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I was fed up with seeing renters miss out on solar, so I built a Web3 alternative.
The situation with solar
Residential Solar PV systems are a great investment, gaining independence from energy expenses means more money for other important things in life. Often a return on the upfront investment in 3 years is achieved. This is on systems designed to last for 20 years. Being in the solar industry for 11 years I have seen the difference solar has made to hundreds if not thousands of families and this is one of the reasons renewable energy is a great sector to work in.
The problem is that this great investment is not really an option for renters, a demographic that is already doing it very tough. Firstly the tenant cannot invest in the property because a solar system that can take 4–5 years to pay for itself. Packing the system up and taking it with them is just not feasible either.
Solar for renters
The landlord could invest but they usually won’t because the investment doesn’t stack up. Savings from solar are highly correlated to energy use and so the landlord has to invest without clarity on the investment value. If they did manage to split the benefit 50/50 with the tenant then the landlord is still looking at an investment ROI of 8–10 years which is often not palatable.
I started PowerPlay to offer a viable alternative to solar that uses a Web3 tokenized incentive model. Our game rewards and bill discount model essentially acts like a loyalty program that enables the energy user to build up our native token REMI. Rewarded REMI can be swapped to AUD and cashed out or, even better, it can be staked to generate a monthly bill discount. My experience and research tells us that many of our users will opt for generating a regular bill discount. This gives our token a great utility which we believe will see many of our users choose to hold the token so that it continues to reduce their power bill each month.
Web3 generally means a world wide web based on blockchain technology that uses token-based economics. There are many reasons for using a crypto incentive over a ‘flyer points’ like system. The main one is the customer has a much greater opportunity for upside and freedom to do what they want with our token. We also wanted our energy game to be interesting and by combining cryptocurrency to the energy market there is going to be no shortage of excitement given the volatility of both of these markets. Ultimately our platform is free to join and its as simple as swapping your energy provider which most people have done once or twice.