It’s with great excitement that this month we get to celebrate a momentous milestone – our 10-year anniversary! Time has flown by, and yet it feels like just yesterday when we embarked on this incredible journey.
Over the years, our team has poured their unwavering dedication, creativity, and passion into ECO Surv. And with the nature of the energy efficiency industry and government schemes, it’s meant we’ve had to adapt and overcome many challenges as we’ve grown. In this blog, we delve into what has been a decade of relentless pursuit and invaluable lessons that have shaped us into the company we are today.
How ECO Surv began
In February 2013, Nathaniel Butters (Founding Director) came together with Alessandro Zerillo (Founding Director) back when Nathaniel was working in the energy efficiency sector. Undertaking a project with Blackpool and Fylde College, Nathaniel was training individuals to become qualified Domestic Energy Assessors in the newly launched government ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme. As these assessors began their property assessments, Nathaniel started receiving calls from them, seeking clarification on certain assumptions built into the assessment platforms as they weren’t accurately reflecting or representing the properties being surveyed.
It became apparent that there were significant issues, and in some cases, the EPC methodology required intervention to provide more accurate information on the condition of the property and reflect better which measures could be installed in properties. Fortunately, Nathaniel was able to develop a manual methodology for assessors to be able to capture more accurate information. But with the manual process, the sheer scale of the task at hand, and the complexities of the ECO scheme, it highlighted the need for a better long-term solution more scalable solution.
During a meeting at Starbucks, Nathaniel and Alessandro (who had a background in software development) discussed the problem Nathaniel had uncovered. With more than 20 years of experience in the property, construction, design and sustainability sectors – they immediately recognised the potential and requirement to build a system and online portal to address the problem. From there, Version 1 of the ECO Surv software was born and launched in May 2013!
The venture gained rapid attention and traction, driving Nathaniel and Alessandro to work tirelessly while networking and meeting potential customers. They continuously developed the software, incorporating feedback as they went. Then in July 2013, they released the first version of the ECO Surv mobile application.
From issuing their first invoice in May 2013 to securing their first major client not long after, ECO Surv achieved a remarkable feat by surpassing their revenue goals within just 18 months of trading allowing them to reinvest back into the business and grow the team. This success was an outcome of their dedication, round-the-clock efforts, and passion for solving problems using the latest technology.
In the ten years since, the software is now on its third version and the original team of two has now expanded to a team of 30 with still plenty of growing to do!
You can read all the highlights and key milestones of our incredible journey over on our ‘Our Story’ page.
10 years through 10 statistics…
- 10 years since we began
- 30 like-minded, ambitious individuals currently working at ECO Surv
- 50+ people who’ve worked with us through the years
- 10 offices that have been part of the journey (not including Starbucks!)
- 3 completely redeveloped versions of the ECO Surv platform
- 5 national award wins
- 10 government schemes we’ve supported projects through
- 400+ customers across the years
- 750,000 surveys processed through the platform
- 500,000 measures installed!
Lessons learned along the way
Adaptability and flexibility
With the ECO world being a heavily regulated industry, it can be challenging to keep up with the rapid changes. From schemes being completely redesigned to digital signature changes and updates from Ofgem & BEIS (now DESNZ) in compliance standards and the introduction of TrustMark the government quality standard – not only have we needed to keep pace, but our software platforms have had to as well.
We have learnt to adapt and overcome these changes at breakneck speed, and alongside the peaks and troughs of government scheme cycles, we have used these challenges as opportunities for increased scale and growth. Our latest version of the platform has been built with flexibility at the heart of the product and 10 years of listening to what the industry needs!
This way, as future changes emerge (and they absolutely will), the ECO Surv platform can easily adapt and adjust in real-time without the need to start from scratch each time. By anticipating and responding to the industry and our customers immediate demands, this has resulted in creating a more sustainable and resilient product.
As the industry’s quality standards have improved, and the market has expanded, we always keep an eye out for opportunities to diversify our offering. However, in the past, some of these diversifications were driven by necessity.
In December 2016, the Each Home Counts report was published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and highlighted the greater need for a holistic approach to retrofit services in buildings. At a similar time, TrustMark became the approved government quality standard in the industry and with the version upgrade to PAS 2030:2019 and the introduction of PAS 2035:2019 also, this further fuelled the growth of the retrofit-compliant market.
While we were already supporting workflow management through our app, we suddenly realised that there was a shortage of necessary roles to meet the requirements of the 2021 PAS 2019 delivery. With the impending deadline and the lack of retrofit coordination resources and capacity within our network, we realised that installs would come to a halt if we didn’t take action.
Therefore, in 2021, we swiftly diversified our offering and established an in-house team to provide our own Retrofit Services into the industry. This step allowed us to offer comprehensive end-to-end retrofit services under the ECO Surv brand, which has been an integral service to our growth ever since.
The right people
One lesson that we’ve learnt along the way, is that having the right people in the right seats, doing the right job, and at the right time, is absolutely crucial. Within our team, we have individuals who have grown and evolved with the company, celebrating 8+ years of dedication and service, as well as fresh faces bringing new perspectives. It is the collective effort of every team member that has shaped ECO Surv into what it is today.
Harnessing the best culture for our team is integral and we have learnt that as we’ve grown in numbers we need to always proactively review and refine our offering. ECO Surv in 2013, is hugely different to ECO Surv in 2023 – both in terms of the business we’re running, but also in terms of the working environment we find ourselves in post-covid.
We take pride in our ability to provide hybrid and remote working options, offering flexibility to our team members. This approach allows us to attract and retain the best talent, ensuring the success of our business in an ever-changing landscape.
Our people are front and centre to the continued growth of the company and ambitious plans over the coming years, and we are super grateful to be sharing the journey with such amazing people!
The ECO Surv Impact
Since 2015, the ECO Surv platform has facilitated surveys for over 500,000 homes and resulted in the successful installation of 350,000 energy efficiency measures. These efforts have led to an average annual saving of £698 per household and a reduction of 1,458kg of CO2 emissions. In total, an impressive 510 million kilograms of CO2 are saved annually.
By supporting the installation of these measures, ECO Surv indirectly contributes to the UK Government’s ambitious goal of achieving Net Zero by 2050 and this commitment serves as the driving force behind our work in this sector.
Given the prevalent issue of fuel poverty currently in the UK and globally, it is vital that the software we create has a tangible impact on end customers. So, it is great to see that households are saving on energy bills through the implementation of energy efficiency measures. This success further motivates us to keep pushing the boundaries of our software, to ensure that more homes can benefit from retrofit improvement measures resulting in crucial savings.
The next 10 years of ECO Surv
So, what’s next for ECO Surv? The next 10 years will be an exhilarating journey of diversification and growth. As we collaborate closely with our customers to understand their future needs, we are simultaneously exploring opportunities beyond the ECO sector. Our aim is to expand our offerings by delivering additional compliance software and support in other domains.
Strategic partnerships play a crucial role in this vision. We are actively pursuing technical integrations to provide customers with a comprehensive and convenient experience and are aligning our objectives with stakeholders throughout the supply chain to foster industry-wide innovations.
Wherever we end up in 10 years, our overarching goal remains consistent: driving new technological innovations in the energy efficiency sector. By pioneering efficient and compliant products, we aspire to lead the way and set new standards for the industry.
A big thank you!
ECO Surv wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of everyone who’s worked with us at ECO Surv (past and present), the family and friends who have supported since the very beginning, the mentors, advisors and partners who’ve shared this journey with us along the way – and most importantly, to our customers, who have put their support and trust into our products and services for the past 10 years.
We can’t wait to celebrate this milestone with all of you, and we’re eagerly looking forward to the next 10 years of pushing boundaries and making a positive impact in the energy efficiency world!