Aira’s £300 Million UK Expansion Investment Launch
UK: Swedish heat pump manufacturer Aira has now formally launched in the country, promising to invest £300 million over the next three years in its monthly subscription business that is sold directly to consumers.
The news of the launch builds on Aira’s August acquisition of Yorkshire installer All Seasons Energy and comes after similar launches this year in Italy and Germany.
In addition to no up-front fees, Aira will provide an all-inclusive plan, a 10-year comfort warranty, and a 30-day order to installation promise.
In an effort to reach its goal of serving one million UK homes, the firm is investing in two Aira Academies, one located in Crayford, SE London, and the other at All Seasons Energy in Sheffield, to train installers. It is anticipated that the 1,238 m2 facility on the Crayford, Acorn Industrial Park, would be operating in January. Additionally, there are rumored intentions to launch in the Northwest, and by the end of 2024, the company is expected to be nationwide.
As one of the most populous nations in Europe and with the lowest heat pump penetration rate of just 1%, the UK is an important market to decarbonize, according to CEO of Aira Group Martin Lewerth, who also announced the launch.
“Today Aira UK is a team of 200 employees, consisting of Clean Energy Experts and supporting roles, with 600 employees globally.”
Daniel Särefjord, a former MD of the home security company Verisure, is the CEO of Aira UK. He is assisted by seasoned colleagues, many of whom were formerly employed by national consumer-focused companies like British Gas, Vodafone, and its sister company Hive.
Head of Service Operations Marc Clarke, Director of Service Operations Matt Isherwood, Chief Marketing Officer and Commercial Director Pamela Brown, Head of Talent Acquisition Oliver Jepson, Director of Partnerships Andrew Angus, Director of Product Supply Rupert Nevill, Director of Finance Kirsty Suggett, and Chief of Staff Ryan Harris make up the management team.
Not at risk
Having been born in Sweden, UK CEO Daniel Särefjord has grown up with heat pumps. “We know that they work but we want to take away that risk for consumers who might doubt new technology even though we know it’s not new,” he said. “And we do that by selling everything with a 10-year comfort guarantee. So any maintenance, any problems you experience, it’s on us. It’s our job to make it work and if it doesn’t work, you’ll get your money back.”
Särefjord understands that although the company promises installation in 30 days, this is only applicable to installations for which planning clearance is not needed. He acknowledged that obtaining planning approval was among the difficulties the business had in the UK.
The Swedish investment group Vargas announced in June that Equipment Aira would be joining the European heat pump market. Acquiring a 55,000m2 production site in Wroclaw, Poland, the firm took over a former Volvo bus factory. Additionally, it secured a license arrangement with ES Energy Save Holding, a Swedish heat pump producer.
The corporation has allegedly been purchasing equipment from Vaillant and has highlighted the products on its websites. Vaillant is a German manufacturer.
Martin Lewerth said: “We are sourcing products from well established manufacturers. Vaillant is one. We work with Daikin as well. You should also remember that the companies that we have acquired [in addition to All Season Energy, Aira has also acquired contractors in Germany and Italy] they have a business already ongoing. So they have well established relationships.”
On the company’s plans for its own production, he said: “We are developing our products and the factory we have in Poland, it is very sizeable factory. It will have a capacity up to 500,000 sets every single year, so it will be up there as one of the bigger ones in Europe. So, you will see that gradually we will need to use our own products but we will most certainly continue to work in close collaboration with all the great product companies out there in the market.