UK energy supplier snaps up smart grid start-up

Independent UK supplier OVO Energy has announced it has bought a US smart grid start-up. The buyout of VCharge is expected to help with the challenge of connecting more renewable […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Independent UK supplier OVO Energy has announced it has bought a US smart grid start-up.

The buyout of VCharge is expected to help with the challenge of connecting more renewable energy sources, which are typically intermittent, to the power grid.

The US firm has developed a technology which uses “advanced algorithms” to balance grid requirements with individual user requirements.

Electric heaters in homes can be controlled via smartphones, which when coupled with new tariffs, are said to have helped reduce consumer bills.

VCharge has completed a number of trials in the last year with social housing landlords in London, Scotland and the North East.

OVO will begin offering free heating control upgrades combined with a new smart energy tariff to the 1.5 million households in Britain with electric storage heaters later this year.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of OVO said: “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.”