Many consumers find their energy consumption – not to mention the bill that comes with it – a hard pill to swallow. ‘Is this normal for a family our size? How can I reduce my energy usage to the absolute minimum?’, they wonder. Indeed, a great deal of consumers today are unaware of the steps they can take to minimize the amount of energy they use. To them, saving energy seems to be a luxury reserved for people who can afford to invest in solar panels, water pumps and other pricy measures. But now there is Maka, the platform that puts the energy-conscious consumer back in the driver’s seat no matter their budget.
Last week our Transformation & Innovation experts co-facilitated the Hack Utilities event at Brussels, a 2-day innovation event for the utilities sector organised by Hack Belgium Labs. During these two days they guided the participants from brainstorm to team formation, business model validation and finally pitching their ideas.
There’s no doubt about it: disruption is in the air for Belgium’s energy market. When it comes to utilities, our country is facing numerous challenges in different areas, including technological, topological, regulatory and sociological changes. At the same time, we have been struggling with persistent paradoxes for quite some time now. Consider, for example, the almost exponential growth of alternative energy sources, while Europe is confronted with energy overcapacity. The debate concerning a nuclear power phase-out, too, is far from over, and our idea to rely more on gas-fired power stations is in no way consistent with the increasing pressure Belgium is under to drastically reduce its CO2 emissions.
Why roll out Smart Meters in Brussels?
Being the distribution grid operator for all 19 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region, Sibelga considers it one of its main objectives to provide its customers with a balanced network and a guaranteed electricity supply.
The energy sector has faced a major transformation in recent years. The liberalization of the energy sector ensured that energy supply was no longer possible in the traditional “push strategy.” The customer became the center of attention, as customer churn became a common concept within the sector. From now on, an individual could actively choose an energy supplier, something that was impossible before. In their choice, customers were initially often led by favorable pricing. In a later phase, green energy made its appearance and became a decision factor just as valuable as price. In order to tackle these changes, suppliers started recruiting complementary profiles in other sectors that experienced a similar transformation. These recruits came mostly from the financial and telecom world to embrace a more customer centric approach within the organizations.