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News, stories and opinions for the business innovators of the world.

Ingeni: a smart idea that puts consumers in control of their energy usage

Michael JoffeGM - Australia, Zen Ecosystems

Electricity prices around the world are on the rise. In some countries they have risen by more than 70% over the last four years. To combat this, consumers can either reduce their energy usage behavior, or they could switch energy providers.

Planet Innovation wanted to put you and me back in control and finally extract some smart benefits from smart meters. Our innovation team developed an inexpensive in home energy display that not only allows us to understand and reduce our energy usage, it also allows us to browse every available energy plan on the market to find the cheapest plan based on their actual energy usage. This was a world first for electricity users anywhere in the world.

Ingeni is an in-home display that allows you to talk to your smart meter to save energy and save money. Our goal was to deliver the highest functionality for the lowest possible price, capitalizing on the recent rollout of smart meters in various regions around the world.

When we researched the market people told us that they did not want another computer device in their home.  Planet Innovation’s approach was to leverage existing technology in people’s homes and only develop what was absolutely necessary. So we developed sophisticated software that connects people’s home PCs with their smart meter via an aerial which plugs in to their PC’s USB slot. We then developed an online database of all electricity plans which we make available to users of Ingeni.

Because we chose to leverage people’s own PCs rather than develop a custom hardware device, Ingeni went from idea to market in just few a months, rather than a few years, and retails at a fraction of the cost of other in-home displays.

Ingeni allows customers to see the impact of each home appliance on their energy usage and once they understand their energy use, can take action and start saving.

At the click of a button they can also see which energy plan will save them the most money and exactly how much they will save by switching.

Michael Joffe GM - Australia, Zen Ecosystems
Michael Joffe

Michael is General Manager – Australia for Zen Ecosystems. He is passionate about applying innovation and design-thinking to take new products and business models to market, with a focus on smart energy and cleantech sectors.

Michael Joffe

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