The HOPES initiative has big goals for green energy at both the corporate and individual level in Luxembourg, Europe and the world at large. Check out our Q&A to see what this Fit4Start candidate has planned for the Grand-Duchy.
What is HOPES?
HOPES’s mission is to provide a range of independent clean energy services and thereby allow our members to reduce their electricity costs and environmental impact. Contributing in the long term to the development of a self-sufficient local community of users, we’re based on the principle of a circular and sharing economy.
HOPES is an uberization of green energy distribution. This distribution is developed via an independent trading platform based on a decentralized network with Blockchain-based technology. It offers a fully digitalized solution that’s user-friendly, secured and certified.
Our vision is to become the leading one-stop shop providing sustainable energy solutions for businesses and private individuals in Europe. Co-founded in 2017 by Gaetan & Romain, HOPES recently opened its European headquarter in Luxembourg in April 2018.
“Data could be used to provide a soft and sustainable transition for our energy grid. HOPES ensures consumer benefits from this transition in order to benefit the many over the few.”
How did you come up with the idea for HOPES?
After 10 years in the renewable industry in the UK developing solar farms, Gaetan came up with the idea. He was trying to find out who really benefits from installing and generating solar energy.
The answer? Not the final customer.
The process of transferring generated energy to its consumers is becoming more and more expensive while the cost of renewable energy is decreasing.
Within a centralized network, it is always the middle man that profits. Such is the case in the food and telecommunication industry.
Romain joined the project right away, and we started to brainstorm about the best way to bring power back to the consumer (no pun intended) by regrouping his knowledge and experience built up at Tesla.
One solution become clear very quickly. Data could be used to provide a soft and sustainable transition for our energy grid. HOPES ensures consumer benefits from this transition in order to benefit the many over the few.
What are your products/services?
HOPES is the one-stop shop for green energy solutions.
Our product TRICKLe is an open source monitor that catches data. We are offering a FREE approach to data collection with a premium tailor-made service to automate live data monitoring and alerts, resulting in hard money savings.
The data sequence collected allows us to recommend suitable energy storage solutions to enable further decentralized energy services.
What is your business model? How do you make money?
In order to acquire customers and collect their data to build a decentralized network, we offer FREE membership. Just like LinkedIn, we offer a free subscription to start optimizing the energy consumption, followed by premium access.
For example, in the hospitality industry, premises with a monthly bill of 1500 euros or more will have a membership of 100 euros monthly, and we guarantee ROI by doubling savings with TRICKLe.
The data collected will allow HOPES to propose tailor-made recommendations to upgrade networks where and when needed.
To do so, we have identified 3 stages:
- Community building and advice on energy efficiency with TRICKLe;
- Promoting the development of a secure, decentralized network by encouraging the installation of energy storage by members; and
- Creating a trading platform and smart contracting payment solution under blockchain, at which point HOPES will take a percentage of the transaction.
HOPES will also have access to already-installed smart meters and solar cadasters through governmental agreements.
“We aim to demonstrate that caring about your energy data leads to DIRECT savings—a true win-win proposal.”
Who are your clients?
We anticipate businesses and green generators to be the first economic segments interested in what HOPES offers. However, any energy consumer looking to gain independent control over their electricity spending will be attracted to the offer because we guarantee savings.
What are the next steps in your development?
The biggest steps are community building and growing the TRICKLe data network for connected optimization.
What need do you answer?
How can we better control our energy consumption and impact? And how can we make a profit off of a surplus of green energy?
We aim to demonstrate that caring about your energy data leads to DIRECT savings—a true win-win proposal.
“We aim to develop a Blockchain protocol-based storage network to allow future P2P capabilities between members.”
How will you market yourself to your customers?
As the first independent energy sustainability platform. A way to think of it could be “we monitor and track, you keep and save.”
We will also create third-party partnerships with companies who desire to use HOPES to improve their sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
What technologies do you use?
To collect the data, we use a secured and encrypted OPEN CAD to bridge Smart Metering with consumer lead value added services.
The network will grow on a cloud platform. We aim to develop a Blockchain protocol-based storage network to allow future P2P capabilities between members.
Why are you basing the internal structure on Blockchain?
There are four reasons, most easily explained in list form:
- Blockchain allows decentralized and distributed ledger technologies that can be programmed to record and track anything of value, such as, in our case, green energy;
- It creates communal trust in the data;
- It eliminates intermediaries; and
- It reconnects the supply chain with only two operators: producer and buyer.
“Our competitive edge is that we have a clear 20-year plan, and that we provide an immediate solution to the current energy problem.”
What are your needs?
Right now, we need a suitable financial partner to allow us to grow our network and deliver on anticipated demand for our services.
What are the plans for the company–resale, IOP, nothing at all?
We have one goal: becoming the first European sustainable BIG DATA company.
Who are your main competitors?
Our competitors are IoT tech companies in the energy field where the offer is based on product performance, but where there is no clear attack on the market, as well as energy providers offering green tariffs without clear visibility.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
Our competitive edge is that we have a clear 20-year plan, and that we provide an immediate solution to the current energy problem.
“Electricity has become a commodity, yet we do not control its price or how we consume it. HOPES aims to end fuel poverty by allowing consumer access to clean and sustainable energy.”
What are your advantages over your competitors?
First of all, we get customers involved in energy data by guaranteeing real savings. We also have partners from different industries with strong experiences ranging from IOT, data management, renewable energy, user interface, and cloud technologies.
We also offer a FREE membership to TRICKLe—what we call Baseline.
Just like LinkedIn and Dropbox, we offer a basic subscription to start optimizing energy consumption and then the logical progression to the TRICKLe PRO/ PREMIUM service.
The data collected by TRICKLe will allow HOPES to propose tailor-made recommendations to upgrade networks where and when needed, opening route for sustainable procurement based on data collected. That’s an internal advantage, but still…
Our ability and desire to offer a funded storage solution to our members gives them access to decentralize energy consumption whilst enabling them to automate and fully control consumption patterns.
To what extent is your organization addressing social impact and sustainability?
Electricity has become a commodity, yet we do not control its price or how we consume it. HOPES aims to end fuel poverty by allowing consumer access to clean and sustainable energy.
We believe that anyone, anywhere in the world, should have access to energy, and we aim to ensure that our future is powered by clean energy.
“Our vision is to create the first European energy trading platform based on a decentralized network and blockchain protocol.”
Where do you see the company in one year and in five?
We see HOPEs having a real presence in more than 10 European countries at the 5th year marker, with an offer from at least 5 verticals (Hospitality, Retail, Healthcare, B2C, and the public sector).
Current status of technology?
We have a current technology readiness level of 7/8 (TRL7/8).
Where will the IP and patents registered?
Our IP and patents will be registered in Luxembourg.
“By making people care about their sustainable data, HOPES enable energy consumer to save money and transition to a clean energy world.”
Does your organization have potential for sustainable job creation?
Our vision is to create the first European energy trading platform based on a decentralized network and blockchain protocol.
We will need to expand quickly in Europe, hiring a sales team, back office, front office, developers, a marketing team, finance professionals, an IT team, and internal communication, etc. … per country.
Basically, we need everything an organization needs to exist in Europe. HOPES aims to be the first Europe-based big data company.
How many people are impacted by your organization and why?
All electricity bill payers are affected by HOPES.
By making people care about their sustainable data, HOPES enable energy consumer to save money and transition to a clean energy world.
We aim not only to reduce consumers bills but also provide with the ability to predict and manage their future energy cost by implementing a long-term data optimization strategy.
“HOPES is a new platform based on the Internet of Things (IOT) platform. It is designed to be distributed, not centralized.”
When will we generate revenues?
We expect revenue after the second year of activity.
The Third Industrial Revolution
Connecting everything with every other thing, and everyone. That’s a mouthful—think a web of connections.
HOPES is a new platform based on the Internet of Things (IOT) platform. It is designed to be distributed, not centralized.
It works best when the base is collaborative, open and transparent rather than closed and proprietary.
The benefits come when more and more people join the network, so we envision the company to grow along with today’s digitalized world—what many now call the Third Industrial Revolution.
What are your main achievements so far?
We have several major achievements. For humility’s sake, we’ll list them here rather than discuss at length:
- Partnership with IOT Hub manufacturer
- 250+ Beta network in UK
- Candidate in the 2018 edition of Fit4Start Luxembourg
- 25+ LOI with industry partners
- Presence in 2 countries (soon opening 1 more country) Member of the Energy Web
“Data can help us optimize actual consumption. That will help us recommend which technology is most beneficial both financially and technologically for the user.”
We seek regular counsel from HSGH Martino to make sure we are fully compliant with the GDPR regulation.
Some of our major GDPR foci and internal actions include:
- Requiring consent from subjects for data processing;
- Customers will sign a consent letter allowing us to use their data;
- Anonymizing data to protect privacy;
- No customer names will be associated with network ID. Like this, data will only be looked at to provide reduction and optimizing services without being linked to a name or address;
- Providing data breach notification;
- To respect EU regulation, HOPES will insure to notify its member when a data breach happens. We anticipate risk to be minimized as the network will be protected by an energy blockchain protocol;
- Safely handling the transfer of data abroad; and
- The raw data is analyzed within the countries and we look to respect any transfer of data across borders.
How do you distribute the solution, and how do you manage installing solar panels and batteries?
The distribution will be outsourced to partner electricity companies and solar companies based on data collected to ensure an optimum system efficiency.
Why can’t I install a home battery now?
The question is more about what kind of storage is needed, more particularly with regard to size and tech requirements, because each consumer is different. There is no “one size fits all” in our case.
Data can help us optimize actual consumption. That will help us recommend which technology is most beneficial both financially and technologically for the user.
Customers could technically install a home battery right now, but we believe that the technology is still a tad expensive. It’s not yet cost-friendly for all consumer groups.
Secondly, it is more efficient to first analyze, optimize and reduce your energy consumption before recommending the right technology, which includes the correct battery size at the right price. We also want to be a one-stop shop and will negotiate prices for our customers.
Furthermore, by being independent and technology agnostic, we can ensure our members get what they need at the best price possible, so to really create long-term sustainability.