Thursday 22 March 2018

Irish hot water devices set to clean up

A Cork innovator with a passion for cutting down on those electricity bills has launched a range of world-beating products, writes Tom Prendeville

POWER SAVER: Martin Lane has built a future-proof business
POWER SAVER: Martin Lane has built a future-proof business

Tom Prendeville

There is an old saying: it is an ill wind that doesn't blow somebody some good. For Cork entrepreneur Martin Lane it was the water charges that kick-started a very successful venture.

Whilst the country at large fulminated about the new impositions, he decided to supply water-saving products to householders. Not surprisingly the new line of business took off like a rocket.

A former carpenter, Lane was involved in the building industry before going into the drain maintenance and cleaning business. However, by 2007 he felt that the building boom was approaching an unseemly end and decided to get out and try something new.

Irrespective of the poor trading conditions businesses were still paying enormous commercial water bills; so he felt that a business that could save these customers money had a good chance of surviving.

Even if water charges were abolished altogether, Watersave Ireland, based in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, believe that the business is future-proof owing to the almost forgotten cost of water usage - namely energy.

Everything from kitchen sinks, showers, baths, washing machines and dishwashers use copious quantities of hot water; most of which is wasted and ends up going down the sink hole.

Lane takes up the story: "We must all start looking at ways that we can reduce our bills. For every litre of water that is heated there is an energy cost to the consumer. So even if Irish Water was to be abolished there are plenty of great reasons for you to reduce your hot water consumption. A reduction of 25pc in heated water can produce energy savings by using less oil, gas or electricity."

Good to his word Lane has designed a range of products that can make a huge dent in energy bills:

"We have just designed and launched a new product called Cupan Amhain (one cup); it is a kettle that just boils one cup of tea at a time and from a health and safety point of view if a child pulled it down off the table they wont get scalded; they will only get drenched in cold water.

Cupan Amhain saves 70pc to 80pc in electricity usage and it will be available in shops nationwide from the first of April."

"We also developed the EHT 10 which is a tap with a built-in 3 KW electric element. It uses only one-third of the power and does away with the need for a tank filled with hot water. We are innovating all of the time," added Lane.

One of the company's other intriguing products is a water sterilisation unit which kills 99.9pc of bacteria.

The unit costs €165 to buy and less than €100 a year to run. For people in areas where the water quality is very bad the yearly cost of purifying their water can run to several grand.

Watersave Ireland which currently employs five people is planning to expand their workforce this year.

Sunday Indo Business

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business