Using technology to drive energy efficiency and sustainable finance

Nicola Kennedy | HEERO Technologies
7th June 2022
energy efficiency

Ofgem has confirmed that the regulatory price cap for electricity and natural gas, which rose to £1,971 on 1 April, will soar to an average of £2,800 a year per household in October.

This will worsen the UK’s current cost of living crisis, which is already being felt by millions of households across the country.

Despite these ever-increasing energy bills, many homeowners who are considering renewable technologies and other energy and cost-saving measures, struggle to move from thinking to doing.

Educating homeowners

Homeowners’ inaction can be attributed to a variety of reasons, from having a limited understanding of their home energy use and how to make improvements that align with their personal goals, to a poor grasp of the advice and financial support available. Some are discouraged by an often disjointed and complex customer journey, while others simply have low confidence in projected savings and, as such, are reluctant to make large investments in energy-saving measures with little understanding of the benefits.

Considering the scale of the current cost of living crisis, the industry needs to work together to educate homeowners, to dispel myths that improvements and upgrades are too costly or difficult to implement and encourage them to take action. However, ensuring that the right improvements take place in the right properties is vital, meaning that approaches need to be tailored to suit individual householders. The answer to achieving this lies in technology.

Why use white-label technology?

To attract potential customers, generate more revenue, stay ahead of the competition and position themselves as trusted advisors, lenders must adopt innovative, user-friendly technology. However, developing technology from scratch is time-consuming and expensive.

White label technology – technology developed by one company which others can rebrand as their own – offers a quick and affordable solution to this problem as it enables lenders to provide their customers with a cohesive experience from end to end, without having to invest in time-consuming development work.

One solution available to lenders as a white-label option is a software application designed to streamline the user experience and guide homeowners through the entire energy retrofit journey. The technology, developed by HEERO Technologies, can be seamlessly integrated into lenders’ existing offering, enabling them to provide their customers with personalised home energy insights and recommendations, as well as valuable information on the financing and installation of energy-saving home improvements.

The benefit of using an independent energy platform is that lenders can deliver agnostic, bespoke property information to guide their customers. In fact, it offers the ideal solution for lenders looking to differentiate themselves by offering financial products that are both personalised and specifically targeted at home energy improvements.

For example, lenders will be able to use the platform to present homeowners with targeted finance offers, to highlight specific measures based on their ability to improve the thermal efficiency of the property and to generate energy/heat from renewable sources, as well as to show the cost of installation and energy bills savings associated with the suggested measures. Furthermore, they will be able to recommend installers based on customer feedback, estimated cost of work, and proximity to the householder.

Meeting ESG objectives

Lenders today are facing growing calls to play their part in addressing environmental and social concerns, with customers, investors and regulators placing greater focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) measures than ever before. As the impetus for sustainable lending starts to build, and as the need to quantify carbon emissions and show verifiable reductions continues to grow, technology provides a validation tool that ensures lenders are meeting ESG objectives.

The tool measures the amount of carbon saved, specifically lifetime carbon savings, which is valuable as besides regulatory compliance, customers are increasingly choosing service providers based on their ESG credentials.

Technology is the answer to driving energy efficiency and sustainable finance. It can be used to identify the improvements that are most effective, streamline the user experience, and equip homeowners with the knowledge and tools to make decisions that will positively impact their cost of living.

It can also be used to help homeowners realise how energy efficiency measures can reduce their cost of living, thereby increasing affordability and potentially greater uptake in green mortgages.

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