Energy Efficiency Expertise
In the weeks that followed, the model was developed into a full-fledged business plan. Aside from the team members who were on board since the Startup-Weekend, Mijnals recruited additional experts to help found bettervest. Today the founding team consists of five people who bring various competencies to the table. One of the founding members is Marilyn Heib, engineer and expert in renewables and energy efficiency. In 2007 she founded the charitable organisation Go For Climate e. V., which she chairs to this day. In 2011 she published„Der Klimaschatz“ (eBook), where she lays out 50 practical examples of how energy efficiency can reduce costs, create jobs and protect the environment. In the same year, she co-authored the book “Erfolgsfaktor Energieeffizienz – Investitionen, die sich lohnen” (Energy Efficiency as success factor: Investments That are Worth it). Thanks to Heib’s continuous activities in the energy sector, bettervest has access to a network of certified energy consultants, who we work alongside to evaluate and implement projects.
Supporting Sustainability Experts
Our bettervest concept has gained the support of many prestigious institutions and experts in the field of sustainability. In 2013 the Council for Sustainable Development awarded bettervest the “Werkstatt N Award”. This award is given to pioneering projects that set the standard for resource responsibility and for sustainable social and economic structures. bettervest perceives itself as part of the growing Social Business movement that encourages people all over the world to develop innovative entrepreneurial ideas that tackle ecological and societal problems. In 2017 the same council awarded us the “sustainable project” quality seal.
The Business Model
bettervest is the wold’s first crowd investment platform that enables people to jointly invest individual sums of money – from as little as 50€ onward – in renewable energy, energy and resource efficiency projects initiated by established enterprises, NGOs and local municipalities. In return, investors benefit financially from the resulting cost and energy savings. The bettervest platform has thus opened up the energy efficiency market to private investors. With these targeted investments ecologically and economically viable energy efficiency measures are able to be implemented, leading to cost, energy and CO2 reductions.
These projects are conceptualised and calculated by certified energy consultants, and are regularly monitored throughout the investment term. The project owners commit to using the annual cost savings to pay back their investors over a fixed contract period until the initial investment sum plus interest has been paid off. Once, the contract period has ended, the savings remain in the project owner’s company. Our platform is financed by a percentage commission (based on the investment sum) and an annual handling fee during the contract period.
Facts and Figures
- Until 2020 the price of electricity (adjusted for inflation) will increase on average by 10 percent annually.1
- McKinsey, a consultancy, predicts that by 2020 energy efficiency measures in Germany alone, can account for cost reductions of up to 53 billion and lead to the creation of 850,000 jobs.2
- Energy efficiency experts like Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker estimate that, depending on the field, energy cost saving potentials could be as high as 80%.3
- Even according to very conservative estimates, which claim a savings potential of only 25%, the governments efficiency goals for 2020 could be exceeded.4
- Next to crucial behavioural changes, the biggest saving potentials in the industry, commerce, service and public sectors are in the fields of building insulation, lighting and the renewal of old heating systems.5
- For companies and authorities, lack of funding is one of the major obstacles to implementing energy efficiency improvements.6
- The demand for greater energy efficiency is steadily increasing worldwide. With a share of 17% of the global market, Germany is currently the world leader in energy efficiency.7
- McKinsey&Company (2012): Die Energiewende in Deutschland – Anspruch, Wirklichkeit und Perspektiven
- McKinsey&Company (2009): Wettbewerbsfaktor Energie als Chance für die deutsche Wirtschaft
- Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Karlson Hargroves, Michael Smith (2010): Faktor Fünf. Die Formel für nachhaltiges Wachstum
- Marilyn Heib, Tom-Robin Teschner, Anne Gröger (2011): Der KlimaSchatz
- Vgl. Studie Prognos (2007): Potenziale für Energieeinsparung und Energieeffizienz im Lichte aktueller Preisentwicklungen
- Vgl. KfW Bankengruppe (2005): KfW-Befragung zu den Hemmnissen und Erfolgsfaktoren von Energieeffizienz in Unternehmen
- Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, 2009: Energieeffizienz schafft Arbeitsplätze