Energy Fairies Ltd want to create a thermal plantation shutter. Thermal plantation shutters already exist but only work when the slats/louvres of the shutter are closed (this applies to all thermal shutter/blinds/roller blinds on the market).
People don’t like to sit in darkness and like to allow natural light through during the day. We decided to create something that insulated whilst allowing natural light through at the same time…whilst being aesthetically pleasing to create more of a market.Shutters are known for being quite expensive and can be unaffordable to the low demographic.
We wanted something affordable to every market including commercial. The materials are to be made from recycled plastics (plastic lumber) making it completely environmentally friendly. We have a supplier in mind who can create the material, any colour and feels wood like, is extremely durable and has a very long life span.
The plantation shutter will have a retractable, clear and flexible sheet of a thermally capable polymer directly behind it…acting as a thermal, clear roller blind. This will allow the shutter doors to be open and the transparent roller of polycarbonate easily accessible to the user to pull up or down.
This means that shutter doors can be closed, with the louvres open…allowing in daylight whilst at the same time keeping the heat in.
In the summer or the hotter climates, the retractable polymer can be rolled up and sit on the roller directly behind the shutter and will go completely unnoticed. We are also now working towards incorporating solar into the shutters using state of the art white solar film. This will enable the shutter to store energy in addition to saving energy.
What prompted you to develop it?
Working as domestic and commercial energy assessors prior to creating our product, we had numerous contracts with councils up and down the UK. We got to see first hand how people are still living with regards to energy efficiency & fuel poverty. In addition to this, myself & my sisters from an early age watched our parents struggle financially.
Even though we were brought up with an abundance love & security...there's no denying that sometimes it was difficult. The house we lived in was pretty inefficient energy wise & the winter months in particular could be tough. Coupled with the extra fuel cost in those months, we really take our hats off to our parents! All of this Doesn’t make us sad. It actually fills us with a profound appreciation. Its because of those struggles & our modest background, that want to help as many people as we can. Especially in those low demographic areas to begin with.
Is it in production or use?
Not on a commercial scale. However it is in situ at Liverpool John Moores University where we continue to test and improve the product. It also serves as a great show and tell!
Who inspires you?
As open minded and spiritual thinkers, we look upto people such as Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith & Jim Carey. We believe a that success will only come from truly accepting yourself and others in a non judgmental way. We're extremely driven and motivated. But it always has to come back to this philosophy and outlook. That keeps us grounded for sure.
What do you hope to achieve in developing this innovation?
Our goal is to help people have something affordable, something energy saving, clean, durable & something that helps with the regeneration of our poorer less fortunate communities in the UK. The vision for the Flutter shutter was for a product that helped save money & energy, but looks aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Therefore, doubling up as a decorative feature – our studies & research have shown that the shutter industry is a very lucrative & growing market.
We want the Flutter Shutter to come in more affordable that average shutter because we believe that everyone has the right to nice things. Unfortunately, society puts a pressure on us to have materialistic objects, as somehow to create a higher status. We want to make these ‘things’ more accessible to everybody not just those that can afford it.
It’s important to bring issues such as stigma of class & social barriers to surface. We feel that we can do this by sharing our story, our ‘why’, and our logic behind our mission.Tackling & voicing taboo subjects publicly as is so often seen in today's media, undoubtedly sparks interest. We definitely, want to save energy, help lower emissions & deal with fuel poverty. However focusing on just the product won’t work. We need to talk about how the product can also indirectly bring equality and help regenerate our poorer communities. I’m not talking about bringing equality to the world through a shutter!...however it does mean something! And it will make a difference - albeit small to begin with, but it’s all relevant in the grand scheme! We can also help Councils, Housing Associations and larger commercial companies fall in line with their energy commitments under Government schemes.