2016 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge finalist HomeBiogas introduced a revolutionary backyard biogas system that transforms your kitchen waste into biogas. Recently, the company developed the HomeBiogas 2.0, which is an even more efficient and affordable model. We talked to co-founder Oshik Efrati to catch up on how things are going at HomeBiogas.

How are you doing since participating in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge?
“Since the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge HomeBiogas has expanded and flourished. We are proud to have over 1,000 HomeBiogas 1.0 appliances operating in over 75 countries worldwide. We have been able to present HomeBiogas to the new UN Secretary General and the Prime Minister of Israel. Recently, we received a grant from Horizon 2020, the biggest European Union research and innovation program.”

Can you tell us about your newest model?
“The new 2.0 model is 50% more productive than the previous model. It has a higher gas supply and can support up to four burners at the same time. Another significant improvement is that it is half the price, which makes it more affordable and accessible to a larger audience. Before we started production, we wanted to bring HomeBiogas 2.0 to the public, to gauge the interest and learn about the consumers’ preferences. That’s why we have started our recent crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter. It was amazingly successful. We reached our funding goal in only three hours! With over 600 backers, we are now assured of the interest. This year, we will accommodate the production line and scale it up.”

Where are your most important sales markets?
“Families in North America, Europe and Australia are important markets for us. In these regions families are very environmentally-conscious consumers, who consider biogas digesters as rewarding and economical appliances, such as solar panels and electric cars. Other important markets for us are in developing countries - areas like Africa, East Asia and Latin America. Energy in these regions is expensive, inaccessible, and harmful to human health. This market includes about 3 billion people who still cook over open fire. We work with different organizations to get HomeBiogas appliances to the people who need it the most.”

Can you give an example of such an organization?
“In partnership with the Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico, we will send HomeBiogas appliances to Puerto Rico. This grassroots organization has worked to promote agro ecology and food justice over the past 28 years. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, farmers are still struggling to piece together a livelihood out of the debris. The hurricane destroyed fields and plots, leaving these farmers without food for their families or a way to generate income. Energy independence and a source of natural fertilizer will help these farmers to rebuild their farms and their lives after the devastation of the hurricane.

Another example is our partnership with Green Clean Mara, a community-based organization in Kenya that champions tree-planting and environmental education. This partnership will bring HomeBiogas appliances directly to Masai schools. Indoor wood stoves are still used to cook the school lunches. The fumes of the burning wood produce an invisible threat: indoor air pollution. Biogas stoves, which run on cow dung and food waste, don’t produce any particulate air pollution, and, moreover, our Biogas stoves don’t need wood to run, which prevents local deforestation.”

How do you look back on the final of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge?
“We look back at the Green Challenge and the accelerator program Deep Dive with a lot of fondness. It was a great opportunity to learn about and from other successful and inspiring entrepreneurs who are succeeding at making positive change to the world. We also walked away with an unexpected prize of 100,000 Euros! This prize was really appreciated and put to good use. It helped us propel our crowdfunding campaign forward. In conclusion, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge was an amazing experience that brought us exposure and gave us more tools to add to our toolbox.”