NRG Awareness Powered by Sea Box Energy is the new heating company that should be on everyone’s radar. Why? Because they’re innovating heating, the aesthetics and practicalities of heating systems and solutions like no other, across both domestic and commercial properties. And they’re doing it from our very own Little Island in Cork.
Their latest releases are the Sea Box Commercial Intermodal Energy Solution and NRG Home, both of which revolutionise the way we think of heating systems and the cost of heating property.
LIBA sat down with Andrew Salerno, Director of Marketing & Commercial Construction Projects at Sea Box Inc, and Patrick Hogan, Managing Director at Sea Box Energy & Sea Box EMEA also based in Cork, to delve into the inner workings of the innovative team and the dynamic duo leading the way.
The company aims to take on another 30 team members over the next two years and create another 150 jobs in the area indirectly, from their products, services and training. These positions will be heating installer jobs, available all across the nation. This is no mean feat but after sitting down with Patrick and Andrew, we have no doubt that these jobs are on the way.
These passionate men are the epitome of what one looks for in a business partner. They’re both passionate about providing more affordable and comfortable energy systems for everyone and reducing the barriers to access of such innovation. They also work in much the same way and are friends as well as colleagues. With each question they look to each other, not for reassurance but because they know what they other is going to say and wonder which will get there first; they truly are on the same page at all times.
“The idea was to make affordable that works as they should, while providing a robust education and support system to the plumbers and building owners.” said Patrick.
Andrew added: “We believe we have superior product that is going to make home and commercial heating systems much more energy efficient resulting in lower costs to operate.”
The product they speak of is NRG Home, a truly Irish product. “The NRG Home is developed by Irish engineers in Ireland that we feel is simply better than its competition,” said Andrew.
“It’s going to fulfil a need – sustainable, efficient, cost effective.and from a price point, it is ultra-competitive especially when considering savings in operating costs.”
“We feel that with the savings you’re going to have on the back end will really validate the purchase. It’s kind of an easy decision!”
We think so too. The Sea Box Energy Intermodal Commercial heating solution is designed to drive your energy costs down by 30% and the company expects that these savings will take an immediate effect following installation.
The patented ‘Heating System in a Box’ was designed by NRG Awareness founders, Harry and David Rea, a father and son team. The system is the next generation of their System Zone solution, which was the amongst the first products of its kind to allow for zoned heating.
Rapidly installed on site, the intermodal box eliminates the hassles typically involved in such projects with an emphasis on user-friendliness and low maintenance. NRG Awareness Powered by Sea Box Energy has also partnered with Grenke Commercial Finance to provide affordable and cost-effective leasing packages for any enterprises.
Patrick said: “We’re making heating systems more affordable and by offering finance along we’re making the journey easier as well.” Grenke’s plans offer modest interest rates over a five year term.
The NRG heating systems are designed and customised to your needs at NRG Awareness in Little Island and installed new or retrofitted to your original heating system with minimal hassle and disruption to your home or business. It is as Andrew says, “a plug ‘n’ play heating system”.
The commercial arm of the business entity, Sea Box Energy Commercial, has already successfully retrofitted their innovative heating solutions into everything from SME businesses to large hospitals. Patrick said: “These hospitals could be 100-years-old and we can retrofit our system into it but what we’re doing now is using the Sea Box method of a modular box, utilising shipping containers modularly allow us to put them anywhere in the world.”
“The idea is that any business, whether Tesco or the Dáil, can fit their whole heating system within our container. Because it’s built offsite, there is little to no down time for the client. This compares very favourably to tearing a whole boiler room apart onsite that tend to cause major disruptions to property owners.”
But who would want a large and possibly unsightly shipping container on their property and so close to their business? “The exterior of our containers can be clad with painted and insulated panels; you won’t even know it’s a container,” says Patrick, and having seen a modularised heating system in the flesh, we have to agree; one would never think it was a shipping container or in any way an eyesore. “It can look like whatever your aesthetic needs require, and it can be placed nearly anywhere – on the top of a roof, in a loading dock area; really wherever as long as we can make a connections to the building,” added Andrew.
No space for the module? No worries. The components or contents of the box can be easily retrofitted to any existing heating system in any space.
And with such an innovative heating solution, it would be selfish of the Irish to keep it to ourselves. Andrew comes to us from across the Atlantic and will be helping develop the New York venture of the business, which we’re sure will be a major success, due to his vast experience in the commercial and residential real estate sectors there.
“Getting in front of the right decision makers will key to expanding into urban areas like New York City. There are a lot of older buildings in the cities of America’s northeast. We feel many could benefit greatly from our technology and retrofit designs ultimately allowing them save money, meet sustainability goals, and all without the tremendous capital expenditures of installing a completely new system
New York City’s current renewable energy goals are ambitious, according to Andrew, but building owners are beginning to see the true value of these upgrades. “The economics of energy efficiency are easy to track, but what is also becoming evident in this ultra competitive real estate market is that more efficient buildings tend to be healthier buildings. Healthier and more sustainable buildings are in high demand – even at a premium. This is a really important competitive advantage especially when considering older buildings. A lot of people appreciate their charm but don’t necessarily appreciate old, inefficient mechanical systems. Upgrades like ours can really help move the needle in a competitive real estate market like New York City.”
NRG Awareness Powered by Sea Box is already working on a half dozen new patents, so expect great things from the talented team. “The folks that we have working for us, the whole team, everyone, they’re all uniquely innovative in their own right. I think we try to make sure that we’re hiring people that are excited about what they’re doing already.”
And that’s a tactic that’s really paying off. A business’ success isn’t just measured by it’s turnover or revenue. The success of any business can also be determined by its team and their motivation to keep working there. Think of it this way; if a business has a high income but also a high turnover of staff, would you consider them an overall all success?
But it’s clear from the interactions between Andrew and Patrick, and indeed the entire team at the recent launch of the new commercial and home heating systems, that the staff, the backbone of any business, is happy and motivated by what they do.
Patrick and Andrew smile each time they speak about what they do and indeed banter with each other, more like the way family and friends do than colleagues. They know each other and that seems to be an incredible asset to the results of their working relationship.
“We met each other through Sea Box and we’re very similar. We really work well together,” said Patrick.
“Our friendship, it’s been great; a bromance! I speak to [Patrick] more than I speak to most people in my office! We have a standing call every day. It’s a good working relationship for sure. We keep each other sane too!” Andrew laughs.
People don’t just open their wallets and whip out their credit cards for products and services. They buy from people. With NRG Awareness Powered by Sea Box Energy, you’re investing in it all; a superior product, a financial payment service and the support of an incredible team.
NRG Awareness Powered by Sea Box Energy
Unit 8 Little Island Industrial Estate, Little Island, Cork
021 435 5728