Electric shower technology has been largely unchanged for over 40 years. The core design sells in large volumes for well-established manufacturers in a mature market that is truly global in size. Kelda’s breakthrough has been to use techniques similar to those used in high performance carburettors to inject the perfect mix and dispersal of fuel and air to engine cylinders at high speed.
Innovation that is more than cosmetic is costly and risky to these incumbent players. In such circumstances, disruptive change is likely to come from outside. Kelda Showers has adapted engineering techniques from the aerospace and high-performance automotive industries to produce a step change in shower performance. Independent tests by Southampton University have shown:
- 2½ times the spray power of traditional showers for the same water volume, or
- 58% savings in both power and water usage for the same spray power
- Up to 20x safer in guarding against transmission of Legionella infection
Applied to a global market these savings are huge. Domestically, a family of four using a Kelda Mixer Shower could save 61,000 litres of water p.a. (c£250 if metered) plus £215 in energy bills, or £70 in electricity costs using the proposed “most powerful Electric Shower on the market”. In the commercial arena, intensive users such as gyms could save >£1,000 per shower p.a. in water and energy costs. Such savings could run to multiple £millions for a large chain. This innovation is also attractive to institutions such as hospitals and prisons, as well as hotels and cruise ships. Importantly these savings can be delivered at costs that are competitive to existing offerings.
The significant environmental benefits the Kelda innovation could deliver have already been recognised by the Carbon Trust, awarding the Company £75,000 Entrepreneurs Fast Track Funding in 2012, and the Department for Energy and Climate Change which has since provided c.£½m by way of (non-repayable) Energy Entrepreneurs Grant.
Growthdeck has worked closely with Kelda Showers in developing its business plan, raising significant funding, and introducing key industry experts to help the business deliver its ambitious growth plans.