UrbanVolt accelerates other businesses towards greater sustainability
Compared to traditional lightbulbs, LEDs are significantly more energy-efficient and can reduce consumption bills by up to 80 per cent. But the technology and installation process is prohibitively expensive for many businesses.
So what do you do if the need is great but cash is tight?
Increasingly, many firms and organisations are turning to UrbanVolt, an innovative Irish company that was the product of one super-bright idea.
UrbanVolt retrofits commercial premises with LED (light-emitting diode) lighting, at no capital cost to the client.
The client’s lighting bill drops by between 35 and 50 per cent and in return, UrbanVolt is paid an agreed proportion of the savings achieved over a five-year period.
The award-winning company then maintains the fittings during the five-year agreement. At the end, the client owns the technology and continues to enjoy the cash savings for a further 10 years.
UrbanVolt was co-founded in 2014 by former investment banker, Kevin Maughan, biotech executive, Graham Deane and management entrepreneur Declan Barrett who previously owned a facilities management business and installed LED lights for businesses.
CEO Kevin Maughan says:
“We asked ourselves, what if we created a new way of carrying out energy efficiency projects, a way which would see all the financial, operational and technical risk pass to the service provider?
“So we built an innovative financial model which allows this to happen. Everything we do makes the entire process easy for businesses. It’s all designed to make sustainability easy for the client.”
The service entered the market late last year and since then the company has recruited 22 staff around the country and signed agreements which will save its clients over €4.5 million in energy costs in the first year. Over the five-year period, the 150 businesses will enjoy a €21.5 million increase in cash flow.
Most recently, UrbanVolt was recognised as Service Start-up of the Year by Bank of Ireland.
“When we initially went to market, we had to convince people there was no catch. Some people believed it was too good to be true. But now that we have a solid customer base and a strong referral system from our happy clients.
Our ‘Lighting as a Service’ offering is fast becoming the industry standard. Why pay a huge amount of capital for a depreciating asset when you could have someone else assume all the cost and risk?” says Maughan.
Saving energy is key to becoming more sustainable according to the UrbanVolt boss. “Every single individual and business can now do their part to reduce energy consumption and also reduce costs,” he says.
“This has the added benefit of reducing operating expense; which SMEs can then invest back into their businesses. Instead of using their cash to pay energy bills they can now use it to grow their business and local economy.”
Maughan appreciates the role that Sustainable Nation plays in helping Ireland transition to a low-carbon future.
“There is an enormous amount of experience and expertise in various companies across Ireland, and Sustainable Nation has created a means of bringing these experts together and harnessing their power,”
“Sustainable Nation’s understanding that there can be no sustainable energy revolution without a sustainable financial revolution is timely, and this movement is something that we at UrbanVolt are very proud to be part of.”