Funding

[Funding alert] London-based Hometree Secures Debt Funding from BlackRock

Apr 16, 2024 | By Startup Rise EU

  • Hometree, the challenger residential energy services company backed by Legal & General, has secured its first debt facility from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.
  • The facility will be used to fund acquisitions of renewable energy installers, helping Hometree to become the first choice for homeowners looking to decarbonise their home.
  • Hometree has acquired two renewable installation companies with combined £15m revenues: GeoWarmth Heat Pumps and The Little Green Energy Company, as it accelerates its ambition to lead the home decarbonisation revolution.
Hometree, the fast-growing residential energy services company, has secured its first debt facility from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, as a key step on its mission to support the decarbonisation of millions of homes across the UK.

Hometree, the fast-growing residential energy services company, has secured its first debt facility from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, as a key step on its mission to support the decarbonisation of millions of homes across the UK.

The facility will be used to acquire renewable energy installation businesses and support Hometree’s move to offer a “whole of life” solution. This will make the transition to renewable energy simpler and more affordable for homeowners by providing hardware installation, financing, repairs, and ongoing maintenance altogether.

Founded in 2015, Hometree has become a leading UK challenger brand in residential energy services. With an initial focus on home emergency breakdown and insurance, Hometree has since expanded into renewable installations and financing, positioning itself to become a key partner for homeowners looking for low-carbon home energy solutions.

It now has over 100,000 customers who rely on Hometree to keep their homes running smoothly with emergency heating, plumbing, electrical repairs and maintenance plans, which are delivered by its nationwide network of over 5,000 multi-trade engineers and installers.

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In addition, through its Hometree Finance division, Hometree has the largest portfolio of residential heat, solar and battery leases in the UK which it finances and owns the assets for homeowners, so they can benefit from the lower energy bills, without the upfront cost of installation.

With demand set to surge for renewable energy installations, Hometree is in a prime position to accelerate the change from gas boilers to heat pumps and other renewable forms of technology across the UK. As the UK phases out gas boilers in new homes by 2035, many consumers are investing in renewable energy sources to power their homes including heat pumps, solar panels and electric batteries.

Read also - Barcelona-based Factorial Secures $80Million in Funding

With targets set to have 600,000 heat pumps installed by 2028, Hometree is capitalising on this switch to renewables by acquiring two leading regional installation companies: GeoWarmth Heat Pumps and The Little Green Energy Company. This brings the total number of companies Hometree has acquired to seven.

Between them, these two companies have installed around 12,500 renewable systems into homes across the UK over the last 10 years, employ 55 people and have a combined £15 million in revenues and £2.5 million EBITDA in the most recent financial year. The companies will gain access to Hometree’s customer base, its suite of financing products and insurance services, so they can deliver even more value to their customers.

Meanwhile, the acquisitions will enable Hometree to bolster its engineering force and re-train more of its 5,000 engineers to be able to install, repair and maintain renewables – a key consideration given that reports have suggested that the country needs 30,000 heat pump installers to meet its ambitious targets.

Hometree Founder & CEO Simon Phelan said: “To be able to secure financing from BlackRock to support our M&A program is a fantastic boost and shows we’re on the right track towards achieving our ultimate aim of building Europe’s leading residential energy services company. Our mission has always been to support homeowners to decarbonise their homes, and this additional funding gives us the capacity to increase our scale at pace through M&A. We are incredibly excited to be partnering with the founders and management teams of two exceptional renewable installation companies and look forward to helping them scale their companies significantly. If the UK is to achieve its net zero ambition, we will need an army of installers right across the country and we’re committed to bringing together these skills, supported by financing and in-life repair and maintenance services, to make Hometree the first choice for homeowners who want to do the right thing by the planet.”

Tim Fenwick, Director at BlackRock Venture & Growth Lending, said: “This new debt facility will support the company in scaling up its plan to manage all aspects of sustainable homeownership and give our clients exposure to an innovative, growing business.

John Withers, CEO of Geowarmth said: “I’m immensely proud of the progress we have made in the past 17 years to become a recognised installer of low-carbon energy solutions. I am delighted we are now part of Hometree, which will allow us to reach more people and help more homes transition to renewable energy.”

Simon Dudson, CEO of The Little Green Energy Company said: “Our mission has always been to help businesses and homes to transition to solar panels and battery storage, reducing the impact on the planet. Working with Hometree will help us achieve that on a much larger scale, enabling more homes to join the green renewable energy revolution.”

About Hometree

The goal of home energy services provider Hometree is to quicken the shift to net zero energy. They assist homeowners in making the shift to low-carbon living when they're ready by maintaining, installing, and financing home energy gear.

In the UK, 14% of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to heating. They must take action if they are to meet those net zero targets and lessen the climate emergency. Although the transformation has already started, it will take time to complete because it is an enormous task.

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