CEFC invests $2m in Wattwatchers


Clean-tech company Wattwatchers has received a $2 million investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to help expand production of its award-winning measurement device.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said high energy prices and high domestic uptake of rooftop solar provides the perfect opportunity to work smarter with energy.

“We’re supporting the development of an innovative electricity market that hands Australian households and businesses the opportunity to get more control over the way they consume and produce energy,” Mr Learmonth said.

“Wattwatchers represents what we expect will be the first wave of innovative behind-the-meter technologies that can provide ongoing savings for householders and businesses, while delivering information that can also improve the security and stability in the supply of energy from the grid.”

The Wattwatchers device makes it possible to see what is driving power consumption.

Most consumers currently get their energy usage data retrospectively with their electricity bill, based on a meter reading that can be as infrequent as once a year.

The Wattwatchers device provides real-time data at whole-of-home and business and individual circuit levels.

Last year, the technology won the Australian Technologies Competition New Energy Award.

Wattwatchers CEO Gavin Dietz said adding the CEFC to the private company’s share register provided further confirmation of the strength of its clean energy technology achievements and growth trajectory.

“Wattwatchers’ technology can be used across residential, commercial, industrial and utility services because it works with a wide range of software applications,” Mr Dietz said.

“We see it working alongside other smart technology applications, battery storage and microgrids to benefit Australian energy consumers as the new energy transformation occurs globally.”

The $2 million investment from the CEFC, through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, is part of Wattwatchers’ $4 million 2017 Series A capital raising.

The first $2 million tranche is held by Renewable Energy Venture Capital fund (REVC), which is independently managed by Southern Cross Venture Partners (SXVP) for co-funders the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Softbank China.

CEFC Investment Development director Blair Pritchard said the investment would help the Sydney-based Wattwatchers lift production volumes and drive down production costs.

“The Wattwatchers technology is small and very smart. The clamp-on internet device, working with a choice of cloud-hosted management interfaces, provides data that shows where and when energy is being consumed in real time,” Mr Pritchard said.

“Equipment such as solar panels and solar hot water systems can underperform or waste power without consumers being fully aware.

“Real-time data identifies where and when consumption is occurring, and whether the patterns are economical, or perhaps excessive and therefore wasteful and overly expensive.”