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GreenTech Series x Heatio

Energy will be a topic we are all very familiar with, whether that is discussing energy bills or looking into renewable alternatives. Energy remains prevalent amongst many media headlines and has been since autumn 2021, when the Energy Crisis emerged. A surge in wholesale gas prices and inefficiency in much of the UK’s housing stock has left millions struggling to pay for their energy bills which, as of October 2023, sees the number of UK households in fuel poverty rise to 6.3 million.  

Energy Management is Heating Up
Energy Management is Heating Up

Energy Management is Heating Up

 How Heatio is Pioneering Home Energy Modelling 

 Whilst we can see the prices rise, there is a severe lack of transparency when it comes to individual homes’ energy use.  How much do we really understand about our home’s energy consumption? 

 Transparency, efficiency, and transitioning to a greener future are just three areas that Heatio is looking to support with their solution.   

Halston Group spoke with Thomas Farquhar, Commercial Director and one of the Founders of Heatio, to explore their solution further and how their pioneering approach to renewable energy use will support the transition to a net zero future.  

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Exploring the Eco-Smart Technology

“What we’ve developed is a home energy management system, which provides consumers with a roadmap of improvement to make within their home, based on actual data and the households energy usage pattern. At the moment in the UK, the only method of assessing energy performance in a home is to have a domestic energy assessment completed, which predominately occurs when you move home. The vast majority of homeowners don’t have confidence in Energy Performance Certificates (EPC ratings) which come from a domestic energy assessment as they are based on a wide range of assumptions, and a lot of the measures that are recommended are inaccurate or unviable. Beyond this, they don’t recommend the installation of renewable technologies or even switching to alternative heating systems.” 


“There are quite a few downfalls with the energy assessment process, particularly around accuracy, and what we wanted to do was address this with a data-driven approach. So, you could have two houses that score exactly the same on an energy assessment, but we know that how the houses are run has a huge bearing on energy consumption. With our Heatio Flexx solution, homeowners will have access to a home energy management system that they can self-install themselves . They will also be able to log into the Flexx platform where data from their smart meter is connected, and they’ll be able to view an accurate representation of their energy use and energy profile, alongside a suite of recommendations for how they can improve energy usage and begin a journey to low carbon. Once they move into the second phase of utilising low carbon technologies such as heat pumps, solar, and EV chargers, we will be able to connect these to the platform as well.” 

– Thomas Farquhar, Commercial Director

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Putting Data in Homeowners’ Hands 

Considering the context of the introduction, the energy crisis is still a concern for many homeowners, and therefore cost is a main driver behind their energy usage actions. Wholesale gas prices have risen dramatically over the past two years, with the peak being in August 2022 at 592 pence per litre.    

Whilst these prices have fallen this year, homeowners are still seeking alternative energy sources to avoid being caught out by a gas price spike.  

 “From the consumer research we’ve done on pilots, we know consumers are very driven by costs, particularly with what’s happening globally around energy. For example, solar is on for a record year, with more solar systems being fitted than ever before because electricity costs have gone up so much. The low carbon element is a sort of by-product, but the general driver is around cost and efficiency.” 

Fundamentally, people don’t know how to address energy management, and those that do end up having an assessment that doesn’t really drive them to do anything. We want to give people an app that tells them what to do next, what they can do better, and notify of best practice. For example, getting a notification saying we charged your car for free last night as there was excess power on the grid. The data is derived from IoT sensors in the home measuring things like temperature alongside connecting to smart meters and low carbon technologies.  – Thomas Farquhar


Transitioning to a Greener Future

As Thomas mentioned previously, the solar market has experienced its sixth consecutive record year in 2022, growing 40% over 2021 with 6GW installed. Although statistics like this are positive and progression is being made, there is still considerable growth needed alongside a diversification in the type of green technologies being adopted. Yes, solar will be a key player, but we must introduce a plethora of technologies and practices to achieve that crucial net zero.  


“I think a lot of what we’re doing is quite old school, relying on someone to come to your house once every 10 years to assess versus presenting homeowners with a live view of their home energy usage. 

17% of carbon emissions come from domestic heating, so there is a huge drive just on that one element for reaching net zero. 40% of carbon emissions come from homes in total, so homes are where the lowest hanging fruit is. In the UK, we still fit 1.7 million boilers every year, 45,000 heat pumps, and that heat pump figure needs to go up to 600,000 installs a year in the next five years. Whereas when you look at countries like Norway, they’ve already installed heat pumps into 64% of homes.  

We’ve always had an abundant supply of cheap gas in the UK, we’re very resistant to change compared to other counties, and therefore we’ve got quite a steep curve to go.”Thomas Farquhar


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