Specializing in solutions for monitoring and tracking fluids (water and electricity) in buildings, Polaar Energy enables owners (companies and individuals), managers or maintenance teams to monitor and be alerted in the case of abnormal consumption, leaks and broken pipes via SMS and a multi-site web platform. Created in 2018, the startup is now housed within the Luxembourg-City Incubator and Hub@Luxembourg by CA. Here is our interview with its co-founder Romain Guillaud.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
photo: Chambre de Commerce/ Matthieu Freud-Priacel/ Primatt Photography
featured: Christophe Antoine and Romain Guillaud
Listen to article (Part I)
Tell us about your startup.
Very simply, we help with dynamic monitoring, digital building management and optimisation of water and electricity consumption.
The monitoring of the digital data collected using “BREEAM and HQE” certified probes enables the user to visualise his or her consumption via a web dashboard or SMS in order to prevent water damage and loss of electricity.
What need do you meet?
The prices of energy and water continue to rise. Electricity bills are difficult to understand and few solutions currently exist to reduce or optimise a company’s consumption. Following our research, we help with simple and inexpensive solutions that monitor consuption and alert users in case of any anomalies.
“We collect data on water and electricity consumption using high-performance sensors.”
Who is your core target?
Businesses: building owners, property developers, hotels, restaurants, municipalities, schools, and construction companies. Our device can also be used by private individuals interested in reducing their consumption levels.
What solution are you developing?
We collect data on water and electricity consumption using high-performance sensors. We process and analyze them to provide our client with intelligent reporting customized to their specific needs. This enables us to provide our customers with real visibility on the various consumption levels on all of their buildings. We provide personalized recommendations and, if necessary, alerts on root causes (e.g. water leak, over-consumption , power failure).
What products do you use?
We use two types of sensors : one that clips onto your electric meters and the other onto your water meters.
In the event of an emergency, the latter product gives us the immediate possibility of shutting off the valve remotely via your mobile phone.
“The idea is to offer companies and individuals a system of control and prevention in order to avoid wasting energy or causing damage.”
Listen to article (Part II)
How did you come up with the idea?
Christophe and I have had this desire to create our company. I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My father and grandfather worked in the building sector, specifically in the sanitary and water damage sectors. I worked for 3 years at Tesla Luxembourg which inspired me more to embark on this new adventure. I am a big fan of Elon Musk and all that he has achieved. Christophe is an accountant by training and has worked for many years in the sanitary heating sector.
“Outdoor taps and damaged pipes sometimes run for several months without anything being done. A leaky tap can lose up to 100 litres of water a day. That’s a bill of about 150 euros per year. A flush can cost up to 50 euros (600 euros / year).” We have decided to tackle this problem, not only for water, but also for electricity, another area where energy savings can be made. We are extremely concerned about the current problems of climate change and the over-consumption of energy and resources. The idea is to offer companies and individuals a system of control and prevention in order to avoid wasting energy or causing damage.
You rebranded a year ago. Why?
We chose to rebrand our company last year because we wanted to have a name and logo with more impact and meaning. “Polaar” comes from “polar”, in reference to the moving images of the emaciated polar bear, which has become the symbol of climate change today. The image of this animal, naturally strong and robust, inspired our logo. The two “a’s” in Polaar represent the two poles, negative and positive, of electricity. And, including “Energy” reminds us of the complementary nature of our actions when it comes to energy saving.
“We are also keen on continuing to offer new services around the building and environment. We are currently working on an offer of photovoltaic panels.”
What is your business model?
The business model is simple. We sell a connected IoT sensor with annual subscription for professionals. The customer has a turnkey solution and receives monthly reports by email and alerts in case of leakage or over consumption by SMS. As for the private individual, he buys the device with subscription included for 10 years at a very competitive price.
Who are your clients?
Our customers today are mainly in Luxembourg although we have made promising offers in Belgium and France. Our client portfolio includes two large banks, schools, a municipality, an investment fund that manages several office buildings and shopping centres in the Benelux, hotels and restaurants, and a famous laundry group.
We are currently in talks with one of the largest real estate developers in Luxembourg as well as the international leader in facility management.
We’re focused on developing new markets such as Belgium, Germany and Spain. We are also keen on continuing to offer new services around the building and environment. We are currently working on an offer of photovoltaic panels.