”We can, more or less, promise that we will be able to make the house energy-independent”
On how technology can help reaching a climate-neutral residential market
January 04, 2023
Founded in Germany last year, 1KOMMA5° has installed more than 45,000 solar PV systems in recent years. The company aims to eliminate household carbon emissions by transforming 500,000 households per year in Europe to meet the vision of a climate-neutral residential market by 2030. A few weeks ago, the company launched Heartbeat, a new IoT platform and energy management system for households. The company says that it will expand its operations to all relevant EU markets.
— It becomes a common solution for all the assets in the household, Gunnar Jönsson, CEO of 1KOMMA5° Nordics, explains.
— Today, customers can have PV panels, EV chargers, a heat pump, and batteries, where everything uses different apps. First of all, that means a horrible user experience but, most importantly, not enough of the assets are talking to each other. By introducing an energy management system, we combine all the assets in the house and make them work as efficiently as possible. We want to make sure that the household uses as much energy as possible when it’s cheap and available — at nighttime, for example, when the heat pump can pre-heat the water tank and the house and charge the battery with cheap power. In the morning, when we use a lot of electricity and it’s expensive, the consumer will use what’s available in the battery while the system has already charged the car and made sure that there is warm water in the tanks. During the day, when you may have a lot of solar power, but you’re not at home, we make sure to once again use as much power as possible in the house and if you have your car at home, we can make sure you charge on 100% solar.
— When you have issues with flexibility in the grid, and there’s not enough power available, we can discharge the battery and even though you come home and plug in the car, we can make sure that the car is charged at nighttime. We’ve already gathered a big group of entrepreneurs and installers in Europe, so we have a huge ’last mile’ offering to the customer — and a go-to-market-ready energy management system right away.
”Already after 14 months, we have a 200-million euro revenue”
What’s the biggest difference between you and other similar alternatives?
— That we do a lot of things simultaneously. The first thing, to consolidate the business, is a pure ’buy and build case’ but we do it by respecting the entrepreneur who can stay on with their company and do what they do best. We empower them and give them growth capital and tools to scale even quicker, which can give them both a nice company and a nice evaluation. Also, already after 14 months, we have a 200-million euro revenue and we’re profitable on the basic core business, says Jönsson.
How much of an impact can you make?
— We have quite bold goals. We want to decarbonise 1,5 million households in Europe and we can, more or less, promise that we will be able to make the house energy-independent. In the Nordics, you obviously need the grid during nighttime, but we can make sure that you produce as much energy as you consume, and we can lower the carbon footprint and the cost for the household. But, most importantly, we can increase the pay-off of your solar system by 50% just by making sure that everything is working with each other in this IoT platform.
This road to reaching net zero is both complex and exciting. How will you get there?
— Yes, it’s obviously super complex to really reach net zero. But the most important thing is to know that if we do that, global warming will actually go down and with 10 to 20 years of net zero, half of the carbon that has been collected will fall out. I think that a lot of times, people just need to know that it is possible instead of feeling hopeless, says Jönsson. He continues:
— For a household, I think, to begin with, is to try to produce all the energy that you will consume. In Scandinavian countries, we have hydropower and a little bit of nuclear left and we use green energy. The thing is of course that when there’s not enough energy in the system at nighttimes, we do need to import energy — and then we have emissions. So, that’s also why the household actually can go down to net zero; by having a smart system to make sure that you don’t have to import from the grid when it’s overloaded and you, most likely, get energy from another country’s coal production. And in Europe and Central Europe, it’s still a huge thing to introduce the heat pump. So, we have about 16* companies all over Europe that are decarbonising houses by throwing out the gas boiler and, by doing that, throwing out Putin as well as throwing out the oil heater and, by doing that, throwing out dictatorships. We don’t do anything super magic, we just want to create a one-stop shop for the customer and make it available. Then, the customer can really act on what they want.
* This interview was conducted in early December, the current number is 20
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