Home Finance & Investments equiwatt reaches £2m funding milestone to support continued roll out of rewards-based...

equiwatt reaches £2m funding milestone to support continued roll out of rewards-based app that encourages consumers to reduce energy usage

equiwatt’s Dr Johnson Fernandes (left) and Chris McCourt (right) from Mercia

equiwatt, the North East-based energy management company, has secured an additional £300,000 investment to support the continued roll-out of its technology platform that helps consumers shift energy, lower their carbon footprint and save money during their peak time events.

The funding has been secured from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia Ventures. This boost in support comes ahead of equiwatt taking part in the National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) as an approved and certified provider/partner of National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) Ltd, for the second time, this winter.

The funding, which will create four new jobs, is the third round from the NEVF and Mercia, which first invested in the company at its inception in 2020 and brings the total raised by equiwatt to more than £2m, which includes around £800,000 in grants.

equiwatt’s app is designed to help the UK manage its collective electricity demand. It supports the security of supply while the UK manages the challenges of increasing the generation of renewable energy, helps reduce carbon emissions and also saves consumers money on their energy bills.

equiwatt makes it easy for householders to shift energy usage away from peak times of demand through its free easy-to-use app, which links to smart meters and smart technologies used in homes such as smart plugs, electric vehicles (EVs) or EV smart chargers.

Through the app, householders receive notifications to take part in energy saving events at peak times by turning off or avoiding the use of appliances – anything from fridge freezers and cookers, to washing machines and pausing EV charging.

The peak time events typically last for up to one hour and users are rewarded for the energy and CO2 reductions with points redeemable for retail vouchers or charity donations.

Over the past three years, equiwatt has run its own ‘equivents’ for its app users as well as taking part in the National Grid’s DFS events last winter, which were used to manage the UK’s energy resources in peak periods to avoid resorting to using carbon-emitting power stations for additional electricity generation.

equiwatt’s mobile app was launched in 2020 by Dr Johnson Fernandes. The company currently employs nine staff and has thousands of households registered on its platform who collectively save energy and earn points to redeem as shopping vouchers or charity donations.

Dr Johnson Fernandes, CEO of equiwatt, said: “We continue to receive a positive reaction to our app as consumers look closely at their energy usage from both a financial and environmental perspective. Energy flexibility and proactive demand side energy management have become essential components of UK power generation and we see equiwatt and our platform as a key part of the country’s energy generation and usage.

“This latest round of funding will further assist with our scale up plans to secure more users of the app, through direct and partnership sign ups. It will also help us continue to enhance our technology platform to support the creation of a network of connected users to form a virtual power plant. This will help the National Grid to make the most of households ever growing smart meter network and accelerate the transition to a sustainable and secure energy network.”

Chris McCourt from Mercia added: “equiwatt’s easy-to-use app has won strong support from within the industry. Mercia and the NEVF have supported the company from the start. The initial funding enabled it to create and launch its app while the latest round will help it to expand its user base and continue its growth journey.”