AN ENERGY supplier based in Southampton is receiving £20million from a Japanese utility company to accelerate its growth.

Igloo Energy – which supplies more than 85,000 domestic customers – says the investment will also help fast-track its technology for helping customers reduce their energy use at home.

Osaka Gas will get a minority stake in the company in return for its investment in the challenger company.

Igloo was founded in 2017 with the intention of disrupting the energy market by focusing on helping customers use less power. It uses smart home technology to track energy use and deliver personalised energy efficiency recommendations.

In September, the Cumberland Place-based company launched its home services marketplace Igloo Works, to roll out smart thermostats and hybrid heating technology.

Igloo chief executive and co-founder Matt Clemow said: “Helping customers transition away fossil fuels to heat their homes is a critical aspect of how we reduce the impact of climate change. As an energy supplier who always puts its customers first, we are in a privileged position to help them do just that.

“This deal is a strategic investment for Osaka Gas, a global integrated utility headquartered in Japan. Osaka Gas is one of the world’s largest installers of domestic combined heat and power (mCHP) boilers. Their experience in rolling out alternative heating technology to consumers’ homes at scale will be invaluable to Igloo as we undertake to do the same in the UK.

“We’re delighted to be working with a strategic partner who shares our vision for the future of energy allied with the scale and experience to help us achieve our ambitions.”

Osaka Gas Company associate director Eiji Natsuaki said: “As an energy utility serving over six million million residential and C&I (commercial and industrial) customers in Japan, Osaka Gas has been growing its energy business by creating demand and providing value to customers while supplying reliable energy and offering innovative services since its commencement of business in 1905.

“We are very pleased with this strategic partnership between Igloo Energy and Osaka Gas, where we would like to contribute to expanding Igloo Energy’s business.

“In the UK, as a number of renewable generation facilities have been installed in recent years, there has been an increasing necessity of demand side energy flexibility. With the prospect of great demand growth in this area, we look forward to participating in Igloo Energy’s strategy to develop and roll out new services related to demand side energy flexibility.

“Through the collaboration with Igloo Energy in the household energy supply business in the UK, we aim to enhance our expertise in business operation and new services development in an advanced energy market to expedite our business expansion in the field of demand side energy flexibility.”

Domestic heating accounts for around 14 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions. Recent analysis by Policy Connect suggests 20,000 homes a week need to switch to low carbon heating between 2025 and 2050, if the country is to meet its goal of being net carbon neutral by 2050.

Although retrofitting older homes delivers greater emissions savings than fitting new homes, each home needs a tailored solution, Igloo says.