We are socializing energy behaviour. Using social norms, we make energy efficiency fun and offer utilities a sustainable business model.
- ECO12 Award category: Startup
- Company name: BEN Energy AG
- Country of origin: Switzerland
- Company address: Scheuchzerstrasse 7 c/o ETH (SEC E5), 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
- Founding year: 2011
- Company status: private company
- Website: www.ben-energy.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/BEN-Energy-AG/146518955454899
- Contact person: Dr. Jan Marckhoff, CEO, BEN Energy, firstname.lastname@example.org
- CEO: Dr. Jan Marckhoff (Photo)
No one really cares about their energy consumption. People are far more interested in what others do and think about them. Even though our social environment does not force any behaviour upon us, it affects our personal life more than we might think or would like to admit – also when it comes to energy usage. We develop multisided platforms (web, mobile, social) that turn energy efficiency into a social experience and build Europe’s largest energy community. With a combined total of over 20 years of behavioral change research at ETH Zurich, we incorporate latest insights on psychology and gamification into our products. Moreover, our platform provides the basis for utilities to develop a sustainable business model in changing market conditions – from supplier to energy service provider. We sell our products and services directly to utilities. Currently, our geographic focus is Switzerland and Germany. However, due to a strong social and regulatory harmonization within the European Union (EU), we approach over 190 million households in the medium term. This market offers an enormous growth potential for us. Moreover, the EU offers an immense potential for energy savings on household level, estimated to exceed EUR 200 billion per year.
Smart Green Product
Our products employ concepts from gamification and psychology and use the power of social networks to help people along their way to energy efficiency. Each product is highly personalized and continuously adapts to users’ behaviour. Our whitelabel online portal allows users tackling the relevant tasks, only three tasks are shown each time they log on. Users are asked to check their energy consumption, next time, users could see a recommendation for some 3rd party content. Other elements include common goals, share and compete with friends and earn points and badges. While our whitelabel mobile app offers the same content as in our online portal (e.g. energy rally to compete with friends), we also use mobile specific ￼elements such as combining collecting points and location-based services for energy efficiency. The efficiency reporting is modularized where each element can be substituted. The reporting is personalized for each user and incorporates customer insights from our online and mobile products.
- Funding: seed funded by founders
- Founding investors: Dr. Jan Marckhoff (CEO), Tobias Graml (CTO), Claire-Michelle Loock (Research & Analytics), Michael Baeriswyl (Product Design), Prof. Dr. Elgar Fleisch (Advisory Board) and Dr. Thorsten Staake (Advisory Board)
- Employees: 2011: 4, 2012E: 8
- Revenues: 2011: €175K, 2012E: €665K
- Customers: BKW FMB Energie, EKZ and Repower