Independent British energy supplier Ovo acquires U.S. smart grid technology company VCharge

ovoOVO Energy, a UK based independent energy supplier, has acquired of US energy technology company, VCharge. Headquartered near Boston, VCharge has developed a proprietary technology platform that changes how electric grids are controlled in preparation for the rapid transition to renewable energy and energy storage, helping to solve the problem of renewables intermittency. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

vchargeThe groundbreaking technology uses advanced algorithms to balance grid requirements with individual user requirements.  The first application of the pioneering technology controls electric storage heating in social housing to better manage resident comfort and to address the issue of fuel poverty in local communities, while simultaneously supporting the widespread adoption of renewable energy by providing valuable grid balancing services.

VCharge heating controls are fitted to new or existing electric storage heaters and can be controlled via a smartphone.  When coupled with a new smart tariff, residents experience dramatically improved comfort, lower bills and have control over their heating systems for the first time.

VCharge has completed a number of successful trials of the technology over the last year with major social housing landlords in London, Scotland and the North East, and, with OVO, will begin offering free heating control upgrades combined with a new smart energy tariff to the 1.5m households in Great Britain with electric storage heaters later this year.

The acquisition is the first in OVO’s seven year history.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of OVO, said: “I’m thrilled to bring VCharge into the OVO family. The team have been doing incredibly exciting and important work in developing technologies that answer the enormous challenge of how to bring more renewable energy to grids around the world. We believe this platform will harness the potential of energy storage in reducing dependency on fossil fuels, while helping to make energy more affordable for all.”

UK, Bristol & USA, Boston, MA