Slater Reinvests in VCharge as Company Becomes Energy Supplier to PA
Providence, RI, September 24, 2012 – The Slater Technology Fund announced today that it has committed $250,000 in new funding to energy management services company VCharge as part of a $770,000 seed round that includes K.C. Investments and EOS Ventures. This funding raises Slater’s total investment in VCharge to $500,000 and enables VCharge to install its patent-pending SmartBricks’ controls on electric thermal storage (ETS) heating systems in hundreds of homes and businesses in Pennsylvania. In addition to their benefits to consumers, SmartBricks-equipped heaters are set to become a key asset in the electric grid for next-generation Demand Response, paving the way for wider use and integration of clean energy like wind and solar.
VCharge recently became an Electric Generation Supplier to PPL Electric Utilities’ customers – a key step towards commercializing VCharge’s energy management platform. "This is an important milestone for VCharge," said CEO Jessica Millar. "Our game-changing approach uses the smart grid to deliver energy more efficiently and saves consumers 25% on electricity costs. Slater’s latest investment will help us grow our customer base and utility partnerships and mature our technology further."
"VCharge has already proven its value to grid operators, as several already count on VCharge for regulation services," said Thorne Sparkman, managing director of the Slater Technology Fund. "Consumers, too, have benefited from the SmartBricks energy management by getting better, more reliable performance from their ETS heaters. Now that VCharge is an Electric Generation Supplier, consumers can save money on every bill. Cheaper heat for consumers is just a part of the VCharge offering, but we think ie’s an exciting development in the energy provider space that Pennsylvania ETS users are going to love."
As a first step, VCharge will retrofit SmartBricks controls into residential ETS heaters that store heat and release it into a building as needed. This fall, VCharge’s SmartBricks controls will purchase off-peak electricity efficiently and cost-effectively for participating homes and businesses. In the future, any applications with flexible charging or a schedulable load such as electric cars or batteries are prime candidates to benefit from the lower electric bills and improved operational reliability that come from adopting VCharge’s Transactive Load technology.
VCharge is dedicated to making the smart grid a reality and saving consumers and business on their energy costs. The company’s products and services include the SmartBricks’ Electric Thermal Storage system that connects ceramic heaters to real-time electricity markets, transforming them into a responsive load that complements renewable energy sources like wind and solar. VCharge is currently active in energy markets in New England and the Mid-Atlantic. The firm is headquartered in Providence, RI, and online at www.vcharge-energy.com.
About Slater Technology Fund
The Slater Technology Fund is an independently chartered, non-profit corporation that operates in accord with best practices of venture capital investing, backing new ventures committed to basing and building businesses in Rhode Island. Leveraging state and federal funding, Slater focuses its resources on the support of entrepreneurs who have the vision, leadership and commitment to build substantial commercial enterprises. Slater typically invests at the inception stage in the development of a new venture, often based upon ideas and technologies originating in academic institutions and/or government research laboratories located within the region. In most cases, investments are premised upon the possibility of raising substantial follow-on financing, from venture capital investors or from strategic partners, with a view toward accelerating the generation of significant numbers of high-value, high-wage jobs over the intermediate to longer-term. For more information, visit www.slaterfund.com.
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