Business

Okotech growing heating system business after research and development investment

Janette O'Hagan, right, Okotech, is pictured with Trevor Kane, left, Bayview Hotel, and Kevin McCann, Invest NI

AN Antrim firm that makes heating control systems is on a growth charge with new contracts across Northern Ireland and Britain.

Okotech has developed the heatboss system in a bid to capitalise on a drive for energy efficiency.

The firm recently won a contract to supply the City of Cardiff Council with its smart wireless radiator control valves and room thermostat control system, for installation in its heritage buildings, the first of which was a primary school in the city.

As well as in schools, heatboss is also now installed and saving energy in care homes, offices, heritage buildings, offices and the company has also gained its first hotel client in March this year, opening up a new business market.

The Bayview Hotel, Portballintrae, installed the heatboss system and is already achieving savings of between 30-40 per cent on heating costs.

Okotech developed the product with the help of £22,345 from Invest Northern Ireland.

Janette O’Hagan from the company said: “The system enables users to control temperatures and on/off times for each room individually, ensuring that the correct heat is used only when and where it’s needed. Our intuitive web application also means that the system can be controlled easily and remotely from any web-enabled device.

“The heatboss system overcomes installation issues encountered by other wireless heating controls in scaling to commercial and public sized buildings and it also integrates seamlessly with any underlying building management system to ensure optimal savings.

“With our first hotel now on board this is already opening up new opportunities for us with other national and international hotels.”

Kevin McCann, director of research and development at Invest NI adde: "It is great to see this investment in R&D delivering a return for the business. The company continues to review its product range to ensure it is meeting the demands of customers, and potential customers. This innovative approach has meant the company has been able to look to new markets and expand its customer base.”

Bayview hotel owner Trevor Kane said: “Before installing heatboss we were heating the whole hotel, and to the same temperature, regardless of what rooms were in use. Now we are able to only heat the rooms we need, and can adjust temperatures in individual rooms to suit customer needs.

"Not only is this great for customers, but it has also had a dramatic impact on our energy costs already. Our investment will be fully paid for within 12 months, and we are also meeting our responsibility to help reduce the carbon footprint of Bayview, so this is proving to be a great investment for my business.

“Due to the energy efficiency benefits we were able to benefit from Invest NI’s 0 per cent Energy Efficiency Loan Fund, operated by Carbon Trust, to purchase the system.”

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