The energy ecosystem is at an inflection point in the transition to a decarbonized future. Powerful forces are driving this change. It’s evident in new market entrants, evolving policy and regulatory models, and investor focus on the green future. And at the heart of this transition is the evolving energy consumer.
COVID-19 has accelerated moves toward this future. Governments are tying ambitious climate goals to pandemic stimulus packages. And consumers are rallying around sustainable choices to avoid a global climate crisis.
Consumers surveyed who are more aware of climate change and its environmental impact since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Consumers surveyed who are likely to invest more in energy efficiency today than before the pandemic.
Energy companies are taking action. The biggest threat to their business is not just the pandemic-related demand disruption and slowing traditional electricity sales, but the far-reaching changes in consumer behavior and dramatic shifts in climate regulations. Providers must move from experimenting with pilot programs to actual rollouts of sustainable energy offerings—quickly and at scale.
Sustainable offerings are not only the right things to do for consumers, but for business as well. Emerging value pools spanning energy efficiency, energy management, distributed generation, storage, eMobility and demand-side flexibility are rapidly maturing.
Consumers want better experiences from service providers that reflect their values and lifestyles, and they want them at affordable prices.
We project the business case for these models will reach €8 billion EBITDA in 2030 (and 25% CAGR) for key European countries alone, with the offer of lease and rent models for customers as the key.
Energy companies can consider several strategic plays to capture this value. Bringing these plays to life will require transitioning from a high-volume, low-margin business to developing a low-volume, high-margin business with high growth. The key experience drivers of trust, simplicity, transparency and affordability must also be addressed, paving the way for broader participation in the demand side of the energy transition. In essence, they must reimagine their business, centered on purpose-driven consumers and adapting to regulatory and market change, enabled through digital technologies.
For energy companies, it’s time for decisive action
Mastering innovation, adopting a digital mindset and positioning the right technologies at the core, leveraging AI at scale, and empowering the next-generation workforce will determine the new energy leaders of this decade.
Success in transforming to a digital connected energy company will be determined by the scale and quality of execution, as well as the collective efforts of the ecosystem. It is only by acting and working together that we have the potential to successfully evolve—and ride the wave of change that the coming decade will bring.
About the Authors
Senior Managing Director – Sustainability Services EMEA Lead
Managing Director – eMobility Lead
Offering Development Principal – Energy Transition Services
Manager – Sustainability Services, Global Net Zero Cities and European Energy Efficiency Lead