Info & News
Kiwis create world's first website that pays you to save energy
A New Zealand company has applied to patent Celsias.com, the world's first online community that allows regions, businesses or community groups to be paid for reducing the carbon emissions from their everyday energy use.
Celsias.com is based upon a fast growing global economy that recognises energy savings, or carbon credits, as a form of currency.
"With Celsias.com you can now track, create and trade this new currency on the internet," explains Celsias director, Nick Gerritsen, "it's the first system in the world that allows you to do this all in one place."
Celsias.com is expected to go live in early 2007.
"We believe it very much has the potential to follow in the footsteps of eBay, Google and Skype," comments Gerritsen.
How does Celsias.com work? Businesses or communities can go online, enter their energy expenses each month, for example electricity, and the company they buy from, and the Celsias.com system will automatically calculate their total 'carbon footprint', or how much carbon dioxide they are releasing into the atmosphere.
"You can create a carbon footprint for your home, your business, your community group or any other entity. You can then create carbon credits for yourself by learning how to reduce your energy use and by using our search service to find more energy-efficient products and services. You can then put your carbon credits on the Celsias.com trading system and when someone buys them, you get paid. It's that easy," explains Gerritsen.
Gerritsen adds that carbon credits can be traded internationally among Celsias.com registered members. Registration is free and traders only pay for success.
"Up till now no-one else has provided an end-to-end solution where you can get paid to play your part in solving the climate change crisis," he adds.
Currently, only large organisations have been able to enter the carbon emissions management market. Small to medium businesses and communities, which represent up to 40% of the global energy market, are excluded because they lack the tools and support to join in.
Gerritsen says Celsias.com is unique in many ways. It is the only service to plug into a range of existing accounting software packages to automate energy expenditure data collection for carbon footprint collection; it is the only peer-to-peer global carbon credit trading service that does not require intermediaries; it is the only carbon credit trading platform with no minimum trading volume and it has the only search engine to make it easy to trade in the world's most energy efficient products and services.
So will carbon credits be valuable? This year the carbon credit trading market is forecast to be twice as big as the Google advertising market and grow 10 times as fast. And once the Kyoto Protocol commitment period comes into force from 2008-2012, many governments and businesses worldwide will need to buy surplus carbon credits to meet their agreed emission targets.
The international free market sets the price for emission units or carbon credits. In a recent deal between Meridian Energy and the Netherlands Government, however, the price was set at NZ 10.50 a unit. But the price fluctuates and has been up at NZ 50.00 a unit earlier this year.
Celsias.com also enables anyone (a business, a community group, a school) to set up their own carbon market to aggregate carbon credits for their members _ and derive revenues from this activity - much like eBay's "power sellers".
"Our core goal is to assist our members to create as many carbon credits as possible. Celsias.com will, in effect, pay them to save the world," comments Gerritsen.