geo wins Queen’s Award, underlining vital importance of smarter home energy solutions

This achievement recognises not just technical achievement and business success for the Cambridge-based company, but, significantly, the progress they have made in introducing ground-breaking solutions to help consumers control their home energy usage.

geo’s commitment to delivering vital, actionable energy data into homes is driven by the concerns about climate change and the growing shortage of resources shared by its co-founders, Patrick Caiger-Smith and Simon Anderson.

Since they founded geo eleven years ago, they have designed and developed a series of innovative products, and it is the first of these, the Solo in-home energy monitor, that has been specifically recognised by the Queen’s Award.

The Solo concept was conceived long before the advent of smart meters, and has a very simple premise – to show consumers how much electricity they are using. Solo is easy to operate and ensures that users gain meaningful information that they can act upon to make improvements in their energy usage.

“Solo represents the starting point for everything that geo was set up to do,” commented Patrick Caiger-Smith, CEO at geo. “It is a highly engineered and beautifully designed solution that is simple and engaging to use. However, it also has the power to deliver vital data to the cloud that can be captured, transferred, stored and analysed, resulting in information to help the customer.”

Why did geo stand out?

geo was selected for the Queen’s Award because it was able to demonstrate that the innovation behind the Solo product had been influential in four important areas. The first is at the core of its own business development, helping to spawn other new products; the second is amongst its own customers who are energy retailers looking for well-engineered products at an acceptable price; the third is with the Department of Energy and Climate Change to encourage them to support in-home displays in the smart metering programme; and the final area is amongst energy consumers.

Innovation was also an essential part of the design of the Solo product. In order to show the user useful information about their energy habits, geo adopted a ‘speedometer’ visual, which was displayed at very low cost by reversing an LCD display, and built-in self-learning algorithms that worked out a normal usage profile for every day of the week.

Patrick Caiger-Smith continued: “We are proud and delighted to have been recognised in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in Innovation. It has always been our belief that our technology solutions are a means to a very important end – engaging consumers so that we can bring about a real, tangible change in energy usage that has a positive, long-term impact on climate change.

“Innovation is at the heart of what our entire team does on a daily basis, and this requires a huge amount of commitment and talent. Receiving the Queen’s Award is a testament to our team and we are all honoured by the recognition.”