British utility E.On has acquired a 49% share of residential and commercial solar energy company Eco2Solar.
While E.ON is not disclosing the cost of the acquisition due to its commercially sensitive nature, "We can say we have made a fair investment given the scale and potential of Eco2Solar and this market as a whole," the company told Solar Power Portal.
Eco2Solar has installed energy systems on more than 20,000 buildings across the UK, including schools, hospitals, medical centres, universities and distribution centres, and particularly works with property developers and new-build housing.
Paul Hutchens, CEO of Eco2Solar, said the company was really pleased to have E.On on board.
“Together we will be much stronger, and E.On’s international presence and breadth of solutions will enable us to accelerate our vision to make solar standard on all new buildings, as well as creating homes and communities as energy hubs.
“Eco2Solar will continue to operate independently and our focus remains the same: to install solar PV, battery storage and other smart electrical technologies for the new build housing market across the UK.”
The company was founded in 2007, and installs battery storage and electric vehicle chargers for developers, social housing and commercial buildings alongside solar PV.
In 2019, the company signed an exclusive supply deal with housebuilding firm Redrow Homes and partnered with heat battery firm Sunamp to deliver a pilot project looking at solar PV-powered domestic heating.
Following the acquisition, Eco2Solar will continue to operate under its own branding whilst E.ON will cease activities through its residential new-build solar channels and instead manage customer demand through Eco2Solar, the company said. This agreement does not affect any of E.ON’s other activities – domestic retrofit, industrial/commercial installs etc.
"For developers this agreement potentially allows them to incorporate a greater range of sustainable technologies in a more streamlined process, working with a single specialist provider rather than a range of subcontractors for individual technologies," E.ON told SPP.
"For home buyers it means a greater number of new homes being built with greater sustainability from the outset – both companies agree that future net zero ambitions should mean ‘solar as standard’ for all new homes but that also includes such things as heat pumps or EV charging. This helps people to contribute to UK climate emergency targets and benefit from lower running costs of a more sustainable and affordable home."
E.On pointed to the need for rapid and radical change for the UK to reach its decarbonisation target, in particular given that the residential sector is the second highest carbon emitter.
“The houses we live in now and the ones we will build for the future will be key to achieving” the UK's net zero goals, said Michael Lewis, chief executive of E.On UK.
“Eco2Solar have proved themselves to be well equipped to support developers in their sustainability needs and they are a great fit with what we are trying to achieve for our millions of customers across E.On; making energy smart, personalised and sustainable in their homes, businesses and across entire communities.”