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WATTCH... Less is more: Influencing consumer energy behaviour through service innovation
While efficient and renewable technologies are proliferating, our thirst for energy continues. We are generally very wasteful with our domestic energy consumption, as we feel it is our right to consume it as we wish. Yet the growing evidence and impact of climate change combined with the increase in energy prices are putting the energy issue increasingly further up the political, economic and social agenda. While the scale of this issue is undoubtedly huge (modern civilisation relies on constant energy supplies), we as individual energy customers can have an impact on the energy situation: WATTCH aims to put domestic energy customers in control of their energy use, and to not be held to ransom by the large energy companies whose only interests are to sell us more energy at a significant profit. Through the WATTCH energy service model, customers are able to keep track of their energy consumption, effectively enabling them to reduce their energy use and therefore their energy bills, through various means: visualisation of energy use in real time in an understandable form, promote greater understanding of how to be more efficient, and providing incentives for customers to do so.
There exists however a significant barrier to an energy service such as this being brought to the market, a barrier that we refer to as the 'energy paradox'. Energy companies are in the business of selling energy, and therefore they are not likely to adopt a business practice that encourages their customers to use less and therefore buy less of their product, as their profits will decline. So how can a business model be developed that can satisfy the economic, environmental and social factors surrounding energy supply and demand? This is the question we must answer if we are to develop business proposals that are responsible yet realistic and attractive both to the investor and to the customer.
We are looking for someone with a passion for sustainable development and who can rise to the challenge of helping us to develop a business case for a genuinely competitive yet responsible company that can successfully bring the WATTCH service to the European energy market.
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