Stefan Grosjean, founder and CEO of Smappee

Real-time insight into consumption accounts for savings up to 12%

November 29, 2015 – At the start of the climate summit in Paris, Stefan Grosjean, founder and CEO of Smappee, launches an idea that can lead to electricity savings up to 12%.  Nowadays consumers only get information about their energy consumption once a year, more specifically when they receive their annual settlement and invoice.  However, studies have shown that insight into consumption can lead to savings up to 12%. Stefan Grosjean suggests to start by simply sending customers an SMS to inform them about their consumption.  “Why is it that I get a message at the end of the month when I have made too many phone calls, and not when I have been consuming too much energy?  Nonetheless, energy is a far bigger cost!”

Stefan Grosjean, founder and CEO of Smappee - a recent start-up from Kortrijk - and an expert in the field of energy management, is critical about the evolution of the energy sector. Just like the internet and mobile phones completely changed the telecom sector, the energy sector will also have to change drastically.  At this very moment, progress is too slow.  In the run up to the climate summit in Paris, Stefan Grosjean wants to startle the sector.

Transparancy leads to savings

“Customers nowadays don’t get the information they are entitled to,” Stefan Grosjean says. “In my opinion, the energy sector should deliver the same service as the telecom sector.  It shouldn’t be a challenge for grid operators and energy suppliers to send us a simple SMS when we reach a certain limit.  Accordingly, it would be even better to make insight in energy consumption accessible for everyone.  That’s what they call transparency and this automatically results into considerable savings.”

Scientific research has shown that feedback on a daily or weekly basis, e.g. via SMS, results into energy savings of 8,4%, simply because users are more conscious about their consumption.  Real-time insight into consumption can even lead to savings of 12%.  It goes without saying that this has a positive impact on the climate, as it automatically implies a lower CO2 emission.  Besides that,  it is also a financial saving.  If we take into account the average consumption of Belgian households, this adds up to a saving of 322 million €.  For Stefan Grosjean the climate summit in Paris is the perfect occasion to start working on this.

“We shouldn’t wait for policy-makers to define regulations”, Stefan Grosjean explains. “Energy will, as was the case with waste separation, experience a sustainable behavioural change.  What is considered to be a normal level of consumption today, will be inconceivable 10 years from now.  Households will become decentralised power units with smart appliances based on the internet of things.  The energy sector should be smart and take control of the matter.  A simple SMS can’t be that difficult, while it could imply considerable savings for both consumers and SME’s.”

A supermarket without price tags

Stefan Grosjean has a clear view of what the energy sector will look like in the future.   There will be a lot more green energy and this will require investments. In the meantime, while waiting for more green power, we should be particularly alert and consume less energy.  In order to do that, we urgently need a better understanding of our consumption.

“Our phone bill provides us with information about the cost of each separate call,” Stefan Grosjean states, “in the same way, we should get an overview of how many kWh we use.  The current situation is like shopping in a supermarket without price tags and getting the bill only at the cash register at the exit.  This way of working is completely outdated.”Moreover, with the start-up of Smappee, Stefan Grosjean proves that consumers can proactively take control of the matter.  Smappee developed a smart energy monitor under the same name, that helps consumers and companies use energy more consciously.  Stefan Grosjean’s appeal to the energy sector has everything to do with that :  we shouldn’t worry about the climate, we should do something about it.