An energy supplier active active in the Swiss field of energy efficiency.
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The Story of GroupeE Lighting
GroupeE is an energy supplier active in several Cantons of Switzerland, with approximately 500.000 clients. It is a public company. The energy supplied comes mainly from Hydro, Thermal and other renewable sources. GroupeE has been active for more then 100 years and for the past 5 years it became active in the Swiss field of energy efficiency.
The idea for the public lighting total solution service programme for municipalities and its business model emerged in reaction to several issues. First a legal obligation from the Swiss government for communities to deliver public lighting at lower costs. Also the obligation for GroupeE to reinvest part of its public money into provision of services to the public. GroupeE aimed for cost optimisation internally and for the municipalities it served (decreasing energy consumption) and GroupeE aimed to maximise use of tax exemption/or tax avoidance, and using subsidies from the state. In addition, a driver was the need to also increase its own role in sustainable development to improve the corporate image.
Another context related issue influencing the emergence of this service is that the state uses a ranking list to highlight best and worst performing communities. This performance ranking drove municipalities to start looking for cost optimisation and necessarily also for return on investment. This return on investment had to be shorter then 4 years because of the unpredictability of state policy and election cycles of 4 years.
GroupeE’s partners for Lumino are the municipalities who are already connected to GroupeE through the grid. The activities GroupeE had to perform most are related to marketing and awareness raising. The company reported that it had to invest strongly in awareness raising and creating a market. Organisation of information workshops is one of the main activities and channels used. Of course activities also consist of the actual auditing, installation and maintenance of the lighting. The costs are for a large part also related to the marketing issues and of course the equipment and personnel costs. The revenue system is mostly service oriented with the service fee.
Lumino is a total package service, from audit to conceptualization and implementation to maintenance. The value provided to the public authorities that are responsible for public lighting is then to take away fragmentation of the process from audit to maintenance, provide a clear and tailored insight in energy efficiency gains and economic aspects, and the value provided is assurance that the public lighting does meet the energy efficiency and public (e.g. road) security needs and obligations, and keeps working, with an emergency helpdesk.
In terms of entrepreneurial capabilities, GroupeE demonstrates a good understanding of the need for orchestrating, offering a clear and seamless customer experience to their clients. In terms of sensing user needs, GroupeE is making a real effort at sensing the user needs on a continuous base, in the sense that they provide a real service that goes beyond the transaction phase. GroupeE keeps involved, even in terms of solving issues and maintenance. In addition, GroupeE is using continuous information workshop for clients and potential clients to keep informed about the needs of clients. In addition, it is clear from the offer that GroupeE is focused on keeping the service updated to meet changes in the context, for example in terms of regulation compliance, and available subsidies. As such the conceptualising capability is well developed. An internal repositioning occurred this year: energy efficiency and renewable energies are now in the same administrative unit, which allows a global approach to the customer. A structured package of products is presented to the customer. GroupeE has phased out the programme at the end of 2015.