Select Innovations was named the national winner for the Springboard Awards 2012, for its EnLight technology, a product designed to help local authorities keep street lights on by reducing power consumption.
At a time when many councils are considering turning off one in every 10 street lights to save money, the Enlight delivers savings of up to 45% percent by improving the efficiency of street lights. If the eight million streetlamps in the UK were all to use the EnLight technology, this would save the UK 1 million tonnes of CO2 each year. The business also won a no-strings-attached prize of £40,000 to support the development of their business going forward.
Shell Springboard is a Shell-funded UK Social Investment programme, which provides a financial boost and national recognition to small and medium enterprises with innovative, low-carbon business ideas. This builds on Shell’s overall commitment to help the UK meet its future energy needs responsibly.
Select Innovations, based in Loddon, Norfolk, has been developing its technology, EnLight, for five years. Each EnLight ballast is fitted to a street lamp to ensure the amount of power in the electric circuit remains constant. This keeps the light stable and creates an overall energy efficiency of 95%, compared to 50% for traditional magnetic versions.
The ballast is also communications-enabled so all the lights in each district (which could be a street or a whole village) can be managed from a central location. This enables the remote control of all streetlights, so they can be lit and dimmed from a central point, and faults can be detected and diagnosed from the office rather than an engineer having to go to each light.
David Aarons, Managing Director of Select Innovations said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be crowned winner of the Shell Springboard awards. We really believe our product can make a difference in tackling CO2 emissions and it’s incredibly rewarding that such a prestigious programme as Shell Springboard has also recognised its potential. The funding and recognition we received tonight will allow us to press ahead with our plans for our EnLight product range, scaling up our ambitions even further to save energy on bigger roads throughout the UK.”
Graham van’t Hoff, Chairman of Shell said: “Since the launch of the Shell Springboard awards in 2005, we have awarded around £2 million to over 60 UK businesses with ground-breaking ideas to cut carbon emissions. If we are to meet the energy challenge then it’s important that we support the innovative technologies of tomorrow. Select Innovations is well deserving of this national recognition and I wish them great success for the future.
Other celebrated businesses at the awards last night included runners up Datum Phase Change, for its RACUS ceiling tile that reduces the energy use of air conditioning systems by up to 97% for businesses. Geo-Mole Ltd were also highly commended for their invention which cuts the cost of installing underground heating by eliminating the need for drilling rigs thanks to a small pneumatic mole, which displaces soil and allows pipes to be connected to a ground source heat pump.
The other finalists competing last night were:
- Celtic Renewables Ltd, generates next generation biofuels using by-products from the Scottish malt whisky industry, resulting in reduced oil consumption and CO2 emissions
- Econovate, thermally efficient breeze blocks made from recycled materials, which means that homes will require less energy to stay warm and will therefore produce less CO2 emissions
- Gas Sensing Solutions Ltd, high performance CO2 sensors that help users in the building control market reduce energy costs by up to 20%
Past winners include Cella Energy, which since winning its award in 2011 has gone on to receive funding from the UK Government Technology Strategy Board Grant and is now developing its safe, low-cost hydrogen storage materials at a new facility at the NASA Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
Since its launch in 2005, Shell Springboard has judged over 1,000 entries and awarded approximately £2 million to 61 businesses across the UK. Overall, £330,000 has been awarded in 2012. This results in a total of £2.25 million awarded over seven years to UK-based SMEs.
This year, the programme received 130 entries, and 24 businesses were shortlisted to present at three regional events across the UK.