Hodge and L&G invest in 'net zero' fintech firm

Hodge and Legal & General have made a significant investment in Sero, a Cardiff-based energy technology and services company.

Related topics:  Finance News   |   Rozi Jones
|
13th January 2022
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"The challenge of upgrading existing housing stock is growing as the urgency of solving the climate emergency becomes even greater."

The two firms have jointly invested £5.5million in Sero to support its work in the transition to net-zero across the residential housing sector. The investment will help Sero in its next stage of growth, as well as its aims to support the delivery of net zero financial products with institutional partners.

Sero develops digital tools and expertise to design and deliver cost effective low carbon solutions for both new build and existing homes. It has already built nearly 500 new homes and started retrofitting more over 3,000 homes, spread across more than 30 social landlords.

Later this spring, Sero will be launching its Building Passport, a digital app that allows homeowners to gain a greater understanding of the carbon footprint of their home, how they can make it more energy efficient, and track the progress of the home on its pathway to net zero. This follows recommendations last year from the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB) for developing a standardised framework for Building Renovation Plans in the UK, to enable property owners to access digital information to help inform how they retrofit their home.

This also aligns with the UK Government’s anticipated move towards improving home energy performance through lenders, with building societies and banks able to use the Building Passport to inform the use of green finance products. Sero’s Capture app will be used to log data to understand more about each individual home. This data will then be used to create the digital Building Passport, which will set out the current building status alongside a clear and attainable route to net zero for each home.

David Landen, CEO at Hodge, said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce Hodge’s investment in Sero. Our homes are one of the largest contributors to the UK’s carbon emissions and all new and existing homes will need to evolve to enable us to meet our 2050 net zero carbon target. Sero seamlessly guides people through understanding their own path to net zero as well as supporting them in the steps required to meet that goal.

“Our organisations share a common purpose of making lives and society a better place. We can build a strong partnership to help all customers with this vital part of the UK’s carbon transition. The investment is part of our strategy to invest in exciting technology businesses that have close alignment to both our business and our purpose.”

James Williams, CEO at Sero, commented: “The challenge of upgrading existing housing stock is growing as the urgency of solving the climate emergency becomes even greater. Improving the energy efficiency of our homes can provide long term economic benefit and comfort to residents, as well as reducing carbon emissions. This investment therefore is a huge milestone for Sero as we grow and bring new products to market to help Wales and the UK in its delivery of net zero.

“We set out to find investors that share our vision, and this has been evident from both the Legal & General and Hodge teams from the outset. We look forward to now working together to create strategic opportunities for the business, in particular expanding our presence within new and emerging sectors, such as working with banks and building societies to support the development of green finance products.”

 

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