The idea for an electronic Thermostatic Radiator Valve (eTRV) was the brainchild of Steven Henry, Managing Director of Chalmor Limited. Chalmor has over 25 years experience in the commercial heating controls market.
In 2006 with gas prices rising by 62%, saving energy in homes became an important emerging market. This need could be met by transferring established commercial energy saving techniques into a simple method for improving heating control. Everyone can benefit through reducing heating bills and enabling people to reduce their carbon footprint, whist helping us all to contribute to meeting UK carbon reduction targets.
The vision was to bring the traditional TRV into the 21st Century, by improving control of radiators and only heating individual rooms when needed. Not only saving energy in domestic and commercial environments, the remotely controlled eTRV would also improve comfort and reduce waste.
The eTRV concept won a regional Shell Springboard Award and was a national finalist in November 2006. This award provides a financial boost to innovative, low carbon business ideas from across the UK. The award is for a commercially viable product or service that will lead to green house gas emission reductions. Winning the prestigious award in a national competition encouraged the team to press on with developing eTRV from an idea into a world class product.
Also in 2006 the company successfully obtained a Grant for Development through the East of England Development Agency (EEDA). The grant was awarded to support eTRV product development and introduce technological innovation into Chalmor's business. The fundings overall aim is to develop a pre-production prototype of a new product or process that involves a significant technological advance. Project timeframes are six to 36 months.
The development project was completed in January 2010 and the product entered a testing phase in advance of commercialisation.
In March 2010 eTRV was recognised by the Technology Strategy Board being selected by a panel of industry experts to be showcased at ecobuild. The Innovation Future Zone is a dedicated area for demonstrating new or near to market technologies that address the challenge of carbon reduction.
Based on visitor feedback and specific project interest, subsequent developments focussed on including local user control (rather than centralised control), and a push button “boost” facility. This will enable people to change behaviour towards heating and interact to control their heating needs on a room by room basis. This presents greater opportunities to save energy and enhance comfort.
Recognising the enormous market potential a separate business has been established called “eTRV LLP”. This organisation is dedicated to promoting eTRV and to sell the product through selected partners and distributors. Drawing on a background of energy saving expertise, the eTRV LLP team is passionate about the environment and assisting customers in achieving their energy saving goals.
In November 2010 eTRV received the coveted accolade of overall winner in the Innovation Award category of the Energy ‘Buying & Supplying’ Excellence Awards. The finalists included Marks & Spencer and the Ministry of Defence. eTRV has been shortlisted for the “Product of the Year” in the CIBSE Building Performance Awards 2011.