Saving energy is everyone's business. It's up to each and every citizen to alter their behavior with a view to optimizing their use of energy resources as part of a joint effort to reduce the overall impact of global warming. To encourage people to embark on the transition process towards more sustainable energy use, France's recently-passed law to promote energy transition and 'green' growth provides tools for citizens, businesses and local authorities to help them take concrete action to "reduce household energy bills and improve the quality of life by safeguarding the planet and protecting public health", and to "seize opportunities for growth and competitiveness and create jobs in both existing industries and future business areas". However, changing our consumption habits is not as easy as it might seem. With this in mind, a French startup called Egreen, which joined this year's Fintech Boost program run by L'Atelier BNP Paribas, has set out to tackle the issue by equipping apartments and other buildings with sensors designed to gather data on the occupants' consumption of resources, including electricity, gas, water, plus the internal temperature of the premises. Occupants will then receive an alert if any of these seems abnormal. However, the Egreen founders wanted not only to provide a practical service but also enable users to have some fun. They have therefore incorporated into their platform a mechanism that allows residents to see how they compare with others on consumption and offers them personal advice on how they can effectively reduce their environmental footprint. Meanwhile, this determination to raise people's awareness of energy consumption issues and encourage them in a gamified way to change their behavior has also led the company to launch on its website a serious interactive game called 'Island and Co', which immerses players in a post-apocalyptic world where only one small island has avoided sinking beneath the waves. However, the island is extremely polluted. The only way the inhabitants are going to survive is to make use of sensors installed in their homes that will help them to monitor and take steps to reduce their own energy consumption. The game mirrors how, little by little, the island becomes less polluted as its inhabitants gradually reduce their impact on the environment. Seen this way, reducing one's energy consumption looks like mere child's play!
By Théo Roux