• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

aaHY Swarm 2NEW COMPANY, NEW HOME … Dan (back row, left) and Anthony (back row, right) with some of their new team pictured at Hoults Yard

THE co-founders of what was the UK’s leading fleet electric vehicle (EV) charging point company have launched an ambitious new venture.

Dan Martin and Anthony Piggott sold Elmtronics to European EV charging giant Mer at the beginning of last year.

Since then the pair have been buying up holiday let properties both here and abroad. Dan and Martin were determined to make their property portfolio as green and sustainable as possible – which prompted their new business, the UK’s first agnostic energy management solution.

Dan explained: “The sustainability agenda was important to us, as were energy costs so we’re fitting solar panels, adding better energy storage, installing EV charging equipment and, where we can, introduce energy efficient heat pumps to heat our homes and produce hot water, as well as other home energy saving equipment.

“However, when we wanted to measure the impact of these solutions, what we were saving and how much energy we were producing or using, we hit a problem. There were a lot of apps and smart solutions for each product or measure we’d taken but they were often hard to use and none of them communicated with each other. People had their phones full of apps, and were really confused.

“We realised there was an opportunity to aggregate this information into one app or platform, presenting important information in a concise and easy to understand way.”

The result is a new home energy management system (HEMS) app from a new company, Swarm Energy.

“Having exited Elmtronics, we had the luxury of time to plan and research what was going on elsewhere. There are HEMS solutions available in the Nordic countries and in Germany, but there are no energy management system aggregators in the UK. And the thing is, this isn’t something that is going to go away – the market for green energy products and improvements is only going to grow and grow, as is the need for simple and straight forward information is increasing.

“From 2030, for instance, you won’t be able to buy a gas boiler and all of the green alternatives will be controlled by apps or online platforms.

“So there is a need for an over-arching app or platform to link up the information provided by carbon reduction systems. We’ve created that app.

“You’ll be able to see how much power you’re using, how much you’re saving and what your return on investment is. It also shows you how much excess energy you’ve produced which will be sold back to the Grid.

“We have started work on our own unique platform and are further developing it through working with Tyneside-based tech company Opencast, with whom we worked with at Elmtronics. They’ve done a great job and we’ve really enjoyed working with them.

“Our app can work with a wide range of already installed solar systems from other manufacturers, but we’ll also be fitting our own solar PV and energy storage products, to help aid the UK’s adoption of green energy. “

Swarm Energy are new neighbours for Opencast, both of them being based at Hoults Yard, Byker.

“We looked at a few other places when we were looking for our base, but we knew the Yard from working with Opencast and it’s just what we wanted, somewhere with lots of character where people will enjoy working from. It’s also pretty central.”

The Swam Energy solution is equally applicable to commercial and domestic users.

For the last few months Dan (the company’s MD) and Anthony (the company’s CTO) have been recruiting, finishing the software and building a website. Next they’ll test the platform with a range of clients, and later in the year they’ll soft launch the product in the north east before a national launch early next year. Dan is already talking to contacts in Europe.

The Swarm Energy team is currently seven strong – by the end of the year the company will employ 25.

“We’re recruiting across a wide range of roles, and we have a very ambitious, but achievable growth plan. We’re building the team out so we’re looking for a lead developer, installation managers with renewables experience and other senior roles,” said Dan.

“We’re really excited by the potential of Swarm Energy and one of our main objectives is to employ as many people as we can in the north east. We’re proud to be from the region – I’m from Rowlands Gill and Anthony is from Consett – and we want to be a vehicle for ambitious, smart people to achieve what they want here in the region.”

Hoults Yard is owned and operated by HyHubs, who also owns Haylofts in Haymarket, Newcastle and Hypoint on Saltmeadows Road, Gateshead. For more information, go to www.hyhubs.com