NEM blockchain venture arm invests in tokenized smart meter energy app

The venture capital and investment arm of the NEM blockchain ecosystem invests in machine-learning smart meter company aiming to reduce environmental footprint using blockchain and behavioural economics

Nemventures Amp Ample

NEM Ventures, the venture capital and investment arm of the NEM blockchain ecosystem, has announced an investment in Ample, which uses distributed ledger technology to tokenize 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 behavior 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 behavioral theory to ‘nudge’ consumers into more efficient behavior.

“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. 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 behavior system.”

– Andrew Hoban, CEO of Ample

To ensure their behavioral economic incentives hit the mark, Ample has 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 behavior interventionist. Ting will be advising on behavior intervention planning and assessment.

Pilots

The angel investment from NEM Ventures 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.

“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 affect positive outcomes by making these decentralized decisions and we see an incentive system as a core function of blockchain.”

– Iain Wilson, Advisor at NEM Ventures

The pilots are expected to go live in Spring 2020.