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Wattwatchers selected from international field for Free Electrons bootcamp ‘Top 30’

Wattwatchers - ultra-compact 3G devices for energy data over-the-internet

Gavin Dietz, Managing Director, Wattwatchers

Free Electrons emphasises pilot project and deal-flow opportunities between startups and its energy industry partners, a global alliance of 9 major utilities

Free Electrons comes at a great time for our agile team as they pursue a global growth push.”
— Gavin Dietz, CEO, Wattwatchers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, March 28, 2018 / -- Wattwatchers, the award-winning Australian tech startup pursuing global growth for its data-led energy management solutions, has been included in the ‘bootcamp’ stage of the hotly-contested Free Electrons 2018.

Sydney-based Wattwatchers is into the Top 30 - selected as the ‘best fit’ from 515 applicants drawn from 65 countries - for the second year of Free Electrons, the world’s first global energy startup accelerator (

The bootcamp - in Lisbon next week (3-6 April) - features the 30 shortlisted startups vying for 12 finalist spots in the 2018 program, which includes the opportunity to win a $US200,000 cash prize and the title of ‘Free Electrons World’s Best Energy Startup’.

Free Electrons emphasises pilot project and deal-flow opportunities between its startup participants and its energy industry partners, which form a global alliance of nine major utilities that collectively operate in 40 countries with 70 million customers, and with combined revenues of more than $US 148 billion a year.

After Lisbon, the dozen finalists will participate in a several months-long international accelerator program, running from May to October, with a series of week-long modules in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne), the US (Silicon Valley) and Germany (Berlin).

Free Electrons is coordinated by Portugal-based Beta-i on behalf of its sponsoring partners, including Australian-based energy sector leaders Origin Energy and AusNet Services, with the others being Europe’s innogy New Ventures SE, Japan’s TEPCO, Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB), Asia Pacific’s SP Group, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, American Electric Power (AEP) and Energias de Portugal (EDP) operating in Portugal, Spain and Brazil.

In a big month of March for Wattwatchers, the digital energy company also has been named in the Top 100 for the European-led Start Up Energy Transition, placing it in the top quartile of 400+ applicants from around the world for that program.

CEO Gavin Dietz said the international recognition coming the way of Wattwatchers validated its energy data-centric strategy for the digitisation of the electricity system to deliver an intelligent, more resilient and lower-cost ‘Grid 2.0’.

‘Free Electrons comes at a great time for our agile team as they pursue a global growth push,’ said Dietz. ‘We’ve recently achieved UL certification for electrical safety for our main products, which is widely regarded as the world’s most rigorous standard, and we are certified for much of the world including North America, the UK and Europe, and Australasia.

‘There are Wattwatchers devices operating in a mix of rollouts, pilots and tests in more than a dozen countries on six continents, including several top-tier utilities in Australia and New Zealand deploying our solutions for intelligently capturing data and controlling electricity at circuit-level in real-time through the cloud.’

Dietz said that after a lengthy R&D gestation period, in which Wattwatchers developed and proved-up its solutions for ‘behind the meter’ and ‘Internet of Energy’ applications, the company is now being transformed into a fast-growth data business with global aspirations.

‘Our acceleration really began in 2016 off the back of strong early sales of our first-generation 3G monitoring devices, with Wattwatchers being selected in an international Startups and Solutions Showcase event in San Francisco, and then later in the same year winning the New Energy Award in the Australian Technologies Competition.

‘In 2017, we had a successful Series A capital round, raising $AUD4 million – half each from the Renewable Energy Venture Capital (REVC) fund and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) - giving us runway for our growth phase including building a dedicated business development team and underwriting an ambitious new product roadmap.

‘In 2018, we’ve already seen sales surge and have been included as a technology supplier in two of the largest projects under the ground-breaking $37.5 million ARENA-AEMO demand response program. Running over three years, this will create an “emergency pool” of commercial and industrial and, also, residential-scale electricity demand capacity to protect the National Electricity Market (NEM) in times of stability-threatening peak consumption or supply problems.’

Dietz said that the Wattwatchers ‘energy data hub’ model being put in place for the 2019 financial year onwards would dramatically increase cloud-level data processing capacity and power up an expanding suite of APIs, supporting scaling to hundreds of thousands of devices in the field by the end of 2020.

‘Each device can deliver over 100,000 data measurements to the cloud every day, so we need to handle billions then expanding to trillions of data points daily to run large fleets of devices for multiple customers and partners to have accurate, independent and real-time visibility and control of electrical circuits 24/7.’

Wattwatchers will be represented at the Lisbon bootcamp by energy technologist Darius Salgo, who joined the team in 2017, and communications and community networks director Murray Hogarth, who is part of the company’s founding group of shareholders.

Murray Hogarth
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