A smart energy conversation to reduce use
For large industrial and commercial facilities across the province, energy isn’t cheap. In fact, for Ontario’s biggest energy consumers that are billed according to their peak demand (the highest amount of electricity over a 15-minute period), electricity costs can be staggering.
A typical industrial facility of 90,000 sq. ft. can reach a peak demand of 500 kW, costing $4,000 a month. But with support from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), a Toronto-based company has developed a new innovative technology that can cut that monthly peak demand charge by 30%. Resembling small radios, REGEN’s controllers are installed on water heaters, air conditioners and other operating systems. They “talk” to each other wirelessly, telling each system when to operate or shut down for a few minutes at a time during peak demand periods. This conversation results in huge savings for potentially thousands of industrial factories and commercial facilities across Canada.
Working with REGEN, OCE recommended Centennial
College as a research partner to test the controllers on commercial buildings in Toronto. The study proved to investors this patentpending technology had the potential to significantly improve the management of electrical loads. Centennial College’s rigorous testing also revealed that under certain conditions, overall energy consumption was reduced significantly. These promising results led to joint research funding from OCE and the Ontario Power Authority.
OCE’s Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR), later connected REGEN with a new CEO, Tim Angus, through its Embedded Executive program.
“CCR’s financial support helped REGEN by providing essential funding at a critical time to execute key corporate development initiatives,” said Angus.
As a result, REGEN was able to complete a very successful equity financing round and has increased sales fifteen times over the previous fiscal year. With the growth continuing, Angus projects REGEN will create 15-30 new jobs in Ontario over the next three years. CCR also participated in the equity financing round, investing additional funds in REGEN and, through its participation, helping to attract other investors. Looking ahead, REGEN foresees its controllers reducing energy peak demand in commercial facilities across North America. REGEN also believes its controllers could eventually be used in households to reduce peak demand and optimize energy use on refrigerators, air conditioners and pool pumps. “OCE’s CCR is an ideal support partner for a company at REGEN’s stage,” added Angus. “They have been highly creative and flexible in structuring investment for the company and the team at OCE and CCR possesses tremendous depth and experience.”