People’s Champion finalist 2018: Switchee
Fighting fuel poverty and giving landlords crucial data to keep costs down, will Switchee’s smart thermostats help deliver a People’s Champion vote from you?
Start-up name: Switchee
Founders: Adam Fudakowski and Ian Napier
Started in: 2015
Based in: London
Business description: A provider of smart thermostats for affordable housing designed to fight fuel poverty and inform landlords wanting to keep costs down and tenants happy.
The Switchee story:
One in 10 households is in fuel poverty, which means being unable to afford to keep a home adequately heated.
Environmentally, we’re leaking energy as 22 million homes were built before 1990, meaning carbon emissions are high in densely populated areas.
Tackling those two major social and environmental issues is why Switchee exists, achieving energy bill and carbon footprint reductions of 15-20%. The company sells its thermostats to landlords for £350 per device. It then charges £50 a year per installed device to provide access to its data analytics services.
The business inspiration came to co-founder Ed Warrick, who worked for eight years in the social housing sector. He noted that residents were not employing smart technology to track energy usage.
Studying at top school INSEAD for their MBAs Warrick teamed up with Russ MacMillan, Ian Napier and Adam Fudakowski, combining their knowledge of affordable housing, engineering and building businesses to set out their plan.
The result has seen investment of more than £2m secured alongside a series of grants, with financial figures heating up nicely. Much of the progress is thanks to Switchee working closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and serving landlords with up to 50,000 homes requiring energy efficiency upgrades.
Why Switchee made our shortlist:
Focused on the UK, Switchee’s addressable market is 25.7 million social homes. And as the only smart thermostat designed specifically for social housing the business looks set to scale fast.
Five pilot schemes have been converted into full commercial orders, including one with Peabody which following a merger with Family Mosaic has 54,000 units to consider.
Where to find out more about Switchee:
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