Revolutionising the Energy Sector Through Digitilisation

Utilities can build stronger customer relationships by gamifying energy consumption.
Published: Mon 16 Nov 2015

Greenely, a start-up company from KTH Innovation currently incubated at KIC InnoEnergy, has developed a new mobile application that gives energy consumers full control of their energy consumption behaviour.

Fredrik Hagblom, Product Manager, Greenely, told Engerati at European Utility Week that after conducting some in-depth research around consumption behaviour, they discovered the significant market potential in improving customer loyalty and engagement.

“We started the research in February of last year and realised that there didn’t seem to be many products enabling customer engagement. Over 100 million smart meters have been installed across the world making vast streams of energy data available through the smart grid and we see enormous potential to use this data which was previously inaccessible to improve energy efficiency, especially in households.”

“There are many solutions in the market that analyze consumption behaviour but we wanted to go a step further and this is where gamification comes into it.”

Combined with the rollout of smart technology, gamification has the ability to offer a powerful avenue leading to the creation of an excellent consumer experience as well as encourage energy efficiency.  [Utilities Use Gamification to Engage Customers.]]

How the app works

In a nutshell, Greenely’s no-hardware solution aggregates and analyses the consumption data for utilities and residents. The data helps them to understand consumption patterns so that they can make changes in their habits to improve energy efficiency levels.

To get started, consumers download the mobile application onto their Smart device. Once the personal smart meter code or customer number is entered, the app automatically collects electricity data from smart meters together with weather forecasts, household conditions and historical trends in Greenely’s cloud system. The app then crunches the data through big data algorithms which calculate the data and provides in-depth analysis of households’ energy consumption and learns personal energy behaviors.

App users can access their consumption via any smart device and visualize it through a beautifully designed user interface called “The Energy Tree”. The app actually visualizes a living tree which deteriorates with increased consumption and vice versa. Consumers are guided along the whole process to decrease their consumption. The news feed provides personalized reports, analysis, messages, and warnings if consumption is unusually high. It also provides relevant tips, advice and energy saving measures around the clock.

The app is designed to make the experience and the information engaging and personalized. “The app is fun. We don’t bore consumers with graphs and irrelevant information. We show them how much can be saved and how to do it.”

“Through gamification, in-depth analysis of consumption, big data analytics, as well as comparisons with other households, a service is created in which households can reduce their energy usage without any type of financial investment.”

According to Mr Hagblom, the app has the potential to reduce energy usage by 10-15 % in regular households.

Catering for the future energy consumer

Consumers are becoming more digital and many sectors such as banking and retail are already catering for this trend. Expectations are growing and the old fashioned, out of date paper invoice is quickly becoming unacceptable.

“Today, consumers want to carry out their business via Smart devices. They don’t want to stand in queues. They want convenience and efficiency.”

And quite rightly so, especially when transactions with other service providers are carried out by the click of a button.

While utilities are making steps towards digitilisation, more progress must be made if they want to optimise opportunities in the new energy future and keep their customers from switching, explains Mr Hagblom. He adds that services which is relevant and personalized can help towards building a more trusting customer relationship.

“New technology is evolving each day and utilities have to adapt in order to survive and prosper. It’s all about research, innovation, big data analytics and harnessing it all in the most efficient way. Most of all, utilities must do something tangible with the data and this is where innovators like ourselves can help.”

Greenely has already distinguished itself by winning several awards, like the “Smart Living Challenge”, “The challenge of the year” at the Business Challenge and “The young business idea of the year” at the Swedish city of Solna. The company has also recently collaborated with researchers from Stanford University, bringing cutting-edge insight and know-how to the team.