NEM Ventures, the venture capital and investments arm of the NEM blockchain ecosystem, has announced an investment in Ample, which uses distributed ledger technology to tokenise energy consumption rights at the user level, creating a new economy for energy efficiency.
Founded in 2018 by environmental entrepreneur, Andrew Hoban, Ample’s mission is to use feedback and incentives to encourage consumers to consume less energy, targeting the 20 to 50 percent greenhouse gas emission reduction potentially available through behaviour change alone.
Ample, an app which reads current data from a single, machine-learning enabled sensor installed at the fusebox, gives users a 360-degree view of their domestic energy consumption. It gives deep insights into energy consumption and identifies energy waste hotspots. Within the context of a saving community or economy, such as university campuses, it then uses behavioural theory to ‘nudge’ consumers into more efficient behaviour.
Andrew Hoban, CEO of Ample, commented: “The whole system is set up to move consumers towards target behaviors 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.”
To ensure their behavioral economic incentives hit the mark, Ample have enlisted some heavy hitters to back them up. One example of this is Ting Jiang, principal at Dan Ariely’s Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University and experienced behaviour interventionist. Ting will be advising on behavior intervention planning and assessment.
“Ample is the future of energy consumption. Resources are limited. Now that we have the tools to tokenise 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.”
NEM Ventures are excited to be in at the ground floor of this classic application of blockchain. Their angel investment is being used to finance pilots of two of Ample’s cap and trade economies in Shanghai. An opt-in pilot will link the environmental community’s saving efforts with local businesses who accept proof of saving to give special offers to Amplers. The second is on the campus of the China-UK Low Carbon College. Ample’s behavioral intervention system is being deployed on campus and the cap-and-trade economy in dormitories. The system is expected to save universities up to 20 cents on the dollar in energy costs which, for many universities, can amount to millions of dollars a year.
“Universities are just the landing ground. This system needs to be applied at all levels and we will be the pioneers,” Hoban continued.
Commenting on the investment, Iain Wilson, Advisor at NEM Ventures, 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.”
The pilots are expected to go live in Spring 2020.