Ten years ago, an energy services provider offering an energy audit, a service to analyse and reduce a gas or electricity bill, was nearly a pioneer: it drew attention and responded to emerging major needs of industrial and commercial consumers.
At the same time, initiate an EPC (Energy Performance Contract) was almost a culmination: the consumer client had difficulties to project himself beyond such an initiative.
The energy “services”, apart from monitoring and maintenance services of facilities, were sold as products.
This now belongs to the past. Energy efficiency is now less a goal than a journey. Industrial and commercial consumers are increasingly in demand for a long-term support, provided by a service provider partner, capable of a long-term approach, offering customized performance and both short-term vision and medium term.
This development will be favourable to the historical service providers, trained to service sales process, and will create difficulties for manufacturers or energy companies unaccustomed to these procedures, which have developed their “services” offers more recently to defend – and complete – their core activity.
A key differentiating point for a energy service provider on the market will be its ability to assemble the bricks of offer previously developed to create a proper value for every customer.
Another will be the ability to offer a “journey”, suitable for customers that are a priori not concerned with energy savings, those that only meet the minimum regulatory requirements, without further motivation.
The profitability of energy services activities not only depends on the hourly labour costs but also (and especially?) on the efficiency of the commercial approach.