Powervault is a British company, headquartered in London. It designs and manufactures smart energy storage systems for the home, which store free solar energy and cheap electricity from the grid to reduce household energy bills and increase energy efficiency.
Powervault was incorporated in 2012 to design and manufacture smart energy storage systems that help customers lower their electricity bills, increase their energy security and reduce their carbon footprint. It is also focused on changing consumers’ energy consumption behaviours by encouraging energy efficiency and the adoption of renewable energy technologies. Powervault is working with energy suppliers and National Grid to reduce dependency on fossil fuels by shifting energy demand away from peak times. This flexibility helps enable the roll-out of electric vehicles and accelerates the U.K.’s transition to a low-carbon, decentralised energy network.
Powervault was founded in 2012 by Sustainable Venture Development Partners and continues to receive its support. In 2013, Powervault won grant and prize funding from, amongst others: Innovate UK, Royal Bank of Scotland, Nesta and Climate KIC. This enabled the business to develop and test prototypes, and run product trials in homes. In August 2014, Powervault raised £150,000 in 8 hours on Crowdcube – a world record – just before the business started trading the following month. In 2015, Powervault raised a further £900,000 through Crowdcube and other private investors. This enabled the business to out-source its manufacturing to a professional electronics firm in Luton, and to start to develop its sales channels. To date, Powervault has raised £5.2m from its network of angel, crowd and venture capital investors.
Since April 2010, when the U.K. Government started offering generous Feed-in and Generation tariffs to home owners generating their own energy from clean technologies, there has been a proliferation of rooftop solar PV installations in the U.K.; 1 million U.K. homes now have solar PV installed on their roofs.
Simultaneously, there are two other established trends, which are currently driving the home energy storage market: rising electricity costs and decreasing storage costs. Electricity costs rose by 41% between 2007 and 2013 and are set to continue rising according to the Department of Energy & Climate Change (1). Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank has calculated that the cost of lithium-ion batteries has halved in a year and is likely to fall by 20%-30% per annum up to 2020 (2). The combination of these factors continues to strengthen the case for renewable energy storage solutions like Powervault.
With the roll-out of smart meters, energy suppliers are now starting to introduce ‘smart’ time-of-use tariffs, which vary in cost throughout the day. Powervault’s products can take advantage of these, which helps smooth the peaks in demand throughout the day, and ensures customers have access to cheap electricity during peak times. Powervault expects time-of-use tariffs to be widespread over the coming years, which means Powervault’s market will grow from the 1 million customers with solar PV installed to 25 million homes with smart meters installed.