Johannes D Hengstenberg

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Johannes Hengstenberg was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Johannes is putting the climate change debate in terms that ordinary citizens can understand by helping them reduce their energy consumption, CO2-emissions, and cost. Having found that “moral appeals” are often off-putting and rarely translate into action, Johannes emphasizes the economic benefits of a more sustainable lifestyle. He has developed a hands-on system that shows how easy it is to save both money and energy, enabling consumers to track their energy consumption and take action to reduce it. His tools identify the money saved when consumers upgrade their home appliances and heating systems, modernize water boilers, or change the materials they use to build, saving them up to 60 or 70 percent of their energy costs. By providing sound communication and better access to information, he hopes to encourage everyday citizens to include “saving energy” as a key factor in their consumer choices. 
The second piece of his work involves opening up direct communication between consumers and appliance manufacturers to better inform both parties of the latest in energy-saving technology and to meet the rising demand for more efficient appliances. He offers new incentives to both manufacturers and installers to invest in energy-saving technologies, providing both groups with online ad space and ratings based on their energy and money-saving potential.
To date (2008), Johannes has reached more than two million people in Germany and is currently expanding his efforts across Europe and abroad. Thanks to his simple and cost-effective approach, he has mobilized citizens to save an estimated 3.4 million tons of CO2, and has driven positive changes in the heating and appliance industries as a whole.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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