Stash Energy, the Fredericton-based energy-storage company, has raised a $400,000 funding round, with equal contributions from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and Island Capital Partners.

The funding comes as the company has received 1,500 pre-orders for its initial product, which works with a traditional heat pump to store energy and heat homes. And Stash is also working with the University of Ottawa on its second-generation product, which would cool homes.

Both investors have invested in the company previously. In June 2018, Stash Energy raised a $500,000 round divided just about evenly between Island Capital and NBIF. And NBIF also invested $200,000 in the venture in 2017.

“We’ve had really high hopes for this company, and they haven’t disappointed us,” said NBIF Director of Investment Raymond Fitzpatrick in a statement. “They’ve been doing some development recently in the European utilities market, where they have the climate and infrastructure in place that lends itself to Stash’s system. The company has huge growth potential in the global market.”

Stash Energy has developed a system that works with conventional residential heat pumps to store energy for later use. Companies around the world are working on energy storage systems so that consumers can store electricity from the grid during inexpensive, off-peak hours and use stored energy when demand is highest.

Stash Energy’s system allows users to store energy during non-peak periods and save up to 70 per cent on their utility bill. It works with conventional heat pumps, allowing users to specify when to switch from using grid energy to stored energy. The system benefits both consumers and utility providers, who can make more efficient use of their generation capacity and use more affordable resources.

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“Island Capital Partners is excited to be providing continued support for Stash Energy with this follow-on investment,” said Island Capital Partner Paul Lypaczewski. “With a number of pilot programs anticipated with Canadian and international utilities, we remain confident in the value that Stash’s energy storage solutions bring to energy providers and their customers.

Stash Energy was founded in 2017 by Jordan Kennie, Daniel Larson, and Erik Hatfield while they were studying Technology Management Entrepreneurship at the University of New Brunswick. Since then, the company has pre-sold over 1,500 units and launched paid pilot projects with such utilities as Summerside Electric, Hydro Ottawa, and others.

Stash Energy plans to use the investment for additional product development, testing, and market expansion.

“We are using this round to fulfill the Canadian pre-orders and sign some U.S. contracts throughout the Northeast U.S.,” said Stash CEO Jordan Kennie in an email.

Kennie said the first-generation product will be in the utilities’ hands by November and the company hopes to get installations done throughout November and December. Preorders are for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years so they will go until March 2021, he said.

Stash Energy plans to have the second-generation product tested with one of its utility partners for the winter of 2020-2021 and then have it commercially ready for fall 2021 for central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

The company now has eight full- and two part-time employees and anticipates adding three to five people in the next year.

“People all over the world are becoming more conscious about their energy use, and Stash is there to help our customers manage their energy consumption and save money,” said Kennie in a statement. “We’re encouraged by the growth we’ve seen, and grateful to NBIF for supporting us since our early days.”