Ventive Home: Smart, whole house retrofit solution

Ventive started out as a designer and manufacturer of innovative passive ventilation systems, before expanding into developing a smart, zero carbon home solution, that includes: low carbon heating and cooling, electrical and thermal energy storage, hot and cold water and ventilation all in one box.

Using technology to provide heating and hot water in a more intelligent, efficient way will be crucial for reaching a Net Zero carbon energy system in the UK.

Energy Systems Catapult invited a selection of SMEs focused on developing innovative smart heating and cooling solutions to work with our Energy Launchpad, giving them the opportunity to benefit from our capabilities, contacts and expertise.

Following a rigorous application process, Ventive was selected to receive support for the commercial development of their Ventive Home innovation to transform the way we heat buildings, delivering healthier and more comfortable homes without the carbon.

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Ventive: Piloting their innovative Ventive Home retrofit-in-a-box

The Energy Innovation

To achieve Net Zero by 2050, UK homes will need to switch to zero carbon heating – with much of it powered by renewable electricity. Yet with energy demand for home heating being up to six times higher than current electricity use in the home, solutions will need to utilise flexible, intelligent systems that can generate and store heat when demand on the grid is low.

Ventive Home is a smart, whole house retrofit solution based on Ventive’s patented intelligent ventilation system – offering zero carbon heating via a heat pump, ventilation for healthier living, passive cooling, hot water, electrical battery, thermal heat storage supplied by fellow Energy Launchpad alumni Edinburgh-based Sunamp, metering, monitoring and intelligent control – all in one box.

It is carbon neutral, cheap to operate and easy to install and maintain.

The system has the potential to reduce energy costs by up to 50% within domestic  environments and up to 30% within public (providing the heat lost via air leakage is minimised).

The Challenge

Ventive’s passive cooling solution had already gained traction in schools where regulations are more stringent on ventilation and good air quality is recognised as critical to support learning. The Ventive Home solution was conceived to address the increasingly important challenge of overheating and poor indoor air quality in residential new build and retrofit settings.

However, such solutions are complex and different segments of the market are at varying stages of readiness, requiring novel business models to finance and deliver improved consumer services.

So the key challenge for Energy Launchpad was to quantify the market opportunity, prioritise the sectors based the value being created and then develop the commercial model and route to market.

The Innovative Solution

Energy Systems Catapult is home to the Energy Launchpad that draws on our capabilities and assets, along with those of our partners. The Energy Launchpad provides innovators with tailored incubation and acceleration support to help address systemic barriers, de-risk innovation, help businesses scale and secure investment.

Energy Launchpad’s Accelerator programme offers scale-up support for selected high-impact potential SMEs. Support includes those areas outlined in incubation but in more depth, as well as help to access demonstration environments such as our Living Lab, engagement with potential corporate clients and investors, and links to international opportunities.

Energy Launchpad – Accelerator

The desired outcome and impact for Ventive would be a comfort-as-a-service business model, IP strategy and customer segmentation to support the commercialisation of Ventive Home in 2020. To support this goal, the Catapult will deliver the following:

  • Market Landscaping: Delivery Support Network partner Clear Blue Energy delivered a segmentation analysis of potential markets, identifying social housing with deep retrofit as an attractive sector for innovative heating and cooling solutions.
  • Understanding their value proposition: Analysing the benefits that flow to both the social landlord and the tenant helped verify this market segment.
  • Business Model Innovation: Identifying and prioritising the key assumptions of the commercial model that need to be true for the concept to work and develop a series of tests and experiments to help prove the business hypothesis.
    • The results and data collected from these experiments will be applied to the business model canvas to help identify how best to generate and capture value from the product.
    • This resulted in helping Ventive design a serviced-based proposition to help bring the Ventive Home solution to market.
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The Impact

Ventive secured a pilot project with Nottingham City Council to demonstrate the feasibility of the Ventive Home in helping existing buildings achieve Net Zero at a reasonable cost.

  • The tenant gets great indoor air quality, excellent levels of comfort and dramatically lower energy bills.
  • The local authority or housing association get a simple to install and cost-effective whole house retrofit solution, with all technologies accessible in the one box plugged into the outside of the home.
  • Ventive now has a viable “Comfort-as-a-Service” offering that makes Ventive Home more affordable for both tenant and landlord.
  • Ultimately Nottingham City Council plan to retrofit around 20,000 homes in response to the climate emergency and Ventive are in a prime position to help them execute that ambition.
  • Ventive will complete their pilot project in partnership with Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Energiesprong and the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy before investigating expansion options.
  • Ventive are in talks to run similar pilot projects with other city councils within the social housing market.
  • The business modelling insights have suggested novel commercial models for energy services for both today’s market arrangements and potential future markets that can be developed further and tested with partners.

Update: October 2022

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