Innovation That Matters

Energy marketplace lets customers choose their green power source


The Netherland's Vandebron lets consumers pick the type of green energy they'd like to buy, as well as where it comes from.

Energy prices are rising thanks to the scarcity of non-renewable resources, and this is prompting consumers to look more favorably on alternative solutions not currently offered by major utilities firms, such as Germany-based AOTERRA‘s solution which places energy-intensive cloud servers into customers’ homes and harnesses the excess heat to warm the properties. Another company now hoping to win over dissatisfied consumers is the Netherland’s Vandebron, which lets them pick the type of green energy they’d like to buy, as well as where it comes from.

The startup was created as an antidote to the alleged ‘greenwashing’ of big energy companies, whose environmentally-friendly products often aren’t as green as they profess to be. Customers switching to Vandebron don’t just choose an energy package, but instead browse a list of local green suppliers offering wind, water, bio and solar energy, and select their desired provider. Because these sources often have limited energy production, Vandebron is taking first-come, first-served signups until 2 April, giving priority to those who express their interest early. Customers pay the price set by the provider — 100 percent of which is handed to them — and Vandebron takes a EUR 10 subscription fee a month from the consumer.

Vandebron enables eco-conscious households to deal directly with wind, water, bio and solar producers, rather than relying on the word of large corporations. Are there other industries that could use this marketplace model to bring about a more direct connection between customers and the things they consume?



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