People who worry about global warming can usually contact their power company to switch their home electricity supplies to renewable sources such as windmills or hydropower. But how do they know they’re getting what they pay for?
In general, consumers have few options except to trust the limited information that third-party energy suppliers disclose about their power sources.
However, one utility, France-based Engie, is trying to create more trust. Through a subsidiary known as TEO, Engie is rolling out a program that relies on technology borrowed from an unlikely niche—cryptocurrency—to track its renewable energy sources and securely record that information so that it can’t be manipulated.
In theory, customers will be reassured by the company using technology that is said to be tamper-proof to log every megawatt produced at its source. If a company says it generates power from solar energy, customers will be able to see if that’s the case along with more detailed information about their energy use.