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Tantalus Acquires Demand Management Company Energate to Expand Smart Grid Applications Portfolio

Energate’s interactive demand management solutions enable Tantalus to further enhance market-leading edge-computing smart grid platform

RALEIGH, N.C. – August 23, 2017Tantalus Systems, a leading provider of smart grid solutions for electric and multi-commodity utilities, announced today that it completed the acquisition of Energate, Inc., a leader in interactive demand management solutions. The acquisition expands Tantalus’ smart grid application portfolio to include a comprehensive solution which empowers utilities and energy service providers to control load at the edge of the distribution network.

“Incorporating Energate’s advanced demand management solutions into Tantalus’ product portfolio represents an exciting step towards delivering our vision to assist utilities improve their profitability, reliability and operating efficiency,” said Peter Londa, President & CEO for Tantalus. “This transaction accelerates our growth trajectory by expanding Tantalus’ total addressable market opportunity with a proven and differentiated solution that is being deployed at some of the largest IOUs, cooperative and municipal utilities across North America. Together, we provide a more compelling offer that is truly capable of delivering on the promise of smart grid.”

Tantalus’ edge computing capabilities deliver valuable, granular, interval data from an electric utility’s network. By integrating detailed insights into energy consumption from large appliances in homes and buildings, Tantalus can assist utilities with mitigating imbalances between supply and demand, shift peak load and utilize dynamic rate structures through advanced programs. Utilities can also deliver increased value to their customers by offering load control devices and a comprehensive customer portal to educate and empower home owners, business owners and landlords to become smarter consumers of electricity. The interrelated data available through the combined solution will provide utilities with a precise understanding of the energy demands and use patterns of specific devices within any home or building.

“By combining forces and leveraging Tantalus’ resources and financial strength, we can accelerate the growth of our organization. Together, we provide a more compelling offer that is truly capable of delivering on the promise of smart grid,” said Steve Dodds, CEO of Energate, Inc. “Over the past several years, we made significant progress in deploying our latest load control switch with four relays to complement our Zigbee/WiFi enabled smart thermostat and overall solution.”

With over 130 utilities in North America and the Caribbean basin, Tantalus continues to expand its market share as well as its smart grid application portfolio. Energate’s 50 utility and energy service providers bring new market segments into the Tantalus fold. All existing Tantalus and Energate customers will continue to receive ongoing support, continued access to solutions and products including upcoming enhancements and current project commitments. The companies will remain fully committed to supporting its combined customer base of municipal, cooperative, investor owned utilities and energy service providers by delivering long-term value through cutting edge technology and market-leading solutions.

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About Tantalus

Tantalus provides TUNet® – the Tantalus Utility Network – which is an award winning end-to-end communications platform utilizing IP-based networks including Fiber, WiMAX and cellular as well as 220 & 900 MHz wireless RF. TUNet is purpose built for the Smart Grid and unites utility applications through distributed, Linux-based edge computing capability at every endpoint. The result is enhanced value across all utility departments through integrated solutions such as AMI, outage management, power quality monitoring, load management, smart thermostats, smart plugs and distribution grid optimization that are both cost-effective and practical to deploy throughout urban and rural service areas. For more information, please visit www.tantalus.com.

Energate Selected For California Summer Peaking Technology Test

Energate’s LC2200 Two-way Communicating Direct Load Control Switch Capabilities Being Tested

OTTAWA – August 29, 2016 – Energate Inc., a leading provider of interactive energy management solutions that enable next-generation energy management for the Utility Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home, has been selected by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to explore a new two-way direct load control solution technology for residential customers.

The technology assessment, already underway, will measure the load reduction values of multiple technologies including Energate’s recently introduced LC2200 Load Control Switch.  The technologies are installed in a small sample of existing residential customer’s homes and leverages PG&E’s AMI network. Energate’s LC2200 Load Control Switch will add two-way communications utilizing the existing ZigBee enabled meters for control and insight into load shedding events and represents a significant evolution in DR technology.

“We are confident that this technology assessment will demonstrate the improved efficacy using our LC2200,” said Steve Dodds, Energate’s CEO. “It is the perfect load control switch for utilities who depend on the reliability and security of their Advanced Metering Infrastructure, which is typically more dependable than relying exclusively on the customers’ Wi-Fi and broadband.”

The LC2200 uses secure and reliable ZigBee™ Smart Energy for two-way communication and works on PG&E’s current AMI network.

“It has been a multi-year effort working with our customers to deliver what could easily be described as the best wired DR load control switch on the market today,”  said Louis Szablya, Energate’s Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing.  “We have worked with multiple utilities, AMI Vendors, and installers to develop the LC2200 which can be used with the millions of meters already installed throughout the world.”

Advanced sensing inside the switch along with two-way communication provides near-real time information, including confirmation of LC2200 availability and statuses like load running state, event execution progress, and relay state. Knowing the availability and operating status of loads captures the full value of demand response resources that utilities and independent system operators are increasingly relying on to manage the balance between generation and load.

Assuring load reduction values even if oversized or undersized air conditioners are installed is made possible through Energate’s patent pending OptiCycle™ technology which will be utilized during the pilot.  OptiCycle assures that each load reduces fairly and proportionally, minimizing the overall impact on comfort for all participants. The technology assessment’s final evaluation report is expected in October 2016.

About Energate

Energate Inc. provides interactive energy management solutions that enable next-generation energy management and the connected home. Energate’s vertically integrated Consumer Connected Demand Response™ platform provides management of two-way communication and demand response events through a flexible solution that includes devices, middleware, and applications. Energate’s Internet of Things solution is an interoperable architecture that has been proven in the homes of more than 40 North American utilities’ customers.

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Dynamic Pricing Intended to Give Customers a New Cost Advantage

By Daniel Carr, Manager, Smart Grid Projects, PowerStream

An innovative pilot being run by PowerStream is providing participating customers with a dynamic new way of managing their electricity costs – one with the potential to provide significant savings to the grid and to customers. Participants are being given the information and tools they need to adjust their electricity consumption and costs in response to actual provincial electricity demand on a given day.

Supported in part by the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund, and Energate Inc.’s Consumer Connected Demand Response platform, Advantage Power Pricing is a voluntary and dynamic pricing program for residential customers. Customers taking part in the pilot will pay a low price for off-peak energy use, while their peak use, from 3:00 – 9:00 p.m. on weekdays, will vary to one of three rates, based on actual provincial electricity demand. Prices will be finalized in mid-April but are estimated to be 5¢ for off-peak prices, and 10¢, 20¢ and 40¢ for the low, medium and high prices respectively. Customers will pay the lowest rate over 80% of the time.

Customers will be notified daily of the demand-based price that will apply during the next day’s peak period, and given the opportunity to shift their consumption away from higher-price periods to lower-price periods.

This shifting of consumption enables customers to better manage their electricity costs while at the same time helping to further reduce the strain on the province’s electricity grid. And it will do so in a more precise way than existing time-of-use pricing programs alone can achieve. If this program moves beyond the pilot stage and becomes available to a larger number of customers, it will help to reduce the need to build costly new power plants.

Customers who register in the program are equipped with an Energate Foundation™ Smart Thermostat and Home Energy Gateway, which give them access to up-to-date pricing information and then respond to price changes – intelligently, automatically and according to the customer’s preferences.

powerstream APP

The thermostat can respond to price changes by increasing the temperature to which the house is cooled, and can even pre-cool the home to limit consumption during peak times. For customers with electric water heaters or pool pumps, load control switches can also control these appliances to further reduce electricity cost during peak times. The customer is always in charge of their energy consumption, and can even change settings and view consumption from anywhere through web and mobile applications.

“Participants in the Advantage Power Pricing pilot program are expected to save approximately 10 per cent on their electricity costs this summer,” says Martin Rovers, Director of Energy Solutions at PowerStream. “The program is also risk free, so customers are guaranteed to not pay more than if they were still on the existing time-of-use pricing plan.”

PowerStream is the first distribution company in Ontario to offer this innovative pricing plan to its customers. The project is intended to test out the customer appeal and electricity savings provided by the pricing plan in combination with new technology It is hoped that this pricing plan will later be made available to all PowerStream customers, and to customers of other distribution companies across Ontario. The pilot will wrap up later this year, with results published in early 2016. As of mid-March, PowerSteam was approaching its target to recruit 1,000 participants for the trial.

“The Government of Ontario is committed to providing electricity consumers with the tools they need to manage their electricity consumption,” said Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli at the time the project was announced. “The province-wide installation of smart meters has enabled great innovation in smart grid technology and we are excited to be taking this next step with PowerStream and Energate.”

PowerStream is a community-owned energy company providing power and related services to more than 370,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario.

Source: EDA Distributor, Spring 2015 Issue

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