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Sunsave secures £5.4M seed funding to help households unlock solar potential

Left to right: Founders Alick Dru and Ben Graves - picture contributed
Left to right: Founders Alick Dru and Ben Graves - picture contributed
6 December 2023
Left to right: Founders Alick Dru and Ben Graves - picture contributed

A green-energy focused company, described as 'game-changing' and founded by two Oxford University friends, has unveiled a £5.4 million seed funding round to propel its bid to make solar accessible to all UK households.

Sunsave, started by Alick Dru and Ben Graves, will launch the UK's first solar subscription service.

READ MORE: Anesco starts work on four new solar farms for Gresham House

The business, which is now authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), uses a model, which provides households with solar panels and batteries via subscription, so users don't need to pay a hefty lump sum upfront for the installation.

Currently, the average solar system costs £10,270 to install, yet half of UK households have less than £5,000 in savings. And while 70% of UK households say they would like to install solar, only 4% actually have, thanks to these high costs and a complex, hard to navigate, market

Sunsave subscribers not only receive their solar panels and batteries but also the installation, allowing immediate energy savings with monthly payments starting from £69, and no upfront costs.

"We're demonstrating to UK consumers that being green doesn't have to be a choice between doing what’s right for the environment or doing what’s best for your pocket. With Sunsave’s solar subscription you can go green and save money immediately," said Dru,

"With energy prices expected to remain elevated for the foreseeable future, this is more important than ever."

Graves, co-founder at Sunsave, added: "We have an enormous ambition to help the country get to net zero through revolutionising green finance and making the power of solar accessible to all UK households.

"This significant investment round, combined with our recent FCA approval, provide a strong platform for our mission."

The seed round was led by Europe's leading impact venture capital fund Norrsken (Northvolt, Olio, 1KOMMA5) alongside previous investors IPGL (Elvie, Klarna), Plug and Play (PayPal, Dropbox) and angel investors Stuart Rose (chairman of Asda), Michael Spencer (founder of Nex Group/ICAP), Roland Rudd (founder of Finsbury) and renowned industry leader Bill Nussey (author of ‘Freeing Energy’), bringing the total amount raised to £9.2 million in the 18 months since the company's inception.

The funds will be used to commercialise the solar subscription model and product development as well as growing the Sunsave team with experienced experts from the energy and personal finance sector.

Recent hires include marketing director Russell Smith (previously at Monzo and Wise), chief of staff Alfie Ireland (formerly OVO Energy) and Helen Taylour (one of Bulb’s early team) as product manager.

Agate Freimane, founding general partner at impact investor Norrsken VC, said: "Sunsave's new offering removes the biggest barrier to entry for people in the green transition: cost.

"This FCA-approved subscription service is a gamechanger, enabling thousands more homeowners to unlock the potential of renewable, cost-efficient solar energy every year.

"We're thrilled to back Alick, Ben and the team as they help build the UK’s path to a cleaner, more sustainable future."

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Giles Gwinnett is a writer at The Business Magazine. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and covered a vast array of topics at a range of media settings - in print and online. After his NCTJ newspaper training, he became a reporter in Hampshire before moving to a news agency in Gloucestershire. In recent years, he has been covering the financial markets along with company news for an investor-focused web portal. His many interests include politics, energy and the environment. He lives in Dorset.

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