eGreen: Facilitating energy efficiency through gaming17/05/2018
Take pleasure in reducing how much you consume: eGreen’s motto speaks for itself! The startup, which was created in 2012, wants to change people’s behavior (especially through using games) to help lower their energy consumption.
eGreen will be at Viva Technology on Saturday May 26th on the ENGIE Lab and Jérémie Jean, eGreen’s president, talked to us about the company and its vision of the future.
eGreen offers a solution for tertiary and residential building users to save energy and water by monitoring their consumption and encouraging them to change their behavior. What we propose first involves aggregating all the data we can about what a building consumes, whether they come from sensors, networked meters, or data from technical managers in the tertiary sector. Then we develop algorithms that allow us to analyze all this data and identify ways to save.
Lastly, we incorporate gaming functions into the solution to make occupants aware of environmentally responsible behaviors they can adopt in their homes, workplaces, places of leisure and in public.
We use a 3-level application, a web platform and a game.
- Understanding consumption
- Searching for energy savings. Our algorithms scan all of the available consumption data and occupancy profile (tertiary or residential building, type of heating) to identify sources of savings
- eGreen innovatively focuses on using the game to increase awareness and motivation to participate.
Studies are ambivalent: networked meters and consumption monitoring can have a real impact on behavioral changes if the data they produce is understandable and accessible. But in their "raw" form they don’t interest users much. Although they are aware of and care about sustainable development, they don’t change their daily habits to match.
I conducted a psychology study at Berkeley through which I identified axes and levers that help generate behavioral change. These levers can now be found in our solution:
- Monitoring consumption in euros. Balance sheets and projections of potential savings allow users to grasp them in a tangible way.
- Using play is an extremely powerful lever to induce behavioral change.
We decided to use this lever to generate interest, commitment and user buy-in. As the data are accessible in a fun and attractive way, the user gets it and appropriates the information into their daily lives.
For example, we’re organizing challenges in student housing and in commercial buildings like office towers at La Défense... As part of a project developed with European funding we developed one of the first connected video games. It’s a classic gaming experience, with all the codes of current games, but to move forward you have to adopt energy saving behaviors in your real life. Savings are confirmed through the users’ sensors and meters and players who collect points in real life can clean up a small island and rejoin a living ecosystem in the game.
Do you play alone, or rather in challenge with his neighbors?
It all depends on what you want to set up. For example, in a student residence we launched team challenges involving a dozen rooms. In office towers we have challenges organized per floor, but we can also do individual ones.
Our clients often find it more interesting to launch group challenges to get people to copy each other and for teambuilding. But both possibilities exist.
You don’t sell to individual consumers at all?
No, we focus on social housing landlords, local authorities and their administrative buildings, businesses for their office buildings and property developers to get them to include our solutions during construction to make sure that future buildings are in line with what they’ve designed.
What are you going to show at Vivatech?
We will showcase the game, which visitors will be able to play, and then we will show them how the energy saving challenges work.
What do you expect to get from being at Vivatech?
- Feedback from users. We’ve started marketing the game, so it's really interesting to test it with a large number of visitors.
- Establish contacts within ENGIE, identify key stakeholders with whom we can collaborate
- We created the startup with our own funds and without fundraising. We worked a lot on the R&D part for 6 years while selling our solution to stakeholders like Veolia, the City of Paris and other smaller ones. We are now launching the industrialization part of the commercial phase. Vivatech is the place to be when you're a startup and we hope to gain visibility and build partnerships - or meet investors.
For you the future will be ...?
It will be green, and maybe even eGreen!
I think that in the future these environmental concerns will be much more important than today. I hope that we will not be forced to change their behavior, but I do hope that everyone will realize that we can save money in a simple and fun way, without saying goodbye to comfort.