Dublin-based energy firm UrbanVolt eyes overseas expansion

Dublin-based energy solutions provider UrbanVolt is planning to expand its services into the UK by the end of this year and into the US and mainland Europe markets next year.

The company — which retrofits clients’ commercial spaces with long-life energy efficient lighting and energy solutions — has just allocated €5 million, mainly raised through institutional investors, to drive growth in the Cork region. 

Nearly half of that has already been committed to LED lighting installations for four clients, including a major upgrade for Blackpool Shopping Centre.

UrbanVolt practices via a unique pricing model; whereby rather than charging an upfront fee for its services it takes a share (roughly 50%) of the significant savings clients see on their energy bills. 

For example, instead of paying around €70,000 for energy efficient lighting, the client may be saving around €25,000 in annual lighting costs and then paying UrbanVolt half of that figure.

It’s a model which has worked for the Dublin firm in a very short space of time, with the company only beginning trading in the first half of last year. 

In its first year-and-a-half, or so, UrbanVolt has carried out around €10m worth of projects around Ireland and — according to chief executive Kevin Maughan — has a pipeline of around €30m worth of projects.

Mr Maughan said that as well as expanding its product/services offering, UrbanVolt is likely to enter the UK market — where it has successfully quoted for three large factory retrofits — by the end of 2016 before looking at mainland Europe and the US next year.

Before that, however, Cork is next up on the expansion trail for the firm which has also been selected as a preferred provider by Bord Gais Energy.

“We’re doing more business with SMEs in Cork than anywhere else in Ireland, at present, and we have ring-fenced additional funds specifically for this region,” said company director Garett Sheehan.

Typical savings for SMEs working with UrbanVolt can amount to 50% of the lighting bills they faced before and the Blackpool project will save the shopping centre around 2.3 million kilowatt hours of energy per annum.

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