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Interview with ecolabel WE LOVE ENERGY

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

WE LOVE ENERGY is a TÜV-approved German ecolabel, that additionally supports sustainable projects and involves consumers by giving them the opportunity to shape the sustainable impact of their energy contract. Headquartered in Berlin, they offer their services to clients all across Europe. 

Greenfact recently had the opportunity to talk to Paul and Jenni, founders of WLE, who explained the company’s activities and their driving philosophy. 

1) Tell us a little on how the company got started

Jenni and I have a combined experience of about 15 years in trading renewable energy certificates. We decided to launch WE LOVE ENERGY in the beginning of 2019 because we firmly believe that current renewable energy labels, especially those with additional funding components, are still far too untransparent and complex.

Our goal is to create a comprehensible and trustworthy product, which makes utilities more attractive for the end consumers and offers a forward-looking solution in an increasingly digitalized society.

2) What is WE LOVE ENERGY and how does it work?

WE LOVE ENERGY is a certified renewable electricity and gas label. Therefore, we naturally are committed to promoting the use of renewable energy sources. Perhaps even more importantly, we are the first and only energy label that promotes sustainability via a digital platform.

Our mission is to make energy an experience and offer end users the opportunity to have a say on the impact of their energy contract. We support sustainable projects that assist the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs). 

Energy consumers and employees are directly and democratically involved in the funding process by voting on the WE LOVE ENERGY platform for projects they believe should be supported. We will aid the project that receives the most votes in one funding-round.

We commit to reinvest a minimum of 90% of the net profit generated by the licensing fees into sustainable projects and businesses across multiple markets. This increases transparency and comprehensibility as it allows the consumer to have a real impact on sustainable development.

3) Who are you targeting with WE LOVE ENERGY?

We address local utilities on one hand and corporates on the other.

In the case of corporates, employees are actively included in the sustainability strategy.

A company's stance towards sustainability plays an increasingly important role. Our label not only serves as a tool for consumer marketing, but furthermore a tool for bottom-up communication on sustainability, to underline the employer’s efforts on sustainability.

4) How does WE LOVE ENERGY differ from other labels?

There are several additional aspects to consider, besides the ones I already mentioned:

  • Firstly, communication is one of the key elements of WE LOVE ENERGY. We promote sustainability and allow utilities and corporations to communicate their sustainable commitment to the outside world, serving as a tool for customer and talent acquisition.
  • Secondly, by having multiple funding-rounds per year, we aim to enable a continuous interaction with the Utility or the Employer and increase customer and employee retention. We strive to deepen the relationship between employee and Employer, or consumer and utility to a more personal level.
  • Lastly, customers or employees can experience the impact of the project we support directly and locally. For a better understanding, relevant projects can range from fields for bees to sustainable consumer goods. All projects are realized on a notional level.

5) One of the key characteristics of your label is that your customers are able to vote for sustainable projects - how has this been received so far? 

So far, the response has been very positive. Especially utilities see WE LOVE ENERGY as a considerable benefit as their customers receive further added value. For instance, projects can also promote their idea by offering gimmicks to the end consumer, such as early access or vouchers, giving them an economic advantage as a WE LOVE ENERGY customer.

While this further supports the project, it also multiplies the sustainable effect on our environment. It was vital for us to create a WIN-WIN situation, and judging from the feedback we received, we largely succeeded in this. 

We prefer this engagement, as opposed to selecting the projects ourselves; the community will always be more versatile and independent than we are. It is important for us to take different opinions, approaches and ideas into account and give our users the chance to promote projects they consider significant.

6) How can people become a part of WE LOVE ENERGY? 

Utilities and representatives can simply contact one of our licensed resellers - like Statkraft. Small business or household customers can visit our homepage www.we-love-energy.com and enter their postal code to find a local licensed utility.