Technology Collaboration Programme

Task 25 Phase 1 – Business Models for a more effective market uptake of DSM energy services

Task 25 Phase 1 – Business Models for a more effective market uptake of DSM energy services


Phase 1 focused on identifying and creating effective business models providing viable DSM value propositions that lead to the growth of the demand market for energy efficiency. In addition, this Task  focused on identifying and supporting the creation of energy ecosystems in which these business models can succeed.


As most of the companies in the field of energy originate from technological backgrounds, their businesses are built to exploit innovative technologies. Entrepreneurs will not only need to adjust their business model. Training or developing complementary servicing skills or capabilities is a key success factor.

Previous research found the following capabilities to be crucial when running a service-oriented business:
Sensing: the ability to continuously retrieve relevant insights from the end user and other stakeholders.

Conceptualising: the ability to translate relevantuser insights into valuable propositions or adjustments in propositions.

Orchestration: the ability to provide a ‘seamless’ and valuable service: from the orientationphase, to purchase, use and renewal. This often also requires other forms of collaborating with partners.

Stretching / scaling: the ability to tap new niches and to be able to anticipate developments.


However, developing one’s ownbusiness model and the right capabilities is not enough.

Both service- and product-oriented business models operate in a broader context: a system. This system consists of many stakeholders, like policy makers, law makers, researchers, financial institutions, competitors, end users and other stakeholders that are of influence. These stakeholders play an important, sometimes even decisive role in the creation and uptake of energy services. However, their role might not always be supporting or stimulating of the success of new services. Our research has shown that funding, subsidies, rules and legislation, as well as other forms of support, have been developed to support the creation and uptake of single products and technologies, not services. Many instruments and measures need to be adjusted or rethought to become what they aim to be. Supporting the uptake of successful energy services and integrated product/technology systems.

We are lacking a service-supporting energy system. Task 25 focused on this energy system.

A service-supporting system consists of players and instruments that are designed to support new user-friendly energy services: backed up with service-oriented business models, created by entrepreneurs equipped with proper service-oriented capabilities. Only then will new energy services flourish.


This Task sets out to identify proven and potentially successful business models for energy services for DSM on a national level, and develop effective policy strategies, stakeholder roadmaps and business models to upscale and mainstream these energy services on a national (ecosystem) level.

The main objectives of this Task are to:

  • What works, how does it work and what kind of framework conditions do we need? Identify proven and potential business models for energy services on (first phase) issues of common interest in different countries, with special focus on how to create conducive different market dynamics and policies in different countries;
  • Analyze acceptance and effectiveness of these business models in creating lasting load reduction, or generation and other non-energy benefits and in creating a market;
  • Research success and failure factors by means analyzing business models in their socio-technical or ecosystem context;
  • Develop canvas for energy service businesses to be able to more effectively develop business models and value networks able to mainstream and upscale on a national level and disseminating it through national workshops;
  • Creating a set of guidelines, and advice supporting the creation of policies to encourage market creation and mainstreaming of business models in different countries;
  • Creating and maintaining a digital platform for shared learning, best practices and know-how with national sub departments focused on bringing knowledge to the national market, including banks and other funders;
  • Develop a database (as far as possible) including (national context sensitive) useful contractual formats, business plans etc.


The benefits for the participating countries and for the DSM agreement will encompass:

  • Support of a market for business models for energy services that effectively achieve energy conservation, generation or load shifting of households and SMEs, by accessing the “test-bed” of full-scale examples in other countries;
  • Providing eye-to eye contact and exchange of experiences between business developers, service providers and their results, successes as well as failures;
  • Contributing to formulation and thereby achieving energy reduction or generation targets on national and international level.
  • Analysis and comparison in a common business model format that enables distinguishing of development issues;
  • A list of best practices on business models and the exchange of valuable knowledge and learning’s;
  • Participation in the IEA DSM task 25 Expert Platform and communication with a large variety of international and national stakeholders including contacts with e.g. smart grid developers Maintaining an on-going platform of shared learning, best practice examples and know-how in DSM energy services and business models.
  • A database of global knowledge and examples of successfully up scaled energy service projects and business cases.


The objectives shall be achieved by the Participants in the following Subtasks:

Subtask 0: Task Definition Phase

The focus of this Subtask was on making a first inventory of issues of common interest regarding business models and Service Value propositions on Energy efficiency and defining an initial working scope and definition. Success and failure of these services is highly dependent on country specifics. Already many studies are conducted that are valuable for this Task. This Subtask main objective was to map valuable knowledge, identify country specifics and general objectives. After agreement on this task, country expert will be lined up and prepared for their part in this Task.


  • Writing work plan, in close cooperation with interested countries and their experts
  • Performing a quick scan of country specifics (relevant policy and regulation, research,business models. Energy targets etc.)
  • Attendance (virtual) of Executive Committee meetings in 2014


Subtask 1: Task Management

This Subtask is dealing with all management issues.



  • Overall project coordination and management, including contact relationship management
  • Attendance at Executive Committee meetings, conferences and reporting to IEA DSM Executive Committee
  • Set-up Task Advisory Board (AB) of stakeholders (Executive Committee, IEA, intermediaries from research, industry, government, community sectors)


Subtask 2: Identify proven and potential business models for energy services

There are many energy service business models “out there” and often they are closelylinked to existing market structures and policies. In other words, business models are often country and context specific. We will start with an inventory of different existing business models, both in the participating countries and also including global
examples of successful business models. In the different participating countries we will analyse what business models exist, and what frameworks (market and policy) accompany them.



  • Identifying country specific suppliers, clients, and their stakeholder networks andtrying to establish national advisory expert networks to continue working with throughout the task. These actors will receive frequent webinars, but also quite some face-to-face time and be the first to ask for relevant case studies. Members include policymakers in the field, end-user representatives, collectives, SME suppliers and receivers of energy services, academia, business developers, consultants, technology developers and NGOs in the field. All relevant expertise needs to be present, from economic to policy making.
  • Narrowing down the focus of both services, target groups and typology of business models in close cooperation with national experts and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Clarifying how the different parameters of success of business models and services will relate to each other in the analysis – economic profitability, scale of impact and real savings, business creation, growth rate, synergies with other values, adoption rate etc.
  • Developing a task specific typology or categorisation of business models and services for EE.
  • Developing an overview of existing energy service business models in the participating countries and their frameworks/ecosystems and how they meet and incorporate client needs.
  • Reviewing global existing business models and their frameworks/ecosystems with a clear focus on quantifying and qualifying effectiveness (e.g. amount of customers reached, market share, savings aimed for, other outcomes, ROI).
  • In-depth comparative analysis of around 4 similar business models in different countries and around 12 per country. Determining patterns, drivers and pitfalls.
  • Identifying key factors that make services (and their vendors) succeed in the participating countries through an in-depth analysis of country specific markets and policies for energy services and their influences on business models;
  • Organising regular country workshops with service providers and clients.
  • Creating a report with all the national examples, the best practices and the analysis including useful tips and tricks etcetera.


Subtask 3: developing business model canvas and country specific policy guidelines for up-scaling and mainstreaming business models in participating countries

When the key factors that make services (and their vendors) succeed have been identified in the different countries we will need to start applying this knowledge to help creating a mass market for energy services. This will be achieved through the co-creating of potential effective business models and services with national stakeholders, in addition we will define guidelines for policymakers to allow a more effective up-scaling of proven business models and services.



  • Develop frameworks for potentially effective business models and services in co creation with national stakeholders, e.g. suppliers and clients. We will do so in face to face workshops, with the national experts and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Creating policy guidelines with necessary policies and strategies of different stakeholders, and their timing, to encourage market creation and mainstreaming of selected business models in participating countries


Subtask 4: Expert platform

This subtask is about creating effective means to disseminate, engage, collaborate and share learnings with the experts and stakeholders from participating or contributing countries and the wider community.

It is both important to disseminate the findings about effective business models and energy services for EE as widely as possible to contribute to a market uptake of EE services, though without the country specific recommendations and foci; and to learn as much as possible from other stakeholders and countries and collect as many relevant best and bad practices as possible.

The connection to existing IEA expert platforms and dissemination channels is aimed to create a learning culture and social network among the experts from various countries, disciplines and stakeholder groups and to foster collaboration within and outside this Task.



We will disseminate, engage, collaborate and share learnings through two activities:

  • Set up a stakeholder communication and engagement plan
  • Traditional dissemination to external stakeholders and academia
  • Creating and facilitating a good connection to existing digital and off-line expert platforms within the IEA, e.g. the expert platforms of Tasks 16, 24 and other relevant tasks and the expert platforms for other Implementing Agreements. This connection is meant to provide a ‘matchmaking’ service to enable trans-national, inter-disciplinary teams of experts and end users to collaborate and learn.


  • D0: draft workplan;
  • D1: Advisory committee of stakeholders from ExCo, IEA, research, commercial, community, policy and end user sectors providing strategic guidance;
  • D2: typology of business models and accompanying services;
  • D3: report discussing several business models energy service business models per country, in context and comparatively, and several country independent business models;
  • D4: overview of patterns, drivers and pitfalls for different types of business models, including business models from EU countries outside of the participating countries;
  • D5: Database of all found services and business models. Open access;
  • D6: Country specific recommendation on how to upscale or mainstream selected business models;
  • D7: Social media expert platform and meeting place for (invited) experts and implementers;
  • D8: alternative ways of disseminating findings: e.g short videos, cartoons.


Austria, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, South-Korea

European Copper Institute

Task duration: November 2014  to  November 2017


NetherlandsOperating AgentDr. Ruth Mourik
Eschweilerhof 57
5625 NN Eindhoven
The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 40 2425683
Mobile: +31 6 25075760
AustriaNational ExpertDI Mr Reinhard Ungerböck
Grazer Energieagentur GmbH
Kaiserfeldgasse 13
8020 Graz
Telephone: (43) 316 811 848 17
Telefax: (43) 316 811 848 9
European Copper InstituteNational ExpertMr Hans De Keulenaer
European Copper Institute
Avenue de Tervueren 168, b-10
1150 Brussels
Telephone: (32) 2 777 7084
Telefax: 832) 2 777 7079
KoreaNational ExpertProfessor Suduk Kim
Department of Energy Systems Research
Ajou University
Telephone: 82312192689
Fax: 82 31 219 2208
NetherlandsNational ExpertDr. Boukje Huijben
Strategic Area Energy
Eindhoven University of Technology
P.O. Box 513
5600 MB Eindhoven
NetherlandsNational ExpertRenske Bouwknegt
Kleine Koppel 16
3812 PH Amersfoort
Mobile: (+31) 38 89 1557
NorwayNational ExpertEven Bjornstad
Enova SF
Postboks 5700 Sluppen
N-7437 Trondheim
Telephone: 0047996382180
SwedenNational ExpertMs Lotta Bångens
Senior Consultant
Aton Teknikkonsult AB
St. Göransgatan 84
112 38 Stockholm
Telephone: (46) 8 747 8698
Mobile: (46) 70 343 9212
SwitzerlandNational ExpertMs Marine Beaud
Energy Supply and Monitoring, Specialist
Swiss Federal Office of Energy, OFEN
CH-3033 Bern
Telephone: (41) 58 46 22536
Telefax: (41) 46 32500


Work Plan

Conference paper eceee Summer Study 2017
Conference paper BEHAVE  2016
Methodological Approach
D2. Sweden country report
D2. Netherlands country report
D2. Austria country report
D2. Korea country report
Results and Outlook
Country and Cases Overview per Strategy
Global Analysis 2016 CREARA
Master Thesis Tolkamp 2016
Task flyer 2015
Task flyer 2016