One of the UK’s leading providers of sustainable energy systems received £3.6m of investment from BGF in August 2014.
Established in 2005, Ecovision installs heat pump, solar panels, biomass and gas boilers in thousands of homes, businesses and community buildings across the UK, from stately homes such as Castle Howard through to single bedroom city apartments. Over 5,000 systems have been installed by Ecovision since 2005. The company operates nationwide with its head office located on The Prince of Wales’ Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire. In its next financial year, Ecovision is forecast to generate revenues of over £20m and in the next three years is expected to install over 30,000 new boilers.
The Ecovision team has already proven its ability to build a successful consumer focused renewable energy offering. In May last year, it sold its Free Photovoltaic business of over 4,000 Solar systems to Aviva, returning the investment and a premium to their investors. Ecovision still monitor and maintain the Solar Panel installations via SIM cards using their own Ecovision Asset Management software.
An additional focus for the business today is Hassle Free Boilers (HFB). Launched in 2013, HFB offers customers a state of the art, energy-efficient, Vaillant gas boiler which saves them up to 40% on their gas bills but requires no upfront cost. This gives the homeowner a saving of £2,000-£3,000 on the upfront cost of a new boiler and further additional savings each year of around £330 from reduced energy bills. HFB aims to compete with the larger, more established energy and utility companies by providing an offering that counters household gas prices in Britain which have risen faster than in any other major European country. Many consumers do not replace inefficient boilers due to the high upfront costs thus missing out on significant savings in their energy bills. With HFB there are no upfront costs and no deposit. All the consumer pays is the regular monthly payments for the service and maintenance plan.
The UK boiler market is the largest in Europe with an estimated 14.8m gas boilers in privately owned households and circa 1.4m new boilers being installed each year.
BGF’s growth capital investment is being used to scale up the HFB offering to create a significant installed base of boilers with contractual revenues, as well as a scaling up Ecovision’s Air Source Heat Pumps (“ASHP”) offering. ASHP can replace energy from oil, LPG and electric heaters and allow a significant reduction in fuel bills and CO2 emissions.
Ecovision is led by successful entrepreneur Peter Randall who, prior to Ecovision, was one of the co-founders of Telco/ISP Telinco which was subsequently sold for $250m in 2000 and then merged with Tiscali. Randall remained as Tiscali’s COO in Milan following the deal.
Peter Randall, CEO of Ecovision, commented:
“We are delighted to be working with Business Growth Fund who are not only providing Ecovision with growth capital but also access to their networks and expertise. Businesses like Hassle Free Boilers need capital to grow rapidly which then means that customers can access much more cost effective energy by buying heating in a smarter way. We are constantly reminded that gas prices are increasing, Hassle Free Boilers makes a step change in reducing energy bills whilst gas prices continue to rise.”
Ned Dorbin, Investment Director, commented:
“This is an opportunity to back a fantastic management team with considerable experience and success already in this sector. There are a number of opportunities in the household sustainable energy market for Ecovision to capitalise on and the team has worked hard to establish themselves in this market and build up their excellent reputation. Our capital, together with the debt facility from Shawbrook, will immediately be invested in the increased marketing of Ecovision’s Hassle Free Boiler offering so that it gains increased momentum and traction in the market.”