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Energy Consumption Gamified - Greenely Feasibility Study

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ECGGFS (Energy Consumption Gamified - Greenely Feasibility Study)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-01-31

Conserving energy at home can have a real impact – on the environment, and on energy bills. The EU’s Energy 2020 policy set a target of reducing emissions by 20%, while also enabling consumers to switch energy providers and monitor energy usage. Today, across the EU, individual households consume almost 30% of all energy expended. But, most households are unaware of their exact energy consumption until their aggregated bill arrives, once per month, making it difficult to calculate and refine usage. And, these monthly statements do not provide enough insight into specific, practical ways a household can decrease their energy usage.

The EU encourages scalable energy efficiency tools and practices, and has initiatives in place to upgrade millions of electricity meters to smart energy meters by 2020. Thus far, installed smart meters have mostly benefited the utility companies and grid operators; the benefits have not trickled down to European households as intended.

In order for individuals to be informed and make energy adaptations, the consumer needs: (1) visual representation of usage at shorter intervals to be able to analyse how a specific energy trade-off will personally affect their household, (2) the ability to perform their own cost-benefit analysis and model those savings to make informed decisions, and (3) to feel personally accountable for their energy consumption and, conversely, directly responsible for energy conservation.

Greenely addresses these needs, to provide a visual representation of energy usage, while promoting sustainable energy consumption through behavioural data analysis and gamification. Greenely is a mobile application that translates raw energy data from smart meters into algorithmic visuals of consumption patterns by hour, day, or month; and available instantaneously to end-users. Not only does Greenely draw on the latest behaviour science and gamification practices, but it is also unique because it has a software-based approach. Other hardware-based solutions require a financial investment to install the equipment while Greenely doesn’t require a financial investment for add-on hardware and instead provides cost-effective and scalable software, with easy-to-understand snapshots, making it a much more economically viable solution.

The objective of this feasibility study was to analyse the potenital for an expansion of Greenely's energy efficiency platform in Europe, with a focus on starting in the UK. A massive rollout of smart gas and electricity meters is currently underway in the UK with a total of 26 millions residential smart meters to be installed by year 2020. This creates a vast opportunity to access this data and use it to improve households' knowledge of their energy consumption and motivate them to decrease it.
To evaluate the commercial potential for a UK expansion of Greenely’s unique energy efficiency platform, the feasibility study was structured in three main factors that required further study. These were the 1) Technical Feasibility, 2) Market Feasibility and 3) Economic Feasibility. We studied the UK market based on these factors utilizing mainly literature review, analysis of previous studies and interviews with relevant actors on the UK market. We also did a more general analysis of the European market to identify any other suitable markets to further study. This was done over a period of 6 months from October 2016 – January 2017 and resulted in a feasibility report that outlines the performed work and our conclusion.

The result from this work is summarized in the three main sections below:

1) Technical Feasibility
- Over 26 million residential smart meters will be installed by 2020
- Over 4 million smart meters have been installed already
- The meters will be owned by the suppliers
- The Data and Communications Company (DCC) has been set up to establish and manage a common infrastructure for handling the data from the smart
electricity and gas meters
- Households can choose in what resolution the data from their smart meters is sent
- A thorough study of the needed adjustments to Greenely's service that would be required was done, breaking it down in actions, required man hours and cost

2) Market Feasibility
- The energy market in the UK was deregulated between 1996-1999
- The market is however still dominated by six big suppliers, having 85 % of the market between them
- The customer satisfaction among suppliers is very low
- The churn is over 12% for electricity customers and 13% for gas customers

3) Economic Feasibility
- A thorough calculation was made covering the needed investment for the UK expansion and the revenue it could generate
- A financing plan for the needed investment was outlined
Through this feasibility study we were able to study the expansion potential for Greenely more in depth with a focus on the UK. This allowed us to establish relationships with several UK suppliers that could serve as potential customers to Greenely after a market entry into the UK. The study made it apparent that the UK suppliers were battling with the same challenges as those in Sweden and that Greenely's service was perfectly positioned to help them address and mitigate these. With an expansion to the UK, and also other European markets, we could offer the Greenely service free of charge to an increased number of European households as our service is very scalable. This would have a significant impact on how these households manage their residential energy consumption and can aid in achieving the ambitious Europan energy efficiency goals.
Screenshot of Greenely application