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Servitization: from ownership to use, increasing client convenience

Digitalization opens the doors towards new ways of working. A client’s needs can be met more directly and flexibly now that more and more devices are connected online. The needs of the client will continue to shift from a product (the genset) to a service (ensuring sustainable energy will be available at all times). This trend is called servitization: the service connected to a product comes first. You deliver exactly what the client uses and bill them through “pay per use”. We will illustrate this concept with the procedure of mobile energy, “energy as a service”.

Technically mobile energy rental is the first step in servitization. The user may expect the genset to be present when needed, to be removed when the job is done and be capable of running 24/7. However, most clients will still approach us about a product: “provide me with a genset of 250 kVA, because that’s the amount of energy I need”. Energy as a service takes things a step further by using what the client wants as its starting point. The actual need, “ensure my construction site has enough energy at all times”, can be met by delivering a 250 kVA genset. But perhaps a battery or a hybrid connection would work as well. With energy as a service the client leaves the details of the solution completely to the supplier. Here service is not just maintenance, it is completely taking over the process, so that the client may focus on other matters.


Trust in the supplier’s expertise

The rules surrounding the use of mobile energy are becoming increasingly strict and complex. Companies are expected to meet the climate goals to increasing lengths. At the same time a lot of innovation takes place. This results in more sustainable solutions, which are becoming more cost efficient as well. For the user it might be difficult to keep up with all these developments. With energy as a service that’s no longer necessary anyways. The supplier will gather this knowledge and advise a solution based on their expertise. Energy provision is no longer a product, it is becoming a service instead. The responsibility for a successful project now lies with the supplier. Sharing knowledge and transparency are essential in this. At this moment suppliers are already advising about the most ideal installation, but this advice is based solely on energy demand and finances. Energy as a service provides a solution based on environmental rules, climate goals and circularity, and will explain to the client why the chosen solution is the best one.

The client decides what to pay

Mobile energy is generally billed by the rent of the machine and the cost of the used fuel. Energy as a service is based on solving the client’s problem. As such it makes sense for the client to pay for a fitting solution, regardless of how it’s executed. Energy as a service will eventually be paid for through a “pay per use” model. This has already become common in the media sector. You no longer pay for a newspaper subscription, but only for the articles you read. With servitization the client and supplier agree in advance on the exact definition of ‘’use”. Mobile energy, for example, can be billed per used kWh. Or per kilo of CO2 that was spared. Or, if the installation is participating in FCR, per volume delivered in emergency power to the transmission system operator. This perhaps along with the confirmation of relevant parties that the solution adheres to environmental rules and climate goals and thereby receives a permit. Each use has its own price tag.

Servitization through digital data

The development towards energy as a service was partially enabled by the increasing amount of data available online. Energy as a service means the client won’t need to think about the process anymore. To allow this, a party such as Bredenoord must be able to monitor and optimize the performances. Connectivity, the connecting of elements such as gensets to the internet is an essential, also in order to enable efficient and sustainable transport and managing the whole rental stock. Energy storage in batteries lends itself well for explaining this. If the battery itself can transfer data about the remaining capacity, then the logistics can be adjusted to this and a new, full battery can be delivered just in time. Meanwhile the driver can take the most efficient route towards multiple clients. Through this the total footprint, from source to completion, can be reduced significantly and both client and supplier will work sustainably. Energy as a service can therefore play an important role in circular working, for example on construction sites.

Flexibly meeting the client’s needs

Servitization is a trend for the upcoming years. That doesn’t mean the traditional model will completely disappear. Servitization mostly allows for more tailored work. Some clients want to choose their own machines, other clients want to completely outsource the compliance with climate goals. It’s also possible to choose a hybrid approach. The standard road construction procedures using traditional methods, but a prestigious construction project through energy as a service. The next few years the concept of energy as a service will be strengthened further, to define the optimal added value of pay per use in service.

Interested in discussing the concept of energy as a service in more detail? Curious how this ties into climate goals and circular working? Bredenoord gladly discusses these themes with potential partners and launching customers!

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