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Bring cities to energy independence through carbon, energy and cost neutrality.



Update (12/08/14):

BAS Holding is developing an app so that their product can be used around the world. Learn more & support it by visiting, sharing, and funding the crowdfunding campaign here:

Imagine a neighbourhood where nobody has to pay ort heir energy bill. Imagine a community that sustains itself. Imagine the resources freed up by this independence. Imagine the amount of sustainable human, social and financial capital available to communities then.

Our plan: bring entire cities to energy independence with their Path to Zero. We will do this on three levels: carbon neutrality, energy neutrality and energy cost neutrality. We will start with selected neighbourhoods cities such as Rotterdam and The Hague in The Netherlands, then the whole country and finally take it global. 

The Path To Zero (PTZ) is a product that encompasses all the steps towards energy independence in one single contract and gives the customer full control through an online interface. It is fully integrated and works like an energy mortgage; a fixed monthly fee to cover all the energy needs (supply) and all the energy savings and generating solutions. On average clients will already save 30% on energy consumption in the first 4 years without having to spend any more than on a traditional energy supply. With the Path To Zero, we present an energy transition plan that funds itself.

The overall reduction and the usage of fossil fuels is substantial and finally allows us to provide cheap and reliable clean energy to the masses. The game changer is that we are already implementing at a commercial level. Now is the right time and place to broaden our market reach, scale up our product development, standardize our tool kit so that it appeals to the masses and further invest in our reporting, business intelligence and technology. The impact will be a viable, realistic and financially feasible solution to combat global climate change. 

Category of the action

Reducing emissions from electric power sector.

What actions do you propose?

The tested and proven technology for commercial buildings comprises of a comprehensive energy audit which details the roadmap to achieving energy savings in the first 4 years. The customer has a personal PTZ profile page where the monthly Energy Budget is defined and this results in the time frame within which the PTZ is achieved. After that a series of measures are taken in the building to reduce the consumption of energy. The all-in package includes the supply of electricity and gas (decreasing amount every year) and implementation of all monitoring a energy saving solutions (ex. lighting, heating, insulation etc.) that customers will need to lower their annual energy consumption. Included in the PTZ is also the implementation, maintenance, insurance and guarantees, project management/administrative services.

For most suppliers it is quite a challenge to transform existing commercial buildings to become energy neutral. The challenge to transform a city is immensely larger. There are various kinds of buildings, owners, stakeholders, and interests. It requires a different strategy and communication skills to get everyone involved. However, with their unique approach, involving communities, local entrepreneurs and supported by their state of art automated back office BAS and Concire are confident they will succeed in bringing cities all the way to €0 energy bills.

We will start at an intermediate scale of a neighbourhood of approximately 2.500 buildings - predominantly residential. Three neighbourhoods will be selected in Rotterdam and The Hague as both cities have congruent ambitions as our own.

In order to increase the level of participation in the PTZ program, we will minimize the financial barrier to zero. Therefore, no stakeholder will be asked to invest extra into the existing buildings. Together with the stakeholders we will reshuffle the various cash flows in the neighbourhood to serve the greater purpose of the Path To Zero. Our product is simple, integrated and interactive so that we can scale up the proposition with minimal effort and give full control to the user through online interfaces. The tool kit can be divided into the following components:

1)      An online web portal/dashboard

We will perform a comprehensive Energy Audit which details the roadmap to achieving energy savings over the next 4 years for the entire neighbourhood. We will provide our customers with access to an online dashboard which will empower them with the following:

a)      Their own Path To Zero (PTZ) profile page so that they are able to see their PTZ roadmap and get a detailed overview of the energy saving solutions. Our back office will be fully automated so that the entire back-end workflow/processes is integrated into the product. In other words, we will know exactly when, where and what to install in the building at any given time as highlighted in the PTZ roadmap.

b)      Various educational and community driven information facts so that the customers better understand the energy saving solutions that are implemented (e.g. renewables, etc.)  and the impact this has (e.g. CO2 saved). The concept behind this data is to make the information pertinent, educational and relevant.

c)      Social media feeds (e.g. twitter feeds) to keep our customers up to date with energy news and information and more importantly share their experiences with others in their community.

d)      An overview of electricity usage in different residential complexes within the neighbourhood which will give our customers a better understanding of where they stand compared to their neighbours and create healthy and friendly competition, strengthened by gamification elements in the tools available to the users.

2)      The monthly invoice for our customers

Our customers will receive a monthly energy bill showing their agreed upon energy budget, deducting savings on electricity and gas consumption amounts. The balance is used for the energy saving solutions that were identified during the energy audit. Over time, the energy budget stays the same, the electricity and gas consumption decreases and the balance, which is used for the Path To Zero, increases. Simply put: the money saved on reducing fossil fuel consumption is directly invested into the best next investment in energy independence.

3)      A multi-lingual interactive mobile App

We are in the design phase of developing our innovative and interactive multi-lingual mobile app that will further empower our customers to gain insight, control and intelligence over their energy consumption and savings. This fully integrated Path To Zero app will streamline the entire front-end and back-end processes from Sourcing to Procurement to the PTZ Contract to the Operational Workflow to the Invoicing/Billing. This will enable the automation and integration of all of our systems and enable gamification, social media/sharing and SMART reporting – integrated, dynamic and real time information for all of our clients.

Our toolkit with The Path To Zero is unique and innovative. There is nobody offering such an ambitious, comprehensive and broad package. So, in that sense we are on a blue ocean strategy. There are, however companies who are offering part of the package that we also offer. These companies are normally the traditional energy companies who offer a standard savings package that comprises of LED lighting solutions and an interface to monitor the energy consumption. They might offer gadgets that will allow the customer to switch on lights and/or heating in the house from a distance using internet. None of these products and services however bring the customer on a Path To Zero. There is a very simple reason for that: it is not in the interest of the traditional energy companies to do so. Their business model is based on supplying energy and profiting on it.

Our goal is to make our customers independent of the energy supply, especially from fossil sources. Ultimately this independence will lead to them not paying for their energy at all. So, when it comes to cost savings, our goals are aligned to those of our clients.

There are of course neighbourhoods that have done a great job in becoming carbon neutral and even energy neutral. These neighbourhoods have however been designed and built in that way. We are however targeting existing neighbourhoods.


Who will take these actions?

BAS Franchise Partners: dedicated franchisees that follow the BAS sales methodology and are an extension of the BAS brand. We provide them with all of the tools, sales support and marketing collateral they need to sell the Path To Zero (PTZ) to our target market across the Netherlands.

BAS Ambassadors: independent entrepreneurs in the energy sector who are actively selling the PTZ as part of their existing product portfolio. They focus on the businesses and entrepreneurs in the communities.  

When one embarks on a Path To Zero for an entire city, it is important to realize that this tremendous challenge cannot be realized without the participation of many people. The motto is: the more the merrier. Because only then can it become a movement, and a movement is what is required to get the entire city on the Path To Zero.

We will involve DRIFT to support, monitor and advise as from an academic point of view. We will start pilots in three neighbourhoods with complete different profiles and DRIFT will also help us look at the progress being made in these neighbourhoods. A close monitoring of the progress and sometimes the lack of it will help us in modifying and adapting our approach and ultimately our entire toolkit.

We will also seek collaborations with existing energy cooperatives, if they exist in the neighbourhoods where we will start our pilot.  


Where will these actions be taken?

A Chinese saying goes: every long journey starts with a single step. Our ambition is to change the world and make it carbon neutral, energy neutral and cost neutral to produce energy. We will start that challenge by achieving that ambition in a few neighbourhoods in the The Hague and Rotterdam. This metropolitan area in The Netherlands comprises of about 1.2 million people. The Netherlands, in general has proven to be a great testing market for all kinds of products. Both the cities of Rotterdam and The Hague have indicated to bring their cities to carbon neutrality by 2040. The city of Rotterdam has also indicated that they want the city to be the lab of The Netherlands, where there is space to prototype new ideas and initiatives. The political climate and tenure together with the long term policy is in our favour.  

The profile of the people living in the selected neighbourhoods varies from low income households, often combined with lower education to mid income households and fairly well educated home owners and SME’s. Nobody has an active need of carbon reduction, but everyone is eager to know how they can save on their energy bills. Our challenge is to help them save money and at the same time reduce their carbon footprint and engage them passively and actively if they want. The important part is not to patronize them into the transition but to make it fun and educational and let them decide the speed towards their PTZ. 

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

If the Path To Zero would be implemented on a large scale - and at some point it inevitably will be, due to either geopolitics, depletion of resources or cultural change - the effect would be tremendous. If all residential, public and commercial buildings in Rotterdam would engage on the PTZ -250.000 buildings-, the total investment in energy savings and production solutions on behalf of the users will amount to € 580 million in 4 years, resulting in a structural annual saving of € 250 million, with 525 million kWh and 250 million m3 gas structurally saved (850 million tons of CO2 saved). For the Netherlands, 7,5 million buildings will result in an investment of 17,4 billion in energy savings and renewable production in 4 years, with a structural annual saving of € 7,5 billion, resulting in a saving of 15,5% on all electricity consumed in NL, and around 18% of all natural gas (saving 25 billion tons of CO2). 

What are other key benefits?

Our product targets the existing environment. We are offering solutions to existing buildings and therefore impacting the existing environment. This in itself is unique and of an enormous magnitude. This product is available to everyone. It has B2B, B2C and a P2P elements; all integrated into the user interface and the back office. Once the customer says “yes” to begin their Path To Zero, everything is handled by the back office. So in other words, the customer no longer needs to make 150 decisions to implement his energy saving and generation solutions - he only needs to make one: choose the Path To Zero. Most importantly, the customer does not have to make any upfront investment. The process finances itself. 

What are the proposal’s costs?

Our current product and interactive app for the commercial buildings needs to be further developed and adapted to a B2C environment. This also includes various modules like serious gaming, multi-lingual use and education. We will also need to build a well-integrated interface to connect the front and the back office. The total development time with full dedication will require at least a year. The investment breakdown is as follows:

3 FTE's from BAS and Concire:                                             € 150.000,-

Hiring various experts in specialized areas                            € 100.000,-

Toolkit development (e.g. online portal, mobile app)              € 450.000,-

IT integration                                                                           € 150.000,-

Marketing campaigns                                                             €  75.000,-

Total                                                                                       € 925.000,-

Time line

Given the level of domain expertise, product development and IT resources we would require, including all of the testing and piloting time, we expect to Go Live by Q2 2015. 

Related proposals

Public demand for green buildings

Global plan


Adaptation to climate change

Urban resilience


Shifting behaviour for a changing climate





Roadmap 2050