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Aira launches in the UK

UK: Swedish heat pump company Aira has now officially launched in the UK with a pledge to invest £300m in the next three years in its direct-to-consumer monthly subscription business.

The launch announcement follows similar launches this year in Italy and Germany and builds on Aira’s acquisition of Yorkshire installer All Seasons Energy in August.  

Aira will be offering an all-inclusive plan, a 10-year comfort guarantee, and a 30-day order to installation commitment with no upfront costs. 

The company is investing in two Aira Academies – one in Crayford, SE London, and one at All Seasons Energy in Sheffield – to train installers as part of its target to serve one million UK homes. The 1,238m2 unit on the Acorn Industrial Park in Crayford is expected to be operational in January. There are also said to be plans to open in the north west, with the company being fully nationwide by the end of 2024. 

Announcing the launch, Aira Group CEO Martin Lewerth said: “The UK is a crucial market to decarbonise, being one of Europe’s most populated countries and with the lowest heat pump penetration rate of just 1%. 

“Today Aira UK is a team of 200 employees, consisting of Clean Energy Experts and supporting roles, with 600 employees globally.”

The Aira UK team

Aira UK CEO is Daniel Särefjord, former MD of home security firm Verisure. He is supported by experienced colleagues, many of them former employees of nationwide consumer-oriented businesses like Vodafone, British Gas and its sister company Hive. 

The management team includes Marc Clarke as head of service operations; service operations director Matt Isherwood, Pamela Brown as chief marketing officer and commercial director, Oliver Jepson as head of talent acquisition, Andrew Angus as director of partnerships, Rupert Nevill as product supply director, Kirsty Suggett as finance director and chief of staff Ryan Harris.

No 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 recognises that, while the company is guaranteeing installation within 30 days, that is for installations that don’t require planning permission. He admitted that planning permission was one of the challenges the company faced in the UK.

Equipment

Aira’s entry into the European heat pump market was announced in June by Swedish investment group Vargas. The company acquired a 55,000m2 production facility in Wroclaw, Poland, taking over a former Volvo bus factory, and signed a license agreement with Swedish heat pump manufacturer ES Energy Save Holding. 

The company is thought to have been sourcing equipment from Vaillant and has featured the German manufacturer’s equipment on its websites.  

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.

Related stories:

Aira launches in Germany and makes UK move5 September 2023
UK/GERMANY: In separate moves, Aira, the Swedish company with big plans for Europe’s air-source heat pump market, has launched in Germany and acquired a UK installer. Read more…

Manufacturer signs technology deal with heat pump start-up Aira – 25 June 2023
SWEDEN: Swedish heat pump company ES Energy Save Holding AB claims to have signed a technology agreement with Aira, the Swedish start-up offering heat pumps on a monthly subscription. Read more…

Aira is new challenger in heat pump market – 18 June 2023
SWEDEN: Stockholm-based investment group Vargas has announced its entry into the European heat pump market with Aira, a direct-to-consumer company offering heat pumps on a monthly subscription. Read more…

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