Hi Joe, please could you introduce our readers to Powervault.

I'm Managing Director at Powervault, the UK's leading home energy storage company.  We're helping customers with solar PV panels use more of the energy they generate by storing it when the sun is shining so that they can use it when they need it.

Powervault has raised a huge amount of capital through Crowdcube. Talk us through your experience of crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is an exhilarating process. We’ve managed to run two of the fastest equity Crowdfunding campaigns on Crowdcube - including the world's fastest cleantech crowdfunding campaign, which closed in just eight hours.  It’s hard work preparing for and running a crowdfunding campaign but very rewarding.  Crowdfunding is a fast and inexpensive way to raise capital and a good way to raise awareness of your company.

The home energy storage market is set to grow rapidly, what is it that makes Powervault stand out from its competitors?

Powervault's system is quick and easy to retrofit and compatible with any solar PV system, in comparison to other systems.  We also work hard to listen to the needs of British homeowners and we've designed the size of the battery in our system with UK households in mind.

Do you feel that climate change has slipped down the agenda in the UK?

Well, the solar PV market has grown from almost nothing in 2010 to more than 650,000 solar PV installations today, so the climate change agenda is touching many people directly.  As a country we have made some progress towards our carbon emission reduction goals with 15% of our electricity now being generated from renewable sources. However, we still need to do more if we are to meet our targets.  Energy storage can make it easier to install more renewable energy generation by allowing us to store energy that's generated at the wrong time or the wrong place and use it when needed. 

We need to look to new technologies such as energy storage to help reduce carbon emissions, by making smarter use of the energy we generate.  Small, innovative companies often find it frustrating trying to break into the electricity market, which is dominated by larger players and heavily regulated. Certain regulatory changes in the electricity markets could help to level the playing field, encourage innovation and facilitate adoption of energy storage and other smart grid technologies.

Aside from the environmental benefits, what other positives can a Powervault system bring for a household?

The Powervault system can help to reduce people's electricity bills.  A customer with solar PV might see a 50% reduction in their bills just from installing the panels through consuming the energy that they generate.  By adding a Powervault system, we estimate that this could increase this self consumption to up to 65%.

What one piece of business advice has stuck with you?

I once worked for someone who said that there are only two important things in business - customers and cash.  These two have proven critically important to Powervault although I'd widen that to include all the people involved - the team, partners, suppliers, investors - and the environment!

To date, what’s been your best business decision?

Personally, to come to work at Powervault to help the team get our fantastic product to market.  I think our decision to crowdfund through Crowdcube has been very beneficial to the business - allowing us to raise money quickly and get back to focusing on growing the business.

 And your worst?

I used to work in the internet industry. One day I accidentally managed to take down the website for 10 Downing Street.  They weren't very impressed but we got it up and running again!

What’s your favourite childhood sweet?

Fruit pastilles I think...

What excites you most for the future?

Working with smart people to help build an exciting new industry. There is so much potential to help customers and the UK as a whole to reduce electricity costs, reduce carbon emissions and increase energy security.

Today we are not able to install all of the renewable energy generation we want to because of constrained power networks. Sometimes we actually have to turn renewable generators off when there is too much electricity being generated at the wrong time.  At other times there is too much demand for power.  Wouldn't it be great if we could fix these problems to help the environment and save customers money by bringing energy storage into the home?

 

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