Igloo Energy, has been awarded two grants totalling over £1 million to further develop its unique energy saving software in partnership with two leading British Universities.
Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund
A grant worth over £900,000 has been awarded to Igloo Energy by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as part of the Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund – a government led scheme investing up to £10 million to develop technologies and approaches to increase energy efficiency across the UK.
Research from the UK Energy Research Centres shows that by introducing cost effective measures, the country could save a quarter of the energy used by households by 2035.
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The grant will fund a two year project to further develop Igloo’s unique software that identifies suitable energy efficient upgrades for customers’ homes. The research will: analyse customers’ energy consumption; together with using insights gained from interacting with customers; and datasets that describe the homes we live in, the appliances we own and how we use them; as well as other available household data.
As a result, Igloo will be able to understand the value to each customer of installing smart energy efficiency measures and provide each individual customer highly personalised recommendations to make it easier for them to reduce bills and therefore help the UK improve the energy efficiency of its housing stock.
Igloo Energy will be working in partnership with the team at the Energy and Climate Change Division at the University of Southampton, which will focus on customer engagement, and testing the recommendations. The other partner is the Foresight Group, which will investigate the delivery of low cost financing through innovative funding approaches within infrastructure and green energy to enable as many consumers as possible to benefit from the approach.
Since launching in 2016, Igloo Energy’s proposition has been simple – help customers use less energy so they pay less on their energy bills. This simple premise isn’t only good for household finances, but for the environment too.
Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
Separately, Igloo Energy has also been awarded a £120,000 grant by InnovateUK. The project, in partnership with University College London, is to support the understanding of existing data to create more confident insights into customers energy consumption.
There is already a vast amount of energy, property and socio-economic data freely available in the UK alongside energy and contextual data. The grant will enable the creation of an inventory of the data sets and an investigation into their quality. Once created, Machine Learning techniques will then be used to process the data and derive insight into consumer behaviour that will describe how a customer’s energy consumption pattern relates to their lifestyle and property; and the relationship between consumption and energy spend and expenditure on energy efficient home improvements.
Igloo will deliver this in partnership with University College London have an extensive track record of research in the area of building energy demand.
CEO and Co-founder of Igloo Energy, Matt Clemow, says:
“Innovation and technology are at the heart of our business model, so we are delighted to have secured this government funding. At a time when there are a significant number of new energy companies coming to market competing solely on price with no real differentiation, it’s great that Igloo has been recognised as a real innovator in the UK energy market. Our customers are already using smart technology and seeing their energy consumption, and bills, drop by up to 30%. With these grants, we’re excited to be able to develop our technology to bring even greater savings, reduce household emissions further and boost local economies by increasing consumers’ disposable incomes.
“Our mission is to break the link between profit and volumes of energy sold. Instead our focus is on the provision of energy services to customers that reduce the cost and hassle of running a home. This isn’t just good for our consumers; the environment wins too. After all, the greenest unit of energy is the unit you don’t use.”
Prof Patrick James from the University of Southampton lead on the project commented:
“Household customer models based around purely the selling of energy do not have a long-term future in the UK. Here we are looking to understand how to frame energy services to meet customer needs. Through a series of customer workshops we will be able to inform the development of household-level energy services tailored through Igloo’s energy platform.”
Professor AbuBakrBahaj, Head of ECCD at the University of Southampton, says:
“This project has many links to our energy research and it is great to have a collaboration with such a forward-thinking energy company in Southampton, creating new jobs and working in partnership with the University. Working on innovative practical solutions to help improve the efficiency of our homes, provides better comfort at reduced cost whilst helping to reduce our carbon emissions to address our climate change targets.”
Aidan O’Sullivan, Head of Energy and AI at the University College London Energy Institute
“The UCL Energy Institute is committed to undertaking industrially relevant research to support the decarbonisation of the UK energy system and we are excited to be partnering with Igloo on this project. We hope to demonstrate the ability of machine learning to develop customer insights that can benefit UK energy users, saving them money, and support innovative new business models that reduce carbon emissions.”