New York State Selects Startups Affiliated with NYU Incubator to Demonstrate Projects to Cut Home Energy Costs, Help Grid

NYU School of Engineering's Clean-Energy Incubator NYC ACRE Announces Smarter Grid Solutions and Sealed Inc. as Participants of State REV Projects

Jul 10, 2015, 09:49 ET from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering

BROOKLYN, N.Y., July 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of New York State's energy transformation initiative Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering today announced that two companies affiliated with its incubators will participate in REV demonstration projects:Smarter Grid Solutions and Sealed Inc. Both companies are affiliated with the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Resiliency Economy (NYC ACRE), located within the Urban Future Lab – NYC's premier facilities for the cleantech and energy community, supporting company formation and showcasing innovation – in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NY SERDA). Reviewed by the New York State Public Service Commission, projects by Smarter Grid Solutions and Sealed will show how technologies and new business models can capitalize on various value streams and how the benefits can be distributed among the utility, third parties and customers.

Through its Flexible Interconnect project, Smarter Grid Solutions' Active Network Management (ANM) – a technology that increases the volume of energy being delivered by renewable and distributed energy resources through the existing grid – is being used, in coordination with Iberdrola USA, to integrate distributed energy resources (DER) and enable faster and cheaper connections. Sealed's demonstration project will work with National Grid in Clifton Park to offer no- and low-cost efficiency retrofits that are paid back through a "Sealed" bill, giving homeowners a lower bill than they would have paid through their utility. 

"The companies we are incubating at NYC ACRE will be an important part of the new energy economy that is being built in the State of New York; we are delighted that two of our companies, Sealed and Smarter Grid Solutions, have been chosen for the REV demonstration projects," said Pat Sapinsley, managing director of cleantech initiatives, at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. "For many decades now, innovation in the utility sector has been stunted by the monopolistic nature of our rate-based system. The REV initiative will enable deployment of innovative, more efficient, resilient and clean energy businesses. We hope that many of these will be home grown at NYC ACRE and will thereby contribute not only to a cleaner energy future, but to the growth of the economy of New York."

"We are proud that the Urban Future Lab is helping clean tech startups reach the next level and secure new opportunities for growth right here in New York," said David Gilford, director of urban innovation and sustainability at the NYC Economic Development Corporation. "Smarter Grid Solutions and Sealed Inc. are two of the most innovative companies in the field today working to create smarter, more sustainable and resilient cities. We wish them the very best of luck in this endeavor."

"We are excited to be partnering with National Grid on the REV demo process," said Andy Frank, founder and president of Sealed Inc. "Sealed's business is very simple: We take 100 percent of the energy savings risk, and only make money when our customers save more energy than we guarantee. Sealed helps single-family homeowners find the best improvements that maximize energy savings, comfort and resiliency. The end result for our customers is a simple, more predictable energy bill that tracks the guaranteed savings each month."

Sealed makes a pledge that guarantees savings to consumers from home energy-efficiency improvements. Sealed's energy advisors work with homeowners to create a customized plan and perform necessary energy-efficiency improvements. It then compares historical home energy performance from thousands of similar homes to determine the amount of savings to guarantee. Sealed calculates a baseline energy bill, showing consumers what they would have paid had the efficiency improvements not been made. The baseline energy bill is based on past energy usage and home characteristics, and is adjusted for current weather and energy prices. Sealed subtracts the guaranteed efficiency savings on a percentage basis from the baseline bill, leading to the final "Sealed" Energy Bill. Its demonstration project in Clifton Park will pave the way for a "Pay as You Save" billing model throughout the state, making it easy and affordable for people to improve their homes and lower their energy bills.

"We are delighted to be contributing to the work of REV and the objectives of Iberdrola USA," said Emily Wheeler, vice president of operations of Smarter Grid Solutions. "Active Network Management is a transformational technology and is used to autonomously and actively manage DER, such as solar, wind and battery storage. Our customers are benefiting from ANM, which is transforming the utilization and resiliency of the grid, and managing connected customers at greatly reduced cost."

As the pioneers of ANM technology, Smarter Grid Solutions has demonstrated its use over the last five years in the United Kingdom, helping to add around 150 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to distribution systems that were previously considered full and closed to new connections without significant infrastructure upgrades. By the end of 2015, Smarter Grid Solutions expects to increase this number to at least 250 MW of new wind and solar connections to the electricity system. According to the company, its approach has repeatedly demonstrated that it is possible to increase the capacity of the existing distribution system by 100 to 200 percent. In the Flexible Interconnect project, it will explore how this plays out in New York.

Iberdrola USA and National Grid were among hundreds of utilities across the state required to file demonstration projects by July 1. The companies will participate in the inaugural REV Summit, which will be held September 24 in New York City.

The NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering dates to 1854, when the NYU School of Civil Engineering and Architecture as well as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly) were founded. Their successor institutions merged in January 2014 to create a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to programs at its main campus in downtown Brooklyn, it is closely connected to engineering programs in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, and it operates business incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. For more information, visit http://engineering.nyu.edu.

Sealed Inc. is a New York based start-up that guarantees savings from home energy improvements. These savings come from improvements such as adding insulation, air sealing, and mechanical upgrades, and can lower total energy bills by 40 percent or more while fixing common household problems such as drafty rooms and uneven temperatures. By guaranteeing savings, Sealed is addressing the lack of confidence in energy savings, the largest market barrier to the greater adoption of residential energy efficiency. Sealed guarantees savings by replacing customers' electricity and heating fuel bills with a single Sealed bill that is guaranteed to be lower than their normal energy bills. For more information, please visit: sealed.com

Smarter Grid Solutions delivers products and services that enable electricity distribution companies and regulated utilities to integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DER). The company provides world-leading Active Network Management products, and is the only provider to uniquely combine real-time, autonomous and deterministic control into its Active Network Management solutions. Its products are transforming the utilization and resiliency of the grid, and managing connected customers at greatly reduced cost, without compromising safety and security. It supports customers worldwide from its offices in New York, London and Glasgow, UK. The company was formed in 2008, originating from the world-renowned Institute for Energy and Environment at the University of Strathclyde, and it is a leading vendor of DER integration solutions. It established its offices in New York in 2013, and is now an active contributor to the development of the Smart Grid in many parts of North America. For more information, please visit: http://www.smartergridsolutions.com/us/

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