Blockchain Energy Saving Startup Firm Ample Secures Significant Investment from NEM Ventures

According to an official announcement made on Monday the 1st of July, the NEM Foundation’s blockchain technology platform has made an ample investment in Ample, a startup which is dedicated to improving energy efficiency through the application of distributed ledger technology.

Andrew Hoban, an environmental entrepreneur, founded Ample in 2018 with the aim of using user feedback and some inducement to motivate users to seek new ways that will ultimately crash their overall energy consumption. It has been said that 20% – 50% of greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced substantially through a modification of consumer behaviour.

Ample hopes to identify specific behaviour of its users and eventually figure out and suggest behavioural changes that will significantly reduce energy consumption.

How It Works

A mobile Ample app is used in connection with a machine-learning sensor which is installed at the fusebox of a building.

The connection between the sensor and the app allows the user to see all the specifics of their energy consumption, showing how much energy is optimally consumed and also identifying energy waste areas.

With this information, Ample then applies behavioural theory with the hope of encouraging its users to adopt energy-saving behaviour. Explaining the app and its purpose, Hoban said:

“The whole system is set up to move consumers towards target behaviours that are more aligned with their individual and group interests. Blockchain plays a part. We can use it to record relative consumption and allow consumption caps to be traded. None of that matters though, if people don’t care about the incentives or even check their app.”

As earlier stated, Ample intends to use certain incentives to encourage proper energy consumption behaviour and has solicited assistance from a few relevant people who know a thing or two about human behaviour. Tian Jiang, an expert behaviour interventionist and principal at the Dan Ariely’s Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University is one of such people.

Hoban also touched on the trustlessness of blockchain to ensure transparency of the whole process, allaying any fears that might come up now or in the future, from consumers. According to him:

“Ample is the future of energy consumption. Resources are limited. Now that we have the tools to tokenize and trade them trustlessly, we’re doing it. Blockchain’s trustlessness means that users can know that they are trading their caps with other users, and not being tricked by the administrators for their own profit. It’s an essential element in a successful behaviour system.”

Pilot Programme

Now that Ample has secured substantial investment from NEM, the startup hopes to start with two pilots which are expected to officially begin in Spring of next year.

Firstly, Ample will create a link for interested participants connecting general environmental efforts in Shanghai to local firms and businesses who will accept proof of saving to give Ample users great offers. The second pilot will be used in the China-UK Low Carbon College campus.

Specifically, the behavioural intervention system would be installed in the school with the cap-and-trade feature used in the student residences.

If properly used, Ample is estimated to help these institutions save energy spending up to 20 cents on the dollar. For some of them, this could add up to more than a few million dollars in annual energy costs.

For now, the Ample and NEM Ventures teams are quite enthusiastic about the project and its possibilities. Iain Wilson a NEM Ventures Advisor spoke on the environmental benefits of using the Ample system. Wilson said:

“We’re incredibly excited to be investing in Ample, a real manifestation of blockchain which will allow society to reduce its carbon footprint and lessen its environmental impact. Combating climate change is not just about a top-down governmental approach — consumers can very much effect positive outcomes by making these decentralised decisions and we see an incentive system as a core function of blockchain.”

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