With Qarnot computing, ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies turns data into a free heat source for social housing

By ENGIE - 31 March 2020 - 12:34

ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, the ENGIE Group’s impact investment fund, has completed the acquisition of a minority stake in French company Qarnot computing through its fundraising operation. This new transaction was carried out alongside the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations – Banque des Territoires, Casino Participations France and the A/0 Proptech fund.


Qarnot computing, created in 2010, develops innovative and sustainable solutions combining an offer of High Performance Computing (HPC) towards large customers and computing heaters / boilers that allow to recover the heat generated by the HPC and to heat freely buildings and social housings.. By 2023, the computing heaters and boilers installed by Qarnot Computing should allow 11,000 households living in social housing to be heated for free.

Qarnot Computing

First company to have developed a computing heater using microprocessors as a heat source, Qarnot computing offers an almost 80% reduction in the CO2 footprint of HPC operations compared with conventional data centres, with their very high energy consumption.


Anne Chassagnette, CEO of ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies and ENGIE’s CSR Officer, said:

“Through this investment, ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies is demonstrating its commitment to the zero-carbon transition in favour of social housing. We will support Qarnot computing in the development of innovative solutions with a strong environmental and social impact, such as the company’s latest product, a digital boiler that provides free domestic hot water from computer processing.”


Paul Benoit, Chairman of Qarnot Computing, comments:

“We are working with ENGIE towards the same objectives: the search for strong social and environmental impact, the control of consumption and the decarbonisation of energies The purpose of this fundraising is to accelerate Qarnot’s commercial development. To achieve this, the support of ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies is extremely valuable to us, and foreshadows ambitious joint projects, in particular on heating networks.”


This new investment in France comes a few months after an initial investment in the circular economy through the acquisition of a minority stake in Gecco, a company specialising in the development of innovative solutions for the local transformation of catering waste into renewable energies and new raw materials.


In September 2019, ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies received the Best For The World 2019 award in the customer category, which assesses the impact of a company on its disadvantaged customers and ensures that the range of products or services that it offers strives to respond to social or environmental issues.


About ENGIE Rassembleurs d'Energies:
Rassembleurs d’Energies is ENGIE’s impact investment fund, which invests in projects aimed at providing access to sustainable energy for the poor. The fund’s mission is to invest in economically viable social projects supported by local social entrepreneurs.  The fund manages an active portfolio of 20 companies working in 4 continents. To find out more, click here.


About Qarnot computing:
Created in 2010, Qarnot computing is a French company based in Montrouge, a pioneer in the field of the distributed cloud and smart buildings, which developed the first computing heater,

  • the QH1, with the heat source consisting of embedded microprocessors.
  • QH1s carry out computer processing remotely via the Internet for banks, industry, 3D animation studios, etc. Early December 2019, Qarnot announced the official release of its new product:
  • the QB•1 digital boiler, which produces hot water recovering fatal heat from computing process. 


This distributed solution for high performance computing, using heaters or boilers hosted in buildings, greatly reduces the IT carbon footprint while providing environmentally friendly and free heat.