UK businesses share in $125m in eco funding from GE

Posted on 23 Jun 2011 by The Manufacturer

Two UK green energy firms have secured a share of £125m worth of financial investment from GE as part of the company’s ‘ecomagination Challenge’ – the only non-US recipients of funding.

This second phase of the challenge, entitled ‘Powering Your Home’ is intended to help households become more energy efficient and promote the domestic use of renewable energy.

The UK companies are e.quinox, a solar power start-up based in London that brings renewable energy to rural parts of Africa, and VPhase, a Manchester based company helping consumers save 10% on their electricity. In addition to financial support, GE and Best Buy Co., are partnering to help bring these technologies to market.

e.quinox, based in Imperial College London, operates a student-run humanitarian project that will bring cost-effective solar energy to rural communities in Rwanda through, off-grid stand-alone photovoltaic systems. e.quinox is one of five Innovation Award winners, who will each receive a $100,000 grant to further develop their technology.

VPhase, based in Manchester, produces home energy control devices that provides a voltage solution which enables customers to save 10% on their electricity bills, without changing their lifestyles. VPhase is the only UK and one of only two companies who have been selected to partner with GE and Best Buy Co., Inc. to fast-track the commercial availability of these technologies.

Rick Smith, the CEO of VPhase plc, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have received the support of GE. Their recognition of the benefits of the VPhase product and GE’s commercial, financial and logistical support are a great boost to accelerating the growth of this business.”