By Mike Button – Director, Boxed Energy
Later this week, we’ll be proudly lining up next to our housing industry peers at the UK Housing Awards in London. It’s the first time that Boxed Energy has attended the most prestigious awards in the sector, and we’re over the moon with our shortlisting for Outstanding Innovation of the Year.
It’s a real coup for a start-up that’s been operating for just over two years, and whether we win or lose on the night, I’m extremely proud of what’s been achieved by the business so far.
Only two months ago, we were scooping our first award as a company – for our innovative approach to finance, which is helping RP landlords fund vital upgrades to their ageing heating systems without any upfront expenditure.
True, it’s a unique model within housing, and one that is already unlocking significant capital and carbon savings for the sector. But in an industry that’s has been forced to adapt and reinvent itself so many times, what makes us an authority on innovation – and what have we learned along the way?
Innovation is a team effort
There’s no point in pushing the envelope unless all stakeholders buy into new ideas and fresh ways of thinking. We’ve been extremely fortunate to work with organisations who thrive in thinking ‘outside the box’, like the Green Investment Bank and Equitix.
Our joint venture partners Places for People are also synonymous with innovation – continually bringing new services to market that meet the ever-changing needs of the housing sector.
We’ve also benefitted greatly from the expertise of Baxi Heating – our technical partners – whose creativity and expertise has helped us define the long-term Boxed Energy offer.
Learn to turn every hurdle into a springboard
Like any start-up, we’ve hit our fair share of stumbling blocks in developing a business model that delivers attractive returns for all parties. Looking back, each of those challenges helped us to further refine our proposal, making it as straightforward and streamlined as possible. To know that we’re helping landlords and tenants across the country warm their homes more sustainably (and at a reduced cost) whilst meeting our investment obligations gives us reassurance that the Boxed Energy concept really works.
True innovation has no end point
No-one in this ever-changing sector can afford to rest on their laurels for long. We’ve learned a vast amount in the past 24 months, and have used all feedback from the sector to inspire and inform our next steps as a business. 2017 will therefore see Boxed Energy move into new sectors and solutions, including offering bespoke renewable heating solutions where desired and appropriate.
In short, we want our customers to drive the next phase of our innovation.
If you’re attending the UK Housing Awards this week, we’d love to talk to you about our innovative approach, and find out how it could be adapted to help your business.
It really is what inspires us.