Launching Carno—data platform for heat pump & renewable installations


Launching Carno—data platform for heat pump & renewable installations

Words Founders Factory

May 23rd 2023 / 3 min read

The problem

Heat pumps have been identified as one of the most efficient ways to decarbonise your home. Compared to a gas boiler, heat pumps can decrease your home carbon emissions by up to 80%. The UK government has identified wide scale roll out of heat pumps as a critical step towards upgrading its leaky housing stock, and are offering £5k grants for air source heat pumps and £6k for ground source heat pumps.

And yet, the supply cannot currently meet the demand, which is predicted to reach 600,000 installations per year by 2028. On the consumer side, there are simply not enough installers working on the market, with those existing installers booked up upwards of six months in advance. To become an installer requires a lengthy qualification process (MCS). Even once you do qualify, these installers are encumbered by what is a traditional manual process (pen and paper, or spreadsheet entry) of data collection and processing. 

In general, there is a lack of clarity and trust around the market. Homeowners don't know which renewables are appropriate for their home, or how much they need to borrow or why they need to borrow. Lenders don't have enough data to price their financing products. Installers don't have the tools to adequately install the solutions cost effectively

Interested in receiving more insights like this ? Subscribe to our newsletter and join 17k founders, investors & innovators.

Subscribe here
The solution

Carno is a robust platform providing critical data to consumers, installers, and lenders, fueling their decision-making process and driving confidence in the home energy transition. The aim is to enable the supply chain of installers and manufacturers with best in class technology, while also accelerating consumers to act on their home decarbonisation journey.

Starting with a SaaS product, Carno reduces complexity and makes lives easier for installers and surveyors. Their mobile app simplifies data collection and streamlines designing the correct measures for the home energy transition, while also enabling installers to automate administration tasks and build customer confidence. For installers, this cuts up to 80% of the admin time spent on data collection and tasks such as boiler upgrade scheme grant applications.

The data taken from these surveys will build a valuable data platform using machine learning and GPT-powered AI technology, providing deep insights and precise predictions for a variety of customer use cases—all of which will be accessible via their API.

The team

Tim Wright (Founder & CEO)

Tim has over a decade of experience as a founder in the proptech industry. Before founding Carno, he founded Focal Agent, a UK-based marketplace of energy assessors, floor planners, and professional photographers, and PropertyBox, an AI-powered property marketing tool. More recently, he participated in the first cohort of Carbon13, a Cambridge-based climate tech venture building programme. 

Rob Lane (CTO)

Rob is an experienced CTO and technical co-founder across a range of industries. He co-founded Arbtool, a SaaS platform for arborists and tree surgeons, and QR Pay, a fast, secure platform facilitating charitable donations through QR codes. Before this, he served as group CTO across three companies in the influencer marketing space, and as  CEO of an agency for developers. 

Adam Gilhespy (CPO)

Adam has 20 years of energy industry experience as a front line heating engineer, educator and communicator. He’s also an experienced designer and strategist, training in UX design and working in startups in Silicon Valley in 2017-18. His most recent role was as senior strategy lead at Myenergi, the UK’s leading home energy management and platforms and one of the Sunday Times’ fastest-growing UK companies in 2022. 

Why we’re excited to invest

Lizzie Hindocha, sector director for Mission Studio, says: “Carno takes its name from the Carnot cycle—the most efficient thermodynamics cycle. They do what it says on the tin: Carno is a digital platform that makes all players in the home energy transition more efficient.  Starting with a B2B app to help heat pump installers focus on value-add work and scaling up rapidly to serve heat pump manufacturers blitztrain their own ranks of installers they desperately require.”

“We love that Carno addresses the constrained supply side first—a huge bottleneck to housing decarbonisation in the UK—and believe in their longer term vision of using this data to build a digital platform that also helps lenders and consumers make decarbonisation decisions with more confidence.  Tim, Carno's experienced founder and CEO, has built a fantastic and very special team around himself, Adam and Rob being those rare beasts familiar with both heat pump installers and tech startups. We're delighted to have this strong team working together with us towards Net Zero.”

What Carno wants to get out of the programme

  • Building the foundations for highly scalable growth

  • Establish our product as the go to solution for renewables installers & key partners

  • Establish an elite founding team with knowledge in home energy transition, data and AI technology

Are you interested in co-founding a startup with us?

Submit an idea for our Venture Studio

Apply here
Words by
Share article

News from the Factory Floor


What is impact venture building?

Founders Factory venture designer Alexandra Simmons explains how you can build profit and purpose at the heart of a new venture

factory news

Backing HealthKey—transforming how healthcare is paid for

Find out more about HealthKey, who are making healthcare benefits more accessible and personalised

factory news

Launching Gridshare—democratising clean energy access through fractional ownership

Learn more about our new Fastweb Venture Studio business, and their innovative platform allowing consumers to crowdinvest in solar farms