Largely because of their age, houses in Europe can be notoriously hard to heat. Most were built for an era when the knowledge about energy consumption just wasn’t available in the way it is today. With energy becoming more expensive, and energy security ratcheting-up as a geopolitical issue, tech startups looking at this problem have been proliferating. What’s needed is a simple way for consumers to engage with the issue around how much energy their home needs, how to manage that and, crucially, how to finance the changes needed.
An example of this out of New York is Sealed, a climate tech company that designs, manages and finances home weatherization and electrification projects. It also recently bought sensor startup InfiSense to fuel its energy-saving services.
In Germany, a similar startup is “Enter” (formerly named Baupal), which has now raised a €19.4 million Series A financing round led by Target Global. Also in the round were VC firms Coatue, Foundamental, A/O Proptech and Partech.
Homeowners complete a digital survey, then get an assessment of the energy status of their building, and suggestions on how to reduce their outgoings. It also takes care of the appropriate subsidy applications for renovations.
Justus Menten, co-founder and managing director of Enter, says traditional energy assessments are way too slow: “Currently, around 200,000 properties are renovated in Germany every year. But to achieve our climate goals, it must be more than one million. Today’s certified energy efficiency consultants cannot achieve this goal in the traditional way. Although the training of new advisors is already running at full speed, it will take several years before sufficient capacities are available in Germany. This is where Enter comes in,” he said in a statement.
Enter claims that 75% of homeowners are worried they can’t afford energy-efficient renovations, hence why this is offered as part of the service.
As well as VCs, Enter also has business angels and advisers including Oliver Merkel, McMakler co-founders Hanno Heintzenberg and Lukas Pieczonka, taxfix COO Dr Daniel Kreter, Medwing founder Johannes Roggendorf and DST Global co-founder Tom Stafford.
Over a call Max Schroeren, co-founder and managing director, told me: “We end up with 250 data points and we only have to ask eight to nine questions. And that gives us 90% accuracy about the real energy-saving potential of the house. We then do a site visit with our own energy consultants to verify the data and add more and more data points. So at the end, the homeowner has a digital twin of the building and a better understanding how to improve the house.”
Dr Ricardo Schaefer, partner at Target Global said: “Ensuring that our use of energy is both effective and sustainable has become a key consideration for many people around the globe. Through ENTER´s unique technology, homeowners are able to identify the full energy potential of their homes and get access to energy saving home improvements at the tip of their fingertips.”
Sarah Cannon, general partner and head of European Private Investments at Coatue said: “As the shift to energy sovereignty accelerates in Europe, consumers require tangible solutions to navigate the transition. Enter’s unique home energy intelligence platform gives consumers direct control over their energy footprint and effective steps to improve home energy efficiency, reducing climate impact.”