Sero, a Cardiff-based energy technology and services company, has secured a £5.5m investment from Welsh business Hodge and leading finance services provider Legal & General to support the transition to net- zero across the residential housing sector in Wales.
The investment will help support Sero in its next stage of growth, as well as its aims to support the delivery of net zero financial products with institutional partners.
Sero develops industry leading digital tools and expertise to design and deliver cost effective low carbon solutions for both new build and existing homes. In November 2020, Sero was one of a major consortium to win £7m Welsh Government funding to roll out the large scale decarbonisation of homes across Wales. Sero has already built nearly 500 new homes and started retrofitting more over 3,000 homes, spread across more than 30 social landlords.
James Williams, Chief Executive Officer at Sero said: “The challenge of upgrading existing housing stock is growing as the urgency of solving the climate emergency becomes even greater. Improving the energy efficiency of our homes can provide long term economic benefit and comfort to residents, as well as reducing carbon emissions. This investment therefore is a huge milestone for Sero as we grow and bring new products to market to help Wales and the UK in its delivery of net zero.
“We set out to find investors that share our vision, and this has been evident from both the Legal & General and Hodge teams from the outset. We look forward to now working together to create strategic opportunities for the business, in particular expanding our presence within new and emerging sectors, such as working with banks and building societies to support the development of green finance products.”
David Landen, Chief Executive Officer at Hodge, said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce Hodge’s investment in Sero. Our homes are one of the largest contributors to the UKs carbon emissions and all new and existing homes will need to evolve to enable us to meet our 2050 net zero carbon target. Sero seamlessly guides people through understanding their
own path to net zero as well as supporting them in the steps required to meet that goal.
“Apart from both being proud Welsh businesses, our organisations share a common purpose of making lives and society a better place. We can build a strong partnership to help all customers with this vital part of the UK’s carbon transition. The investment is part of our strategy to invest in exciting technology businesses that have close alignment to both our business and our purpose.”
John Bromley, Head of Clean Energy at Legal & General Capital
said: “Housing is a major contributor to carbon emissions, requiring some of the most challenging and immediate overhauls of any sector. We are delighted, therefore, to be investing in a business that will play a major role in putting UK housing on a pathway to net zero. As an energy transition investor, we are aiming to support the scale up of innovative businesses capable of delivering the solutions needed to reduce emissions throughout the economy, and Sero represents another perfect partner for us in this space. As one of Cardiff’s largest employers, with a significant stake-holding in the local area through our £450m Central Square development, we are delighted to be working with the Sero team to grow their business, supporting further job creation in the local area and scaling an innovative Wales-based SME.”
Later this spring Sero will be launching its industry leading Building Passport, a digital app that allows homeowners to gain a greater understanding of the carbon footprint of their home, how they can make it more energy efficient, and track the progress of the home on its pathway to net zero. This follows recommendations last year from the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB) for developing a standardised framework for Building Renovation Plans in the UK, to enable property owners to access digital information to help inform how they retrofit their home.
This also aligns with the UK Government’s anticipated move towards improving home energy performance through lenders, with building societies and banks able to use the Building Passport to inform the use of green finance products. Sero’s Capture app will be used to log data to understand more about each individual home. This data will then be used to create the digital Building Passport, which will set out the current building status alongside a clear and attainable route to net zero for each home.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact:
Kath Chadwick or Lynsey Walden at Front Door Communications on firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com and 029 20 020360.
Sero Media Contact:
Julie Longton on 07834472195 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded with a mission to deliver Net Zero Carbon in homes, Sero is a certified B Corporation working with developers, landlords and financial institutions to help provide the digital products and technical expertise needed to decarbonise the c.27m homes of the UK.
Sero’s pragmatic approach provides an end-to-end solution that starts with a digital Building Passport that captures the unique nature of each home, and then allows the homeowner to plan a stepped Pathway to Zero that best suits their preferences whilst recognising the ongoing decarbonisation of the energy grids. This results in offering the resident the UK’s first “Comfort as a Service” home energy solution, providing customers a combination of home energy optimisation and services that keeps their preferred comfort settings, whilst reducing their effort, costs and carbon footprint.
www.sero.life Follow @sero_group on Twitter and Linkedin.
For more than 50 years, Hodge has helped its customers achieve their financial
goals with the skills and knowledge to ensure it creates products and delivers service for the moments that matter.
Over the years it has created mortgage products to support the older than average borrower and has also been able to use its experience in other specialist areas to
grow its product offering to better serve brokers and customers alike.
Whether it’s with their personal mortgage, savings, or as a commercial client, Hodge is there to support the thousands of customers who trust us with their finances.
Hodge is 79% owned by the Hodge Foundation, a charity supporting welfare, medical and academic endeavours. More information can be found on the
Follow @HodgeBank on Twitter.
Legal & General Capital
Legal & General Capital (LGC) is Legal & General Group’s alternative asset platform, creating assets for Legal & General Retirement and third-party clients in order to achieve improved risk-adjusted returns for our shareholders.
LGC has built its market leading capabilities in a range of alternative assets, delivering depth of resource, track record and intellectual property. Investing in the real economy and creating alternative assets that deliver a tangible societal impact, its purpose is to invest society’s capital for society’s benefit. LGC’s investments have been vertically integrated and include: residential property; specialist commercial real estate; clean energy (growth equity, assets and infrastructure); alternative credit; and venture capital.
As LGC’s capability to create alternative assets continues to grow, it will not only continue to expand its balance sheet but also to create alternative assets for third party investors. Many of these investors have the same aims, namely to create assets to back pensions with an improved yield or to create assets with strong growth prospects but with low correlation to equities performance.
L&G has invested over £30bn in levelling-up regional economies, including through major regeneration schemes in Cardiff, Newcastle and Salford. Legal & General recently made a commitment to enable all new homes across its portfolio to operate at net zero carbon emissions by 2030, including Legal & General Modular Homes, CALA Group, Legal & General Affordable Homes, Build to Rent and Later Living. LGC has made 9 energy transition investments, including clean technology businesses such as Oxford PV and Tokamak Energy; renewable wind and solar energy assets managed by NTR; electric vehicle charging leader Pod Point; and also owns a 36% share in Kensa Heat Pumps, a UK manufacturer and installer of high efficiency networked heat pumps.
Legal & General Group
Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with international businesses in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. With over £1.24 trillion in total assets under management, we are the UK’s largest investment manager for corporate pension schemes and a UK market leader in pension risk transfer, life insurance, workplace pensions and retirement income.