TECHNOLOGY

Slater invests another $250K in VCharge

COURTESY VCHARGE
THE SLATER TECHNOLOGY FUND has awarded an additional $250,000 to VCharge to help commercialize the company's SmartBrick system.
Posted 9/24/12

PROVIDENCE – The Slater Technology Fund has committed $250,000 in new funding to VCharge, an energy management services company, Slater announced Monday.

The $250,000 is part of a $770,000 seed round that included K.C. Investments and EOS Ventures.

The funding, which brings Slater’s total investment in VCharge to $500,000, is intended to help scale up and commercialize the company’s energy demand management system, according to Slater.

The funds will enable the company to install its patent-pending SmartBricks controls for electric thermal storage heating systems in hundreds of businesses and homes throughout Pennsylvania.

Providence-based VCharge recently became the electric generation supplier to PPL Electric Utilities’ customers, offering the company the opportunity to widely commercialize its SmartBrick product.

“This is an important milestone for VCharge,” company CEO Jessica Millar said in a statement. “Our game-changing approach uses the smart grid to deliver energy more efficiently and saves consumers 25 percent on electricity costs.”

“Slater’s latest investment will help us grow our customer base and utility partnerships and mature our technology further,” added Millar.

According to a Slater release announcing the funding, SmartBricks-equipped heaters are set to “become a key asset in the electric grid for the next-generation demand response,” thus easing the wider integration of wind and solar power.

Using the funds, VCharge will retrofit SmartBricks controls onto residential electric thermal storage heaters, which will store heat and release it into buildings as needed. The company’s SmartBricks controls will purchase cheaper, off-peak electricity 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,” said the Slater release.

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