Energy as a Service (EaaS), in its simplest terms, is a business model where customers pay for an energy service without having to make an upfront investment. That “energy service” could mean smart metering, time-of-use tariffs, or even just providing advice.
But it could mean more.
What if it actually meant that you, the consumer, paid a fixed monthly amount for all the renewable energy you used?
Not a fixed tariff for each kWh you use, but an electrical take on an all-you-can-eat mobile data contract.
There would be no fluctuating tariffs or on-demand charges, just a single monthly fee.
Every lamppost, road and bridge
Sounds good, right?
Where this gets really interesting, is when you add in the fact that no money is paid upfront.
It would be akin to every house in your community getting solar panels (or wind turbines) installed but at no cost to them. Each home just pays a fixed cost each month.
It’s a huge ambition, and something that’s hard for a start-up like Alpha 311 to achieve at the beginning of our journey. After all, we’re looking at turning every lamppost, road and bridge into a micro wind farm… but we’ll catch up pretty quickly.
Applying an EaaS model to community (or decentralised) energy generation would lead to a massive increase in the adoption of renewable energy, especially in developing nations. That’s important, because it’s those nations where experts expect to see an increase in the use of oil, coal and gas (coal is still the cheapest energy source for developing nations).
Local energy generation = cheaper energy
Schneider Electric’s EaaS model is leading the way in the commercial and industrial markets, but could this all-you-can-eat model be the catalyst that the retail market needs?
Using the EaaS model would provide communities not only with locally-generated electricity, (cheaper because the transmission costs are lower), but provide a whole new revenue opportunity that benefits them… without the upfront cost.
So, could Energy as a Service change the world?
Yes – if the world is brave enough to try.