Acrobat Carbon Services Ltd
In the race to tackle spiralling energy bills and curtail carbon emissions, energy efficiency is today top of the agenda for anyone concerned about the future of the planet.
Acrobat Carbon Services Limited was established in 2010, acting as a supply-chain partner to most of the large energy companies in the UK. To date Acrobat's focus has been to help the energy companies deliver a government energy efficiency policy called the Energy Company Obligation or ECO which is targeted towards low income families. If the energy companies install such measures, then they are deemed to have saved an amount of CO2: emissions against the UK's overall CO2: emissions' target. If the energy companies do not meet their targets, up to 10% of their global turnover could be subject to a financial penalty. Acrobat's role is to deliver ECO on behalf of the energy companies, i.e. all the vital tasks of originating consumer demand, adhering to strict compliance rules in relation to consumer eligibility, organising and managing efficient and effective installation and ensuring that by the end of the process everyone is happy.
Acrobat has enjoyed significant growth and awards thanks to the ECO scheme (for example listed in Sunday Times Fast Track 100 Businesses in 2015). However, as its name suggests, Acrobat are flexible and are looking to apply their skills and talents in different ways. They have a unique blend of skills and experience allied with sophisticated IT infrastructure and risk management procedures which help them move with agility to deliver different propositions to the consumer.
Acrobat are now evolving to create a new arm to the business, based around the fact that energy efficiency measures (if installed in the right type of household) will ultimately pay for themselves. Put simply, Acrobat are seeking to offer the consumer a different way of purchasing energy efficient measures. Currently the consumer has the choice of paying upfront or taking out a short-term loan, which can be expensive in terms of interest rate and fees.
Acrobat would be offering the consumer an FCA regulated loan, to purchase an energy efficiency measure, but only where the loan instalments payments are less than or equal to the independently assessed energy bill savings generated by the energy efficiency measure. Structured in this way Acrobat believe there is a wide cross section of people with limited financial resources who could be helped to make much need energy efficiency improvements to their homes, thereby helping to reduce fuel poverty and the UK's carbon emissions.
Acrobat are developing an investor orientated fund, which would deploy capital based on this Pay As You Save (PAYS) principle. The business hopes that the initial fund will be sufficient to deliver around 6,000 gas A-rated boiler installations, over a three-year period with plans to grow the fund quickly over a short period of time.
The truly exciting part is that the PAYS principle offers a scalable platform to penetrate UK households with different technologies to make a real difference to energy bills. Acrobat is currently trialling PV arrays with domestic battery technology. Based on in house calculations which consider standardised assumptions relating to consumer usage patterns and solar PV generation, Acrobat believe that such systems could theoretically result in up to a 20% reduction in a consumer's annual electricity bill over 20 years. Subject to the trial providing the empirical evidence to support the theoretical savings then such systems could be the next technology to be deployed through the PAYS platform. All in all PAYS has the potential to a real game changer in terms of social impact; ethical value; and technology.
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