Vincent De Rul, Director of Energy Solutions, EDF Energy
Energy services can help in the shift from traditional, centrally generated energy to a decentralised, electric future.
Energy as a service is not only about reducing energy spend, but also managing power supply and demand during the shift to an electrified, low-carbon energy system. The principle is that businesses and consumers sign up to an energy supply deal in which they pay a fixed amount for energy use.
The electrified energy system of the future will need to be supported by reliable baseload generation alongside a full set of energy solutions: flexibility, energy efficiency and storage. These can be included in an end-to-end energy management deal. Ultimately, this helps both businesses and the wider country to transition to low-carbon alternatives.
For example, electric vehicles will increasingly place new demand on the grid. Energy services such as vehicle to grid (V2G) technology, which enables power to be drawn from car batteries and fed back into the grid when not in use, will be important to support the balancing of electricity demand.
If we focus only on the cost-saving potential of energy as a service, we fail to recognise that there is something far more fundamental behind the shift towards energy being sold and managed in this way.
Energy as a service represents the point at which the decentralised, decarbonised and digitalised energy future that is envisioned from the big podiums at events such as Davos and COP24 becomes something both practical and implementable, delivering real benefits to companies.
This approach is growing because companies are recognising that thinking more strategically about energy management, rather than just shopping around for the best prices, opens up a range of opportunities and benefits. As they make this shift, they are able not only to save energy but to create extra revenue, decrease their company’s carbon footprint and improve their company’s resilience.
Energy companies that are primed for change will help consumers and businesses to understand how they are using energy and support them to build operational resilience and achieve their sustainability targets. This is the true potential of energy as a service.