EARN-E: Innovation In Energy Management

EARN-E: Innovation In Energy Management

The most interesting part of the program for us is getting more knowledge, getting a new network, new customers, finding new partners with whom we could collaborate and of course get funding to make the next step with our startup.

Luuk Wiehink, Founder & Director of EARN-E

EARN-E’s dongle is designed to reduce electricity and gas consumption at home, leading to lower energy bills and reduced carbon emissions.Through the EARN-E app, energy consumption is visible in real time.The app connects to the EARN-E dongle, which can be easily linked to your smart meter.

From challenge to proof of concept
The adventure started when Luuk and Roel participated in a challenge just after graduation in 2014. This challenge focused on efficiently storing solar energy in your home. “We presented a progressive idea for exchanging energy within residential areas using real-time data from smart meters, but we finished last.” Although their idea did not win a prize, they remained convinced of the underlying technology and developed a first proof of concept with support from Artez. With their dongle and data system, they help with problems such as unstable energy prices, the overloaded power grid, and the new regulations for solar panel owners.

How it works
EARN-E users have real-time insight into their energy consumption with an app, as opposed to historical data from traditional energy suppliers.”With our dongle, we see that people start saving more, both in their own household and in the neighborhood,” Luuk adds.

Although consumers can purchase the EARN-E dongle, the focus now is primarily on collaborations with organizations such as energy cooperatives, municipalities and housing associations.This allows the company to make a significant impact: “Based on the data EARN-E collects, municipalities can, for example, deploy coaches to advise residents on energy use.”explains Luuk.

Business lessons from the imec.istart program
Luuk and Roel were alerted to the IMEC Start Program by the province of Gelderland.”Business management is not a subject you get at art school,” Luuk explains.”Novel-T’s insights and support were therefore essential.”They not only helped us scale EARN-E, but also provided strategic advice on how to attract investors.”Without their guidance, we would not have been able to take our steps.”

Future vision
With an expected tripling of their customer base next year, EARN-E is determined to further expand their influence. The recent launch of the white label Dongle&Data data sharing solution marks an important step in this growth. “Our focus is on leveraging data to efficiently manage smart devices,” explains Luuk. With plans to expand their reach into Europe, EARN-E is poised to make a vital contribution to the energy transition.Luuk adds, “The challenges in the energy transition are immense, but I think it is crucial to make a strong contribution to both households and the energy grid.”

HAN Tech Plaza. Luuk Wiehink (wearing a bright blouse) and his compagnon Roel Oortgiesen from businesses Wijkie (groenewijkstroom) and Earn-e at IPKW Arnhem