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Zen Ecosystems – which has developed intelligent energy management solutions that could save Australian businesses up to 25 per cent on their energy consumption – is set to get a boost from the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), through the Innovation Fund, has made a $5 million equity investment in Zen Ecosystems’ series B capital raising for the further development and deployment of its Zen HQ and Zen Thermostat products.

The Clean Energy Innovation Fund draws on the combined skills and experience of the CEFC and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and invests using CEFC finance.

Innovation Fund executive director Ben Gust said the technology innovations and behind-the-meter management solutions offered by Zen Ecosystems could unlock major opportunities for reducing energy consumption for retailers, hotels and motels, schools, universities, car dealerships and fast food outlets.

“Traditionally, energy usage has been controlled by building management systems, which are usually only cost effective for large or industrial-use buildings,” Gust said.

“Zen HQ is designed for smaller footprint businesses as a low cost, easy-to-use cloud platform for managing energy-intensive assets across single and multiple sites.

“Demand management is a critical part of the clean energy transition. We are pleased to support Zen Ecosystems in the expansion of this innovative homegrown technology,” Gust said.

“With this new wave of innovation and connectivity, controlling your energy consumption is now just a matter of checking in on your desktop or phone.”

CEFC transaction lead Kristin Vaughan said heating and cooling are typically responsible for around 40 per cent of total building energy consumption, representing significant energy costs for businesses and consumers.

“We see there is enormous scope for innovative clean energy technologies such as these, which can help businesses achieve significant energy savings by managing their own consumption as well as lowering their carbon footprint.

“This technology also opens the way for individual users to participate in demand response initiatives, contributing to the continued stability and reliability of our energy system.”

The core products of Zen Ecosystems are the Zen Thermostat and Zen HQ. The Zen Thermostat is a smart thermostat that allows homes to remotely control and reduce their energy consumption.

Zen HQ is designed for smaller footprint businesses as a low cost, easy-to-use cloud platform for managing energy-intensive assets across single and multiple sites.

Zen Ecosystems CEO, James McPhail said Zen HQ is already being used by commercial customers such as the RACV, while the Zen Thermostat is part of the Telstra Smart Home range.

“Further development is underway to enhance compatibility across the broad range of heating and cooling systems used in the Australian market,” McPhail said.

The Clean Energy Innovation Fund has now made nine investments, committing up to $55 million across a range of innovative technologies.

 

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