Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:


The informative and innovative App shows your personal consumption along with potential savings, while comparing it to your neighbors.



The Communal Consumption Bill aims at building awareness at various scales in public: from users to owners, developers and the municipalities about individual energy and water consumption along with saving potentials through an informative and innovative Bill and App. Please view:
It aims at raising interest in being green and understanding about how much one is consuming.

The main focus is to inform the individuals about their personal consumption and total costs for residential housing in an easy to understand but holistic way.  

The easy to access App gives information about:

  • User behavior: Shows the user his consumption and operational costs which he is responsible for.  
  • Saving potentials: Shows the user how much he could potentially save.                  
  • Owner’s responsibility: Makes the user understand to what extend of the consumption (operational costs) the owner is responsible for by comparing to reference saving potentials.
  • Green Building: Gives the user information on the building performance and comfort level, based on standards and reference.
  • Communal context: Provides user with information on the communal context and on how others perform.
  • Rating: Creates a comparative city map in which each user is located anonymously and ranked to engage a competitive behavior on a community/neighborhood scale.
  • Information forum: The App supplies a platform as an opportunity to share and exchange ideas and strategies to mitigate.


Finally, being aware of being green needs to become more popular and fun. The perception, relevance and usability is just as important as the data input.  This is all intended to be achieved by considering:

  1. The character of the Bill and App itself and utilizing social media
  2. Communicating the Bill in a easygoing way (please watch the 3min video:
  3. And enabling an participatory process within the community.

Category of the action

Mitigation/Adaptation, Changing public attitudes about climate change

What actions do you propose?

Awareness generation at various scales User, Owner, Developer and Municipality through the Bill and App that conveys the effect of acting for a global cause is demanding a wide range of actions to be taken.  

The Communal Consumption Bill is a combination of two complementing elements, the Bill and the App take on following described challenges and aiming at following goals.  Each are intended to have a specific focus and therefor support more a bottom-up as well as a top-down approach.

Thus overall the actions can be divided in two main approaches being the Bottom-Up as well as the Top-Down approach.  Ideally these two evolve to a closed circle to work together and strengthen each other to initiate a broad uptake and sustain continuous usage and acceptance of the Bill.

Please view the graphic of the conceptual sketch on the Bill and the Top-Down / Bottom-Up circle:

Bill / Top-down:

The Communal Consumption Bill is the fundamental element which objective is to collect, process and display data in order to inform the individual about consumptions and saving potentials.  Additionally it serves as means to communicate and explain ongoing incentives and/or subsidies.  Furthermore municipalities are able to use the outcomes to gain more in depth learnings about user behavior and consumptions to consider in upcoming challenges within energy supply network and other infrastructure.
The basic form of the Bill works annually or at more frequent intervals as billing including additional information delivered to the user.  It makes up the core element and is base for the App serving as the credible data base.
Concluding the Bill represents a the top-down approach and mainly needs governance and perhaps private companies to take actions.

App / Bottom-Up:

The App, on the other hand, focuses on a bottom-up approach aiming at having people individually more engaged with energy preservation and raising awareness about green buildings.
The App is easily and instantly accessible by users as well as being more attractive by making use of the gamification aspect.  It is the dynamic complementing element which creates opportunities on multiple levels from showing saving potentials instantly with help of customizing options to using social media as well as having a local relation to the neighborhood.


The Bill as well as the App is intended to be developed together but mostly individually they need actions to be taken.

The App needs further development of the concept, the engine and most importantly the interface.  With help of a business-plan the App may be developed based on financial opportunities and timeline according to supporting partners which need to be found.  A collaboration may be based on a business strategy with private partners and/or research facilities and/or together with a municipality in order to set up a pilot project.  
Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH provides knowhow, professional and technical input which is needed to develop the App concerning base information e.g. to define comfort standards based on local climates and conditions or to create the optimization tool.

The Bill needs to be developed according to the country and/or city which would be interested to implement the concept.  The collaborating municipality is intended to sign on a development plan and is asked to consider incentives, subsidies and possible policy changes.

A service to collect and process the data of the individual consumptions is needed. This would most likely be initiated by the municipality with the need for transparency of information between the various resource/ service providers like the energy companies, water and gas agencies to work together with the local municipality for integrated data encapsulation into the informative Communal Consumption Bill.

This service could be provided by the municipality in-house, eventually in cooperation between private provider companies or by outsourcing to a private provider, this is heavily depending on the country.

For example in Germany multiple private companies would be involved who have the numbers available and do the data collection.  In India on the other hand, it is the government who delivers the energy and could easily transfer the needed data.

Secondly, the service creates the Bill and possibly the App to be offered to the user for free.

Motive and Goals:

We believe the individual, or more clearly the tenant needs to be better informed to be able to be more aware of how much operational energy and water is being consumed and wasted.  Furthermore people should be empowered to demand for Green Buildings through the concept of insecurity in life that they would face in the near future (especially with the rising energy cost and the unpredictable climate change of elevated temperatures etc).  For that reason we put the Bottom-Up approach in the focus.

Most people all over the world, who rent a space don’t live or even have the choice to live in a Green Building or in new energy efficient buildings with comfortable space conditions.  They either are making compromises in comfort or if they can afford take on the energy costs to create a more comfortable space by heating or cooling due to the poor performing building stock or standards for new constructions.  

Therefore increasing demand for Green Buildings should be of interest by the public and each individual should be given the possibility to participate in a decision on how to move forward with a more energy efficient and sustainable community.  The Communal Consumption Bill gives the user/tenant the opportunity to be informed and take part to a bigger extent than before. By showing both the user and owner their share of saving potentials.  The idea focuses mainly on the relation between tenant and the owner in order to create preferential rental conditions.

Not taking into account local conditions, but only a bigger public demand will most likely not change the owners action if not being more economically sustainable.  Though together with the mentioned Top-Down approach and action in place, as the following, it closes the circle to set ground for an awareness evolution.

Top-Down actions:

There are multiple options on how the top-down approach may be supported and/or linked to ongoing or common measures.

Government/ local municipality- Provide incentives through subsidies for retrofitting projects for improved energy efficiency and comfort. New project incentives through reduced tax or taxation of properties to be based on the resource efficiency of the buildings. (Like carbon tax)

Banks / municipality could provide perks for owners through loans at reduced interest rates / reduced property tax and subsidy on energy bills for better buildings. This would help people understand the need for building better buildings that consume less resources.

Developers- Could be given incentives through increased gross floor area built-up, in case of considering energy efficient buildings
Owner/Users- receive reduced energy cost/ kwh usage if they are best performing/consumer in their community

Energy company- could get government’s support through subsidy for supplying energy from renewable recourses at reduced cost to users of Green Buildings.

Who will take these actions?

Please view our slides with the following link to see the key actors (municipalities, home owners and tenants) and their roles and interactions.


Where will these actions be taken?

The Communal Consumption Bill could be implemented by countries and communities all over the world.  
As one of the first steps the task would be to find a community with the needed data available and interested to start a pilot project.

A city in Germany may be a good to start a pilot project.
In Germany every house owner by law has to have an Energieausweis.  This energy ID is for a whole building loads and needs to be provided by the owner and handed out to their tenants. It contains collected data on consumption which easily could be processed and used.


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

What are other key benefits?

What are the proposal’s costs?

Proposal costs:

  • Concept to reality (Business plan formulation) cost
  • SWOT Analysis (Identifying opportunities) cost
  • Stakeholder Analysis (What is the cost and benefit for various stakeholder’s) Cost
  • Data collection Cost
  • Data analysis and Bill/ App formulation cost
  • Propagation of Information (Data dissemination cost)

We don’t actually have a number related to each of these cost segments. But then we would get clarity when this concept moves in to the further stages of SWOT and stakeholder analysis with the initial seed money from various resources like:

  • Government funding agencies
  • Competitions
  • Academic research funding’s
  • Crowdfunding or Kick starter project concepts


Time line

Set up Pilot Project (about 5 years)

  • 1-2 years of development of idea
  • 1 year collecting data
  • 1 analyzing and processing data
  • 1 finalizing the idea

Related proposals


Comfort Tool (Transsolar- In-house Indoor and Outdoor Comfort tools)
CBE Tool – Indoor and outdoor comfort predictions