The energy saving package, it is a mouse click and save. Nearly 50 € it costs more – instead of the previous almost 80 €. The package contains a measuring device that determines the consumption of individual appliances, three remote-controlled radio outlets, an energy-saving lamp, another device, the TV & Co. in standby mode off, and a room thermometer to monitor the heater. On the box is emblazoned the logo of Germany’s second largest energy group, RWE.
A provider wants to encourage to save energy? Deserves because not every kilowatt hour of electricity and every cubic meter of gas, the consumption of the customer?
At first glance, is energy efficiency for Eon, RWE, and public utilities is a major threat. By 2050 the energy consumption to fall, according to a new concept of the federal government through the use of modern technologies in the half. For sales and profits of the supplier does not bode well. At second glance, however, result new business: who its customers in saving energy, can generate additional revenue – and he gains a competitive advantage over the competition.
Of the giants RWE is the subject of the most aggressive. The historic company from Essen in the summer of 2009 established a separate subsidiary that will plow the field. RWE efficiency GmbH in Dortmund now employs 100 people. It is to develop new products and sources of revenue. "To offer energy-saving products is a key selling point when it comes to customer goes tomorrow," said Ingo Alpheus, managing director of RWE’s subsidiary. More and more customers want to save energy – for financial reasons but also for environmental reasons. "If we are making good deals, we have satisfied customers," said Alpheus, and customer loyalty is important in an increasingly tough competition. "
The first tentative attempts RWE has already. With the portal attracted Energiewelt.de the suppliers daily to some 40 000 consumers who want information on energy saving. Of companies that advertise on the website, RWE also demanded fees as of craftsmen who want to be mediated through the homepage.
End of the year, RWE is in the market for home automation aboard (Smart Home). The idea is that consumers with an intelligent control of their electrical appliances and their heating energy and save money – more than ten percent of the company promises. RWE brings a starter package on the market that the consumer selected parts of their heating and electrical appliances and computer-based control via radio can.
As the first major utility RWE wooing consumers in larger scale with a company specializing in energy efficiency daughter. The expectations are high: "Here is a huge market starts rolling," is Alphéus convinced.
For large customers, the business model, however, is long established. Many suppliers have their own divisions, the energy services to industrial, commercial and public facilities in the program. Numerous specialist providers abound on the field. To advise all companies charge about to organize their supplies at a lower power, gas and process steam. When contracting they even take several years for supply. The customer awards for an extended period for the delivery of electricity, heat, cold or steam to the specialist. This planning and funding measures to conserve energy and then uses this also – for example, he builds a new heating system or a small power plant. The service provider bears the risk for the construction and operation of the facilities. In return, he expects every month from the quantities delivered and its services.
According to forecasts by the market research firm Trend Research puts the business in Germany is rising rapidly. "The German market for contracting has as few other services markets, stable growth," stated the experts in a study for which they have interviewed many suppliers and customers. 2008, the market volume of around € 1.78 billion. Trend forecast for 2018 Research € 5.74 billion. In each case, sales of the delivered energy are not included. On average, the market is growing by about twelve percent per year. Expected to be particularly steep, the rise from 2013.
As objects are factories, large buildings or public facilities in question. In a southern German university clinic, for example, runs a specialist in a gas turbine plant, heat, electricity, steam and refrigeration supplies. The buildings of the department are powered by wires with heat and hot water, steam will be used for sterilization of surgical instruments, for the kitchen or the laundry. And the cold is passed into the air conditioning. The current is in turn fed into the grid and are paid higher than the energy that has to buy the hospital for their own use.
What is the potential savings for customers, shows the 30 contracting projects in federal buildings, which were accompanied by the German Energy Agency (dena). There, the energy costs fell on average by 38 percent and CO2 emissions by 34 percent. With € 300 million a year is the potential savings through contracting for public buildings is very high, says the dena.
According lush profits, suppliers and specialists are able to enter. They contribute to the high investment contracting projects, companies or public institutions can not accept – and secure in return a good deal of efficiency gain.
The big energy companies such as Eon, RWE and EnBW have all daughters who occupy the field. But municipal utilities such as the Mannheimer MVV Energie have discovered a fast-growing niche. The division of energy services is expressly to the growth markets of the utility network. "We focus on energy efficiency," said chief executive Georg Müller.
Completely specializes in energy efficiency, the Munich-based company Kofler Energies. "The core business is the professional energy saving in the industrial scale," is the credo. The company is owned by former media entrepreneur Georg Kofler. The commitment of the newcomers show attracts potential with which the business of saving energy. 300 engineers and energy experts globally, Kofler Energies and sees itself as a leading independent service provider in this segment. Kofler Energies woos customers with the prospect of lower consumption, financed the appropriate measures and can pay with a portion of the savings. The company offers consulting, energy procurement, engineering services, energy management, contracting and billing management.
So far, Kofler Energies serves primarily to larger business customers in the real estate and industrial sectors, a total of around 2 000 customers with more than 10 000 objects. But now the company wants to take private clients in the visor. The Munich to launch an energy-saving club. For an annual fee of 75 € will give customers after presentation of the company including access to affordable purchases of electricity and gas. Moreover, their energy costs are considered, there is an energy efficiency consulting hotline and austerity. Until the end of 2012 Kofler wants to one million members have been recruited. "The Kofler Energies Club will be the ADAC the German energy savers," said Georg Kofler.
The business of business is consultation. For private customers against RWE sees the best growth opportunities for standardized products. The efficiency of subsidiary is primarily aimed at the growing private market. After the smart home products will follow next year, a new solution for in-house mini-power generation with combined heat and power. "And more products are in development pipeline," said CEO Alphéus.
For energy companies it has next to the business potential is another benefit that consumers energy efficiency and make the entry into the Smart Home tasty: you need their help with the reconstruction of utility infrastructure in an intelligent network, the Smart Grid. Because the expansion of renewable energy is fed more and more irregular, the demands are higher. With an intelligent control system, supply and demand are brought into line.
The vision: at some point will depend on smart meters in all households, so-called smart meters. They share the suppliers on the one hand, when and how much power does each household. When supply is high, also, to review some electrical equipment driven or taken from the grid when demand peaks. Rewards the customer with affordable rates.
Enforcement is the smart meter as a hub of the smart grid but only if the consumer has to gain. And this requires the suppliers to customers create awareness to save energy and develop good smart-home products for which there is really a mass market.
"It is customers’ needs, of which the customer knows nothing yet," admits Arndt Neuhaus, CEO of RWE Westfalen Rheinland AG a network that propagates together with the efficiency of the company on Smart Grid. "We have to teach him gradually, as his home automation can help save electricity."