- Greatest synergy potential in telecommunications, housing and the heating industry
- Digitization is particularly important for 65 per cent of energy suppliers
- High expectations for expansion of smart meter infrastructure
Increasing digitization and cross-industry cooperation are opening up new business areas for energy supply companies (ESCs) in Switzerland. For example, 80 per cent of energy suppliers see great synergy potential in the telecommunications sector, 71 per cent in the housing industry and 69 per cent in the heating industry.
From the point of view of the ESCs, this has increased the potential for cooperation again: In 2019 only 50 per cent saw great potential for synergy in telecommunications and 67 per cent in the housing industry. The heating industry was not included in the survey at that time.
According to the ESCs, the housing industry in particular still offers a lot of potential: 84 per cent see opportunities for developing new business areas, for example in the areas of energy supply (84 per cent), energy services (80 per cent) and smart metering (80 per cent).
These are the results of the Stadtwerke Study 2020, for which EY and the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW) collected data in Germany and Switzerland. The survey in Switzerland includes 49 ESCs.
Benjamin Teufel, Head of the Energy Sector in Switzerland, says: “The energy industry already has a lot of overlaps with other industries. In the future, it will look even more outside its own borders in the search for promising new business models. The housing industry appears to be a particularly suitable partner for cooperation: decentralized and climate-friendly energy solutions are becoming increasingly important.”
Smart meters are becoming data hubs for new products
According to Benjamin Teufel, even more possibilities will emerge in the future. The EY expert sees a lot of additional potential for the future. “The smart meters, when acting as a data hub, will lead to a large number of new applications, products and business models. This could facilitate developments such as combination tariffs that also include electromobility. Tenants could also be offered a precise bill for their energy usage at the end of the month.” Accordingly, digitization is of particular importance for 82 per cent of ESCs in the next two to three years and, as a result, is the top topic for discussion in the industry. 71 per cent want to focus on smart metering/grids and 69 per cent on personnel development.
Among digital technologies, smart metering is the most relevant for 84 per cent of energy suppliers, closely followed by cyber-security (82 percent).
Municipal utilities to become platform operators
The ESCs are also gaining new roles – for example, as platform operators. 82 per cent expect to be able to act as platform operators in the area of decentralized power generation, 71 percent in smart metering and 67 percent in the field of electromobility.
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