Towards a new business model

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The energy transition also requires energy companies to change their role fundamentally. The local production and storage of energy will, in theory, enable end users to do without energy companies and energy grids. Innovations in technology for generating and storing energy will, therefore, also result in different business models.

Energy companies obtain their revenues mainly from the distribution and supply of energy. This was also the case for Eneco in 2013. As end users will increasingly produce their own energy, energy companies will supply less energy. At the same time, end users will develop new needs, such as consultation, installation and maintenance or financing of their energy generating systems. There will also be a need for local exchange or storage of energy and the continuous metering of and real-time insight into all the different flows of energy.

Transition to service supplier

Example: lower energy consumption with ESCOs

A good example of the new services provided by Eneco are its ESCO services. Companies to which Eneco started to provide these services in 2013 include exhibition area De Kunsthal, the Van Nellefabriek building and sports centre Papendal.

Eneco is making a transition from being an energy supplier and distributor, to becoming a consultant, service supplier and business partner for its customers. From a company that produces and distributes energy from a central location to a company that supports customers with the decentralised generation and storage of energy and the exchange of this energy via local networks. This requires a fundamental new development from the company and its employees. New services, new earnings models and new forms of collaboration set new and higher standards for aspects such as competencies and behaviour and business processes and systems.

Eneco advises these customers on energy saving and comfort enhancing measures that it subsequently realises, finances and manages for them. Eneco guarantees both the comfort and the reduced energy consumption, thus doing all the work for the customer. This is service in the ultimate sense of the word.

The fact that an energy company advises its customers to reduce the consumption of its primary products can be perceived as remarkable. For Eneco, it is only logical. Energy saving is a requirement for achieving its mission of ‘Sustainable energy for everyone’, for current as well as future generations. The radical change lies in the guaranteed energy consumption reductions and the comfort for end users. This means that Eneco must find specific solutions together with customers and partners that are specialised in areas such as engineering and installation technology, which will enhance the level of comfort and energy efficiency substantially. In order to realise these solutions, all these parties must receive advice, a  price offer and a contract in such a way that results can be guaranteed up front. The realisation of ESCOs requires that participating companies understand and are convinced of the fact that the collective interest outweighs the individual interest and that results can only be achieved in collaboration.