• Commercial and Industrial
  • DER
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Management

How an Innovative Shell Energy Business Model Partnership Addresses C&I Energy Manager Needs

Dec 19, 2018

Overhead Power Lines 7

In my Utility Customer Solutions research, I’ve highlighted how corporate commercial and industrial (C&I) energy and sustainability managers are now looking to move past single site energy efficiency projects to deploy new, portfolio-wide “beyond energy efficiency” distributed energy resources (DER) solutions.

New Integrated DER Solutions

From Tradition Efficiency to DER Solutions

(Source: Navigant Research)

One key challenge for these C&I customers and the vendors providing solutions to them is the reluctance by C&I energy users to use CAPEX on non-core operations like energy management. Navigant Research anticipates that vendors that can guarantee energy savings across a portfolio of sites by deploying a mix of energy efficiency and DER will be at a competitive advantage. This will be especially true for vendors that bundle financed solutions and services to avoid customer CAPEX that create new business models. 

Obstacles and Opportunities

Providing the right mix of financed solutions—such as energy efficiency, solar PV, energy storage, demand response, microgrid technology, intelligent buildings platforms, and EV charging infrastructure—is challenging. For example, deploying a mix of solutions complicates the potential for predictable energy savings for the customer.

Now, with the move away from centralized generation, traditional energy sector project financiers are looking into new customer-sited energy efficiency and DER solutions, many for the first time. These investors are trying to better understand the project risks for customer-sited solutions as vendors are now looking to integrate these new solutions for the first time to meet these customer needs.

New Approach

A great example of this type of integrated solution delivery is exhibited by Shell Energy’s recent Shell Energy Inside partnership announcement. Shell Energy Inside will use a subscription-based approach to bundling energy management solutions to avoid customer CAPEX spend and enable improved energy management. Specifically, Shell Energy Inside will use GridPoint’s Energy Manager, a smart buildings energy management and controls platform, to make bundled energy management solutions available to customers through Sparkfund’s SparkOS technology subscription platform.

Shell Energy Inside represents a bundled, commercial buildings-focused energy as a service business model to deploy analytics, HVAC and lighting upgrades, energy storage, EV charging, advanced building controls, retail power supply, and demand response across a single OPEX payment. Navigant Research will be closely watching the rollout of this business model concept to evaluate customer adoption rates and vendor competitor efforts to follow suit.