To start things off, please can you tell us about yourself?
I am Silvio Spiess, CEO of Innasol Group. I founded Innasol in 2010 with some colleagues who shared the same passion as me: to make clean energy accessible to everyone. I split my time between Austria, where I live with my family, and Essex, England, where Innasol’s main office is.
What is Innasol?
Innasol is a renewable heating company, supplying biomass boilers and heat pumps. We are offering a genuine alternative to dirty fossil fuels through our nationwide network of over 200 experienced local partners.
What is it that makes Innasol unique?
At Innasol we are passionate about changing the way we use energy, and believe that encouraging that change on a large scale requires education. We differentiate ourselves in this respect. We have heavily invested in a dedicated training facility, and set about developing its first accreditation scheme.
How was the journey from conception to launch?
The idea was quite clear from the beginning: bring the latest and greatest in renewable heating technology from Europe to the emerging UK market. We created a distribution network of professional installation partners. After securing the distribution rights with the leading biomass boiler manufacturer and the leading heat pump manufacturer… we got to work!
How did you initially manage to fund your business?
We funded Innasol through two round of equity funding which raised £3 million: seed funding in 2011 and Series A funding in early 2013.
Innasol has been acknowledged for its fantastic customer service. Why is building trust between a business and its customers so important?
It might seem glaringly obvious, but customers are the lifeblood of any business: happy customers will return time and time again. They can be your biggest advocates. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth, it can make or break a company.
At Innasol our ethos is “you’re as good as your last job” - our good customer service is built from our whole partner network striving time after time to deliver simple advice and hassle-free installations.
Do you find that people are beginning to listen more about climate change in the UK?
I think there are now a lot of voices within the climate change arena, and each one is working to take the UK closer to its carbon targets. Every day we are reading stories about climate change agreements, pledges and promises.
However, we shouldn’t forget that not all energy is created equal - a more energy efficient boiler is never going to cut household carbon emissions completely, which is where renewable heating comes in. 100% sustainable, 100% carbon neutral and 100% safe.
What one piece of business advice has stuck with you?
If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it!
What 3 words would a friend use to describe you?
Passionate, convincing, generous.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
Our plans for the next twelve months are threefold. Firstly, we want to increase our share of the UK's growing biomass market and maintain growth in a market of decreasing government support.
Then we plan to do all we can to continue strengthening our training offering, by increasing the breadth of courses we offer, delivering high quality sessions, and partnering with a diverse pool of certification bodies.
Lastly, we’ll endeavour to raise awareness of the benefits of renewable heating amongst both consumers and professionals alike through our ongoing PR and marketing activity.