Grunneger Power, an energy cooperative in Groningen, is starting a project for businesses in the city to monitor and improve their electricity use.
Translation by Traci White
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that Grunneger Power hosted an event on Thursday for companies based in town to learn more about the initiative. Joep Broekhuis, the project leader for Grunneger Power, says that the cooperative will monitor the participating companies for two years.
“First, we will identify the biggest drains on their electricity, things like cooling systems and heating.” The monitoring will be carried out by one of Grunneger Power’s energy advisors and will rely on software developed by another Groningen company, Sustainable Buildings. The energy cooperative will make recommendations for the companies based on the results, and in turn, the participants can see the impact of those measures in the software.
“Finding ways to use those sources more efficiently will bring down their costs”, Broekhuis says. “Besides that, companies can also change their own behaviour in simple ways, like cutting off all of their lights at the end of the day.”
The savings the companies make can be used to invest in further eco-friendly measures. “This is a way for companies to save on electricity costs without having to make costly investments”, Broekhuis says. According to him, companies that have used Sustainable Building’s software have managed to save 30 percent more electricity within two years.
The so-called pioneer group of companies that are potential participants includes the entire Folkingestraat, the biggest bar in the Netherlands Drie Gezusters, Laif&Nuver/HK Living, Simon Levelt, Promotex, Gitaarbouw Rikkers and Progress Events. “These companies recognise the urgency behind saving more electricity”, Broekhuis says.
Heleen Appeldoorn of coffee and tea specialist Simon Levelt says, “Entrepreneurs have to work together to help Groningen become less reliant on gas.” Promotex owner Johan Abma says that managers and customers alike want more sustainable businesses. “My customers are looking for sustainable products, so I want the company itself to set a good example, too.”
The project is a collaboration among Grunneger Power, Sustainable Buildings, Groningen City Club and the municipality of Groningen.