) Casey Cole, Managing Director of Guru Systems, has joined forces with Gareth Jones

Smart meter firm Guru Systems goes it alone

Disruptive district heat prepay technology given a boost as company announces buyout

London-based clean tech company Guru Systems has parted ways with its parent company Fontenergy as it looks to move into new markets and attract investment.

The company manufactures and installs smart meter and control systems for social housing, private landlords and operators of district heating schemes.

Now wholly owned by Enpal Ltd, directors Casey Cole and Gareth Jones have secured significant initial funding from angel investors following the buyout from Fontenergy.

Guru Systems, which has seen its technology installed in 30 district heating systems across Scotland and England, hopes to raise £1 million in further investment by spring 2015.

The company has sold more than 3,000 pay-as-you-go smart meters, which are manufactured in the UK, as planning departments promote an ‘Eco-first’ approach to new housing schemes, making district heating systems more attractive to developers.

Unique to the market, Guru provides its system under a software-as-a-service contract, which allows a range of service providers and ESCOs to administer their own prepay systems.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the company as we expand in new markets and look to develop our products further,” says Casey Cole, who has been Managing Director of the firm since it was established in 2012.

Guru’s pay-as-you-go utility platform eliminates debt risk for utility providers on distributed energy schemes. The networked system also helps to improve energy efficiency by providing up-to-the-minute performance data allowing operators to spot any problems early. 

Cole added: “We’ve seen a huge uptake in both private and social rented markets as landlords look to cap their risk while providing cheaper energy to their customers. We hope to continue to grow in this market as we develop the next generation of Guru Hubs.”

Previously landlords would set tariffs based on the expected performance of the energy system – not on real world data that shows how well the network is actually working. This means that if initial assumptions are inaccurate, or there is a sudden dip in efficiency through a fault in the network, the landlord could lose money every time a tenant turns on the heating.  

The Guru system uses wireless technology to monitor key information on how the network is performing – from the central plant right through to each individual’s home – meaning operators of district heating schemes can quickly identify any issues in the network long before costs mount up.

“While we’ve become independent, we’ll continue to work closely with our existing utility clients to provide systems that meet or anticipate their needs.

“This independence will allow us to set our own agenda and move forward as we develop our products further, secure investment and move into new markets,” says Casey Cole, who teamed up with former Fontenergy director Gareth Jones to form Enpal Ltd earlier this year.

Visit the Guru Systems website for more details on its Smart Metering technology.

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