• Robin Fontaine

2 Brussels based companies that help you reduce your energy consumption (and bills!)


Having energy producers and energy consumers might seem like a normal thing nowadays, but it seems that in the future, these two roles might start to blend. With the boom in the solar panel and renewable energy markets, more people are starting to create their energy and even sell their extra energy back to energy distributors!


What are the advantages and disadvantages?


Let’s start with the disadvantages so we can get that out of the way! Firstly, the installation costs can be high. Indeed, installing solar panels on your roofs or any other way of producing your energy can be very costly at first. According to EnergySage, the average cost of solar panels in 2020 is about $12,920 (Source). The cost of solar has fallen over 20% over the past five years, and the average price per kilo/watt is crazy low. Although it is not given to any household to afford these installations prices (Source).


Second, not everyone can install solar panels on their building. Indeed, if you live in a large mansion in the countryside or even a prominent building in the city-centre, you might have the opportunity. Although if you live in a small building shared with 20 other tenants, it might be more complicated to produce your energy.


Now let’s dig into the fun part and look at the main advantages of installing renewable energy systems for your electricity production! First thing first, you do not have to pay crazy amounts of bills for your electricity consumption. We tend to use more and more electricity, especially now that we all live in lockdown. We are at home all day either working on our computers or watching Netflix on the TV, and that uses tons of energy! Thus, producing your electricity is a great way to not worry about the end of the month’s bills. It is also a great way to monitor your energy consumption and gradually become more responsible. We all know that we are supposed to turn off the multiplug at night but do we do it every day?


Further, if you own an apartment or a house, installing solar panels is a great way to boost the value of your property! A research done in the UK has shown that properties gained an average of 14% value when installing solar panels (Source). In city centres where the prices of real estate have skyrocketed like in Paris or London, it is always an added value when you do not have to worry about your energy bills!


Finally, and this one is a given, you are producing carbon-free energy! You do not have to wonder about how green is your energy supplier anymore. You know where your energy comes from and how much it costs you to produce it. The production of solar panels is far from being green (If you are interested, you can ask us in the comments section to write about the dark side of solar panels). However, it prevents energy production from coal, gas and other GHG emission sources, which is still a problem in most countries.


How can I install solar panels or monitor my energy consumption (in Brussels!)?


We selected for you two Brussels based companies that can help you reduce your energy consumption and green up your energy production! Disclaimer; these two companies are not the only two solutions available, and they might not even be the best for all cases and everyone. Although in our opinion their services bring great value and we wish to demonstrate how you can also change your energy consumption efficiently. If you know of any other companies offering similar services, do not hesitate to contact us or share in the comments section and we might write an article on the topic!

Go4Green: Free solar panels and free energy!

Go4Green has simple selling points; they implement energy-saving solutions free of charge to reduce the cost of your energy consumption. It is a great way to make your building or house greener! Their services extend from energy audits; feasibility studies, installation of cogeneration units and or solar panels to the monitoring of projects and financing of energy investments!


The company decided to take my first disadvantage point on the installation cost and bring a solution to this problem. The founder of this company realised that solar panels were not installed for a variety of reasons, namely the lack of motivation and financial means of the owners and property managers. They thus decided to change this by making the initial investments on behalf of the landlords. The best is that Go4Green has a real positive impact on the environment by decreasing the GHG emissions of energy production. Also, they are exponentially widening the markets for renewable energy.


The whole concept of Go4Green is to work in a win-win situation. The company is renting your roof to produce energy, and you also benefit from it! The initial investment and installation costs are covered, and the company will manage your panels at their expense for ten years, which means that for ten years, you essentially have free solar panels and free energy! The company does its business by selling green certificates granted for the installation and by reselling the extra energy generated by the solar panels to the network. This means that you or your company can have free green energy for ten years and will only need to manage and maintain the installation.


According to their website, their installations have already avoided 3.181.108 kg of CO2!


To read more about their services: https://www.go4green.be/

WeSmart: Renewable Energy available to everyone

Taking the flipside of Go4Green is WeSmart, the collaborative IoT data platform that allows you to share and optimise your energy consumption. The point of this company is based on the introduction of this article, the relation between energy consumers and producers will blend in the future to form what WeSmart calls “prosumers”, who produce and consume energy all in one place.

The goal of this company is thus not to make solar energy free of charge but rather to look at your energy consumption and breakdown, analyse and optimise it! Do you remember that multiplug I was talking about? Well, WeSmart is capable of detecting that you left it on and will remind you to turn it off! It might not seem like a big gesture, although, once combined with other small gestures and to the extent of a city, the “energy community” as the company calls it can save a massive amount of energy and money!

WeSmart collects data from smart meters, connects devices and engages with users about their data. By subscribing to a local community, you will be able to install sensors to share your data with your local community and benefit from advice on how to reduce your usage or optimise it. The sensors not only monitor your energy usage in real-time but also make AI-based predictions to warn you!

Most notably, their services include the creation and management of your local community, access to shared renewable energy, simplified energy accounting and invoicing and performance optimisation based on AI predictive analytics. Finally, if by reading this article, you worried about the privacy of your data, worry not, WeSmart is fully GDPR compliant and is proud of using blockchain technologies to keep your data secured! No one else than you will know you left the multiplug on for the whole night!


To read more about their services: http://www.wesmart.com/en/


Conclusion


These two companies work very well together! Now imagine installing solar panels free of charge on your building and then subscribing to a WeSmart community to share your renewable energy? The combinations are limitless as these are two companies out of thousands offering exciting services to help you reduce your energy carbon footprint! There are solutions out there; we need to unearth the most interesting ones and share them to decrease the impact on the planet!


Now if you are based outside of Brussels, we are planning to release articles on UK companies and French companies very soon! Stay tuned!

Stay safe, live long, live green!