climote is an award winning home technology company which provides energy saving solutions for homes and businesses with over 15 years’ experience in developing in-home technology. Co-founded by Derek Roddy and Eamon Conway in September 2011 as a spin out from the home technology company Smarthomes, climote has been described as the European competitor to Nest, which was recently acquired by Google for $3.2 bn.
We spoke with both Derek and Eamon to find out more about their company.
Q1 Can you tell us Derek about climote and what services you offer?
climote is an award winning home technology company which was set up in 2011 by Eamon Conway and myself as a spin out from the home technology company, Smarthomes. climote provides patented, connected home technology solutions including energy monitoring (and control) technology that increases energy efficiency and can reduce home heating bills by up to 20%.
Services-climote Remote Heating Control HUB
The first product developed and launched by climote was its patented Remote Heating Control Hub. The HUB is a replacement for existing heating controllers and allows home-owners to manage their home heating remotely with climote’s innovative home heating control system.
Q2 How does the HUB work Derek?
The HUB (a wall mounted control system that takes, on average, 30mins to be installed) is fitted with its own SIM card, which enables consumers to easily control their home heating system from anywhere using a laptop, smartphone, iPad or mobile phone, without being reliant on broadband or WiFi connectivity. The home heating system is a simplified set of, patented, digital controls that is based around the analogue clock.
Q3 Eamon what are the benefits of using climote’s HUB?
climote’s HUB is very user friendly and provides a straightforward system for managing home heating. Our analysis shows that unlike the old style heating control systems, which are outdated and difficult to use, climote users engage with their heating control app on a daily basis. climote’s intuitive user interface means homeowners are no longer guessing what time to set the heating to come on. Homeowner’s can easily control their heating, which means lower energy bills as well as increased comfort and convenience in the home.
Q4 What gives climote an advantage over your competitors Derek?
The fact both Eamon and I have an extensive knowledge of the home technology sector and wider heating and plumbing markets and it is an environment which we understand is a definitive advantage. I was a co-founder of Smarthomes, the market leader in home technology and Eamon was Managing Director of Honeywell Ireland.
Collectively we have over 30 years experience in the sector and the team has deployed tens of thousands of home installations, so we know the issues faced by homeowners. We have used this collective experience to improve climote’s products. In a lot of cases, companies emerge as a result of discovering some new technology which can be applied to a specific problem. climote is different, as the climote system is based on over ten years of research and development into the broader subject of improving how home energy is controlled, monitored and managed. climote also has some unique differences, with our patented award winning user interface which allows users to schedule their heating with one click, and the fact that our system is not reliant on broadband or WiFi routers.
Q5 Have you any new developments in the pipeline Derek?
climote has a number of developments in the pipeline, including the development of a wider set of connected products that will integrate with the climote HUB, which will act as a gateway device in the home. These include safety and security products and services such as smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detection with homeowners receiving alerts via the climote app.
At climote we are very proud of our design and engineering team who, although small, are able to take on the goliaths of this industry. It is part of ethos to ensure that we look at problems creatively and find solutions that are easy to implement, while also making commercial sense. The next wave of innovation and product design is as exciting as we have seen in this industry to date.
At climote, our vision is to bring a change to how consumers control their heating similar to how the smartphone revolutionised the traditional mobile phone market. The EU is currently working towards an ambitious target of improving energy efficiency by 20% by 2020. The average person spends only 6 minutes a year thinking about how they consume energy. To achieve these targets there will need to be a widespread behavioural change through the adoption of consumer engaging energy saving products such as climote
Q6 Who is your target market Eamon?
At the moment, we are focused on the residential market in Ireland and the United Kingdom. We have a lot of faith in climote’s technology. Once people use our products and see for themselves just how easy it is to manage their heating and how much it saves on energy costs, they soon become loyal customers. We know the product works, and as a study conducted by Electric Ireland revealed, homeowners can save 20% of their energy costs by using the climote remote control heating system.
Partnerships with Energy Utilities
Since climote signed its first partnership agreement with Electric Ireland (the retail arm of the ESB Group) in November 2012; climote has gone on to develop partnerships with a range of companies in the top 10 utility providers in the UK and Ireland. In 2013, climote partnered with Power NI to offer climote’s heating control HUB to the customers of the Northern Ireland energy supplier. This was following a successful trial period where Power NI received extremely positive feedback to climote’s HUB.
Most recently, climote announced a new partnership with Scottish Power after successfully competing against 25 other home technology companies in a global tender process. The partnerships with the energy utilities provide access for climote to deliver connected home technology solutions to over 20 million potential customers. In order to meet this demand, climote has trained hundreds of electricians and plumbers to install climote products. In addition to Energy Utilities, climote is involved with large customer-facing brands in the wider telecommunications sector.
Partnerships with Government Agencies
Working in conjunction with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), climote has just completed a successful pilot programme with Louth County Council, where climote’s home heating control system was installed in a significant number of local authority houses in Louth. This project has been incredibly successful and is scheduled to be expanded further.
Partnerships with Housing Associations and Homebuilders
climote has entered into a partnership with a Housing Association in Wales that provides affordable social housing across its local authority area. climote is also working with private homebuilders in the United Kingdom responsible for large residential developments, to have climote’s products installed as standard in all new residential developments.
Similar to the pilot programme with Louth County Council, projects with organisations like the Housing Association and the private homebuilders, give climote access to a large number of residential units and the opportunity to scale up the business.
Partnerships with Tradesmen and Energy Services companies
climote has trained hundreds of electrical and plumbing professional to create a nationwide network of climote approved installers. The climote training is very comprehensive and covers installation of the product, connectivity to the Internet, Smartphones operations as well as customer relations and dealing with climote customers. climote has also worked with a number of energy services companies who are involved in the implementation of energy savings projects. These companies are key partners of climote in how they deliver our technology to their customers.
Q7 Have you any plans to expand beyond Ireland and the UK Eamon?
At the moment, climote is only available for sale in Ireland and United Kingdom, but it is actually installed and used by customers in 10 countries across 3 continents, including Europe, North America and Asia.
There has been strong international interest in climote due to the fact that we have recently won a global tender with Scottish Power to work with them to deliver connected home technology for their millions of customers. Almost every month we engage with energy or telecommunications utilities across the world to help develop partnerships.
In November, climote is aiming to capture the attention of the wider European utility industry when we showcase the company at the European Utility Week in Amsterdam. This event is the annual landmark event of the European energy and utility industry and brings experts from all over Europe to one location to share innovation and knowledge. The European Utility Week is an opportunity for climote to continue to forge strong partnerships with international partners.
Q8 What’s the best way for people to get in contact and find out more?
People can go to our website: http://www.climote.ie/ to find out more about our products. Alternatively you can email [email protected] or phone 042 939 5020. People can connect with us on Facebook and Twitter too.
If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with me on [email protected]