Whoever would have thought a ‘dating app’ for those interested in renewable energy would work?

Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency, has created a matchmaking site for early adopters of heat pumps and green-minded buyers who are keen to explore the technology. Through a website called VisitAHeatPump, these potential soul mates are brought together in the interests of creating more green homes together.

It is just this sort of creative thinking that is needed if cleantech investors and companies are to get better at taking people on the journey to decarbonise their homes.

The places we live – as well as the offices we work in – are creating a big problem. Heating homes is responsible for around one-fifth of UK greenhouse gas emissions, a figure that is projected to rise by 11% by 2035 compared with 2015 levels. Real estate globally is the source of 37% of global emissions – a greater contributor even than the transport sector.

Only 1% of British homes had a heat pump in 2023, but to hit the government’s climate goals, an estimated 80% of homes should be heated by one in the next 25 years. In contrast, 60% of Norway’s buildings are fitted with a heat pump, followed closely by Sweden at 43% and Finland at 41%. We have a lot of catching up to do in other areas as well. In the Netherlands, 35% of households have smart thermostats, in the UK it’s only 8%.

Recent disruptions in European energy markets, such as the fossil fuel volatility from the Ukraine War which required governments to step in as prices soared, have underscored the urgency to revolutionise how we power our homes. If cleantech is to be a viable option for homeowners we need to get better at taking people on the journey so they’re no longer confused about the challenge of decarbonising the home.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

To make this breakthrough we need platforms that combine common sense, efficient usage, and cost savings. A service that brings together existing best ‘green home’ practice with the potential to harness future improvements, all dedicated to the domestic setting and its particular needs.

It will link homeowners and installers, while providing real-time insights into energy usage and tariffs – all wrapped within an easily accessible tech platform, accessed from your smartphone. Something as easy to use as a dating app or an Uber for home energy upgrades.

An ideal journey to a green home should begin with gaining insight into energy consumption, followed by implementing easy wins which include turning down temperatures as well as installing insulation and double glazing. Further down the transition come larger long-term big ticket projects like solar panels or heat pumps, when it makes sense and the timing is right.

After all of this effort, there is still a role to continuously monitor and moderate energy use with the help of technology. It is a mix and match approach that is already happening organically. But we will only see impact when millions of people start to switch and for that to happen, we need to create the sort of platforms that triggered change in food delivery, banking or listening to music.

Consumers will benefit from one or two platforms that bring all of these technologies together to create a seamless energy journey, taking away the barriers for those homeowners who want to make a change – whether it is in the next six months or in the next six years.

If the three strands of monitoring through technology, reducing use and installing renewable generation are brought together seamlessly, it is easy to see how the carbon savings might come. Add in finance, with low-cost loans to incentivise homeowners, to pay the significant upfront costs and the platform will have all the features necessary to bring real consumer change.

Investing in cleantech decacorns of the future

Kiko Ventures, which invests in regenerative technologies from green energy to carbon capture, is determined to bring the different parts of the clean tech and energy industry together.

One company we have invested in is Tado, a German startup that is now providing its smart thermostats and smart radiators in the UK which can reduce a home’s energy consumption by 28%. Tado works from a smart phone app and integrates with your smart speakers, to give you voice control.

Another company in our portfolio with the potential to change home energy choices is Mixergy, based in Oxford, whose tech is designed to connect to the grid at the best time for maximum energy efficiency. Originally developed at Oxford University, Mixergy has developed a smart hot water cylinder that can fit into even the smallest of spaces and uses AI and machine learning to take advantage of cheaper tariffs. The average Mixergy tank uses roughly 40% less power to heat hot water than a conventional hot-water tank. Mixergy has recently signed a partnership with British Gas bringing its technology to more homes and supporting the clean energy transition.

Working with both these startups, and with other players in the industry, we can identify the many barriers to consumer adoption.

For consumers right now, it’s easy to see where the confusion lies. We urgently need one ‘service’ software provider to bring all of these technologies together and provide confidence for the homeowner. A consumer-facing brand that champions the green home.

Getting homeowners to take this leap through a platform that answers all their home energy needs will deliver huge returns – both for our planet and for the company that cracks the code. Who knows, it could even be Europe’s next decacorn – a tech company worth $10bn or more.

Are you ready for Greenhome.com? You should be.