Equiwatt secures over £300,000 of investment

Published: 29 September 2020

Equiwatt – part of our Energy Launchpad – has secured over £300,000 in investment to support the growth of their innovation that incentivises consumers to save energy at peak times through an app-based rewards scheme.

Part of our third intake for the Energy Launchpad, Equiwatt’s digital platform monitors periods of peak demand on the grid, tracks home’s energy use via smart meters and helps households to automatically turn-off appliances.

By cutting demand simultaneously as a community, Equiwatt aims to deliver significant reductions in collective demand on the grid to help create a cleaner, flexible and more efficient energy system.

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 has been supported in its development to date by the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, Newcastle University and Energy Systems Catapult.

Our Energy Launchpad helped Equiwatt with:

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.

Johnson Fernandes 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.”

The North East Fund is a suite of five venture capital and loan funds which was established in April 2018, to invest £120m in around 600 North East businesses in the period to March 2023. The fund managers provide business development advice and investment finance to small and medium sized enterprises based in the seven Local Authority areas of North East England: Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, South Tyneside, Gateshead Sunderland and County Durham.  The programme encourages investment in and the commercialisation of new technologies, including low carbon technologies, as well as stimulating new business creation, private investment and entrepreneurialism in the North East, with a view to creating over 2,500 new jobs.

The North East Fund has been established with funding from the North East of England European Regional Development Fund programme, the European Investment Bank and from returns on previous North East based, publicly supported investment funds.  It is jointly owned by the seven North East local authorities.