EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator tech startup Equiwatt has secured over £300,000 in investment to support its growth.
The EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator graduate has created a smarter and cleaner way of using energy by enabling UK households to collectively decrease their consumption at peak times
Equiwatt rewards consumers for cutting their energy use at peak times, and through the creation of its app, enables users to turn off appliances simultaneously as a community, leading to significant reductions in collective demand and creating energy efficiency on a mass scale.
The business, based in Gateshead, estimates that for every 1,000 households using the Equiwatt app, 250 tonnes of carbon dioxide are offset every year. Its ambition is to work with up to 100,000 users in the near future.
To help progress its scale up plans, the venture has secured over £300,000 through a funding round involving the North East Venture Fund - supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia - and North East angel investor Owen McFarlane. Williams Ali Corporate Finance supported Equiwatt in securing the investment, which will allow the company to run trials in the Gateshead area and create four new jobs.
Equiwatt was founded by Johnson Fernandes, whose experience of growing up in India and living through regular power cuts caused by the collective mass usage of energy, inspired his commitment to finding a cleaner and more sustainable energy solution.
Having established the business in 2017, Equiwatt has developed its market-leading technology from its base in PROTO, Gateshead, and is now attracting the attention of an increasing number of major energy companies.
Johnson Fernandes, Founder & CEO of Equiwatt said: “I have a big passion for renewable and clean energy, and having grown up experiencing regular blackouts through the collective peak time usage of energy, I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to create a cleaner way of using energy for everyone, which is also more affordable, and build a community to be able to achieve that.
“Through using the Equiwatt app, which builds further on the many smart devices so many people are using to help them be more energy efficient, our users can achieve big savings through switching off devices collectively at peak times, and also secure rewards and incentives for doing so.
“The key is in the community, and together we can make a huge difference. It comes down to us all making small changes to make a big impact collectively. Building this community further is the next step for the business and our ability to scale up, and this investment will support us in being able to achieve that. Our technology is proven and the more we can grow our community, the more we can collectively be cleaner and more efficient in our energy usage.”
EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator
Equiwatt business has been supported in its development to date by organisations including Newcastle University and Energy Systems Catapult and ECCI's EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, moving through stages 2 and 3 in 2018/9.
Since launching in 2017 ECCI's EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator businesses have secured more than £1.75m worth of investments, won more than 50 awards and made a significant contribution to reducing Scotland's carbon emissions.
Johnson Fernandes, Founder & CEO of Equiwatt said: "ECCI and EIT Climate-KIC have played a critical role in our development, supporting technology trials and investor readiness. From connections to advisors, mentors and professional support, the support from the team at Edinburgh has benefitted us tremendously."
"Joining the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator at ECCI has been one of the best decisions we've made at Equiwatt. I can't think of a better start-up accelerator for climate innovation." Johnson Fernandes, Founder & CEO of Equiwatt
Smart Plug offer
The Equiwatt app is live on Android Google Play and iOS App Stores. If you would like to get rewarded for doing your bit for the environment by saving energy during peak times, visit equiwatt.com/get-app and download the app.
To help users get started quickly, the company is offering a complimentary smart plug for those households who qualify. Use this code 'ECCIPLUG' on the free smart plug link after creating an account on the Equiwatt App.