result. It received £492,000 in grant funding to develop, test and demonstrate its technology at an Energy Catalyst round 5 event. It recently attracted a further £515,000 in grant funding at an Energy Catalyst round 7 event. This second round requires the Sunderland-based company to include improvements to social inclusion and gender equality in its project scope.
Until now it's been about proving the technology, but now we are measuring what difference it can make to people's lives; for example, allowing women entrepreneurs to expand their business and making it easier for kids to learn because they can study at night.
Although the programme is concentrating on rural, off-grid locations in developing countries, Laidler says the mini grids could be installed anywhere in the world, including in developing countries, where they could open up the underdeveloped commercial rooftop market and enable solar power to be generated where it is not possible today.
Through investment from Finance Durham and other investors, Power Roll is currently constructing a Solar Film pilot plant in County Durham to further scale-up and commercialise the solar film technology.