• Energy as a Service
  • Commercial and Industrial
  • Energy Efficiency

Navigant Research Leaderboard Examines Leading Energy as a Service Providers

Apr 09, 2019

Solar 10

To date, the market for commercial and industrial (C&I) energy management solutions has primarily been populated by vendors with a single, niche solution, such as energy supply in competitive supply markets or energy efficiency under fee-for-service project delivery. However, leading vendors are emerging with a comprehensive set of portfolio-wide energy efficiency and beyond energy efficiency solutions that can address C&I energy user needs. Navigant Research defines these new portfolio-wide solutions as energy as a service (EaaS), now being delivered across new financing and business model options. 

EaaS Evolution to Broader Portfolio-Based Solutions 

EaaS Evolution to Broader Portfolio-Based Solutions

(Source: Navigant Research)

Who Are the Players?

A recently released Navigant Research Leaderboard examines vendors that now provide a broad set of technical EaaS solutions, financing options, and business models in addition to energy efficiency or traditional competitive supply. These new EaaS solutions include portfolio advisory solutions, such as enterprisewide energy management and benchmarking tools, onsite and offsite energy supply, and load management and optimization solutions such as distributed energy storage, microgrids, and intelligent building analytics and controls.

What Do C&I Energy Users Want?

Given the emergence of these new integrated EaaS solutions, Navigant Research anticipates that C&I energy users will increasingly seek turnkey vendors that can deliver innovative EaaS financing and business model options. While certain C&I customers will choose to deploy CAPEX under fee-for-service projects, financing innovation is needed to address two emerging customer needs.

  • Many C&I energy users are hesitant to deploy CAPEX for non-core operations like energy savings and sustainability. This shift away from CAPEX toward service contracts categorized as OPEX is generally preferable accounting-wise. CAPEX is usually less favorable from a balance sheet accounting perspective, while OPEX does not affect a company’s balance sheet.
  • Given the complexity of integrated EaaS solution delivery, C&I energy users will increasingly look to have third parties deploy, own, or operate energy efficiency and beyond energy efficiency EaaS solutions under OPEX-based EaaS service models to transfer risk. ENGIE, which ranked second in this EaaS Leaderboard, recently announced in its strategy update a heightened focus on these types of new, integrated, as a service solutions. Moving forward, balance sheet-backed vendors—like Schneider Electric, ENGIE, and Veolia—that can guarantee energy and cost savings across financing options will be at a competitive advantage.

EaaS Offerings Address Customer Needs for Risk Transfer

EaaS Offerings Address Customer Needs for Risk Transfer

(Source: Navigant Research)

Taking a Broader Approach

Lastly, many C&I customers are moving past standalone projects toward a broader portfolio approach to energy management. This trend will require a partner that can address project feasibility, development, design, engineering, technology integration, permitting, and financing options across a full set of EaaS solutions that are tailored to their specific industry segment. Navigant Research’s  Energy as a Service research solution will examine these new C&I segment-specific EaaS models moving forward.