R&D Investment Helps Okotech to Turn Up Heat on Sales
Antrim based Okotech Limited is capitalising on consumer drive for energy efficient heating solutions with its innovative heating control system, heatboss, winning new business here and in GB.
The company recently won a contract to supply the City of Cardiff Council with its smart wireless radiator control valves and room thermostat control system, for installation in its heritage buildings, the first of which was a local primary school in Cardiff.
As well as in schools, heatboss is also now installed and saving energy in care homes, offices, heritage buildings, offices and the company has also gained its first hotel client in March this year, opening up a new business market. The Bayview Hotel, Portballintrae, installed the heatboss system in March this year and is already achieving savings of between 30-40% on heating costs.
Janette O’Hagan from Okotech said: “The system enables users to control temperatures and on/off times for each room individually, ensuring that the correct heat is used only when and where it’s needed. Our intuitive web application also means that the system can be controlled easily and remotely from any web-enabled device.
“The heatboss system overcomes installation issues encountered by other wireless heating controls in scaling to commercial and public sized buildings and it also integrates seamlessly with any underlying building management system to ensure optimal savings.
“With our first hotel now on board this is already opening up new opportunities for us with other national and international hotels.”
Kevin McCann, Director of Research and Development, Invest NI said: “It is great to see this investment in R&D delivering a return for the business. The company continues to review its product range to ensure it is meeting the demands of customers, and potential customers. This innovative approach has meant the company has been able to look to new markets and expand its customer base.”
The Bayview hotel owner, Trevor Kane said: “Before installing heatboss we were heating the whole hotel, and to the same temperature, regardless of what rooms were in use. Now we are able to only heat the rooms we need, and can adjust temperatures in individual rooms to suit customer needs. Not only is this great for customers, but it has also had a dramatic impact on our energy costs already. Our investment will be fully paid for within 12 months, and we are also meeting our responsibility to help reduce the carbon footprint of Bayview, so this is proving to be a great investment for my business.
“Due to the energy efficiency benefits we were able to benefit from Invest NI’s 0% Energy Efficiency Loan Fund, operated by Carbon Trust, to purchase the system.”
Okotech participated on the Invest NI Propel programme, and was named Propel Company of the Year in 2012. It has gone on to focus on growing the business with support from Invest NI for marketing, design and R&D to develop its heatboss product.
Invest NI has offered R&D assistance of £22,345 towards the development of the heatboss product. Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020. Okotech Ltd has also availed of Invest NI support for marketing and design development.