Irish clean-tech start-up scoops three energy awards

30 Mar 2012

At the opening day of the SEAI Energy Show on Wednesday were Prof J Owen Lewis, chief executive, SEAI; Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, TD; and Derek Roddy, founder and director, Climote

Climote, the Irish clean-tech start-up that has created a new technology for people to manage their home heating remotely and reduce bills, has scooped three awards at the Energy Show, where it launched this week.

Climote won the Best Product Of Show award, the Best Innovative Product award and Best Controls Product award, at the Energy Show, which was organised by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

A spin-out of Smarthomes, Climote was set up by Derek Roddy and Eamon Conway in early 2011. The start-up is fast getting attention for its energy-monitoring technology, as it also made it to the finals of the Appy Awards, which were held in San Francisco last week.

Climote has been four years in development on its technology. The company is targeting the Irish, UK and European markets at the moment.

According to Roddy and Conway, the start-up’s technology can reduce home heating bills by up to 20pc.

Conway said the Climote app would allow people to turn their smartphones into a remote control heating device.

The Climote device itself is installed on the walls of homes and offices. It retails at €399. This will include installation, VAT and the first year’s remote access package, according to the founders. Then people can manage their heating remotely, be it via their laptops, smartphones or iPads.

How the technology works

Via the Climote web portal, Conway said people would be able to create schedules, copy and paste times and monitor their heating. Meanwhile, the Climote app for iOS and Android smartphones will enable people to set schedules and save energy via a swipe, he said. And people can also send text commands to their installed units at home.

The duo said today that the product is suitable for small offices and businesses, schools, churches, pubs, restaurants and sports clubs.

Conway said the company had carried out a lot of market research.

“Once people use the product and see just how easily it is to manage their heating and always arrive back to a warm home, they will start to see considerable savings on their heating bills,” he claimed.

Interest from Irish and UK utilities

The product has also achieved SEAI accreditation for energy saving. And next up is achieving UK accreditation.

Conway said Climote has already received great interest from major utilities both in Ireland and the UK. He said trials are currently being carried out in both markets.

“We believe that there is a great opportunity for Ireland and for Climote to develop products which demonstrate all that is good about Ireland’s smart economy and our clean-tech economy and the fact that Climote has been fully designed and developed in Ireland is a very positive thing,” he added.

Ireland has an EU energy reduction target of about 800m kwh per annum for the next 10 years. According to the SEAI, the sustainable energy sector is set to treble by 2020.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic