SMF investment cuts energy bills

Sustainable Melbourne Fund’s $225,000 investment in a web platform that enables consumers to track electricity usage and manage cost impacts has launched this month.

Melbourne tech start-up, Billcap, designed the software in response to a heightened awareness among consumers of continually rising utility bills.

The platform works in tandem with smart meters, expected to be rolled out throughout all homes in Victoria by the end of 2013 by State Government and is available to consumers through energy retailers.

Billcap’s first customer, energy retailer, Click Energy, announced their AskFred service last week following 3 months of consumer trials conducted by the University of Melbourne (more details on the AskFred consumer trials here). The study estimated up to a 9 per cent reduction in energy usage among the households who were offered Billcap and actively used it during the trial.

Founder and CEO of Billcap, Yann Burden, said “Sustainable Melbourne Fund’s support was critical to Billcap making the transition from start-up to a leader in the Australian smart grid space.”

After receiving a grant from Commercialisation Australia for the software development, Burden required a dollar for dollar match to meet grant terms and conditions, which is where SMF came in with funding.

“Sustainable Melbourne Fund’s innovative and open-minded approach to funding is unique in the Australian landscape,” Burden said.

Sustainable Melbourne Fund’s CEO, Scott Bocskay, said “it gives us great pleasure to see our investment fuel an innovative solution that addresses the problem of increasing energy prices from the grid.”

“We support any business idea that results in energy, water or waste efficiencies and we’re in a position where we can offer attractive finance terms especially for these kinds of projects.”

SMF is looking for more innovative ideas to sponsor and bring to life:

  • SMF can invest up to $500,000 over 6 years.
  • If you have an innovative product, it must demonstrate water, energy or waste efficiency outcomes.
  • For a full set of qualifying criteria, visit our website

Image credit: .A.A. via Flickr Creative Commons

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