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Energy giant Origin grabs a chunk of power consumption reduction startup Climatech Zero

- July 2, 2024 2 MIN READ
Eraring power plant
Origin's Eraring coal-fired power station. Photo: AdobeStock
Power giant Origin Energy has taken a 20% stake in six-year-old energy management startup Climatech Zero for an undisclosed sum.

The business was spun out of the merger of Sydney mechanical services (ie. air conditioning, heating, ventilation and plumbing) design and construction firm Climatech Group and Irish sustainability software business CoolPlanet, in 2018 before rebranding as Climatech Zero in 2022. It’s a project management business helping large organisations reduce their energy consumption.

The company says its 29 projects Australia and New Zealand so far have resulted in cost, energy and emissions reductions for industry, transport and buildings, delivering $4.5 million in cost savings and a 30,000-tonnes reduction in carbon emissions.

The include several Westfield shopping centres for Scentre Group, Parramatta Square developments, coal and gold mines, glass, plastics and packaging manufactures and bakeries.

Climatech Zero cofounder and CEO of Peter O’Connell said the deal with Origin gives Climatech Zero growth capital and opportunities for collaborative go-to-market initiatives.

“This partnership was born out of a mutual passion for aligning with the needs and ambitions of our large industrial customers to use less energy and reduce emissions,” he said.

“Our business continues to grow year on year – we’re on target for 300% revenue growth in FY2024 off a strong base. From an ambitious start-up in 2018 to now generating double-digit million revenue, having the support of one of Australia’s leading energy companies is significant and offers potential for further growth.

“Working together with Origin, we can offer more value to Australian industrial companies. Our resources, technology and skills can help customers underwrite new investments, improve existing operations and ultimately accelerate the energy transition journey.”

It’s the first external capital the climate tech startup has taken on, with Climatech Grup majority funding its growth and sourcing clients, alongside providing engineering and project management skills until Climatech Zero became self-sufficient.

Origin Energy owns Australia’s largest coal-fired power station, Eraring, 130km north of Sydney in the Hunter Valley. The company planned to close it in mid-2025 after failing to sell the loss-making business to the NSW government, who instead intervened to extend the life of the generator until August 2027 amid concerns that the state would lack power supply in the transition to renewables.

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