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In 2019, the face of energy is changing

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Håkan Ludvigson's picture
CEO Eliq

Tech-savvy entrepreneur on my third startup journey, now in the energy SaaS space. Passionate aboutdecentralized technologies, transparency, dynamic business models and music.

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  • Jan 29, 2019 12:15 pm GMT
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-01 - Predictions & Trends, click here for more

New year's. Change is in the air. Like a crisp, blank sheet of paper, a fresh year lies ahead, offering opportunity and endless new possibilities.

Now, towards the end of January, the illusion has faded. Most new years' resolutions have been abandoned by now and the notion of the new year being different is gone, completely.

Certainly in the utilities industry, we're used to things changing slowly and while the rest of the world has become digital, agile and mobile, utilities are still working on digitising its most basic infrastructure. 

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"It's all-right, though. People will need energy no matter how the economy is doing, so utilities will still be around. Right?"

Try telling that that to the thousands of staff let go by Centrica in 2018. Independent energy suppliers have taken almost a quarter of the UK market from the incumbents in just a few years and we're seeing signs of the trend spreading into other parts of Europe as well.

So, what jump-started the recent massive growth of the UK's independent suppliers? Apart from a is the access to light-weight, low-cost billing and market interaction software, the cloud and the ability to outsource.

2018 saw larger utilities taking a page from the smaller independents, setting up new brands on IT platforms in the cloud (completely free from SAP). In the UK alone, we've seen both British Gas and E.On start experimenting with the lightweight CRM solutions used by independents.

The same thing is happening in customer engagement software. Agency-built apps are stepping aside and in-house mobile app teams are getting reinforcements from expert platform providers.

2019 is the year Sweden's two big in-house built energy app projects are due to be shut down (Vattenfall and E.On are closing their big in-house app services that have run for year). Meanwhile, the market for utility customer engagement software market grows, as European homes are getting their smart meters. Eliq alone is going live with At least 12 new apps and web portals for some of Europe's largest utilities and challengers alike.

It's late January, and I can still feel the crisp fresh smell of change in the air. Energy is getting a new face - one that fits 2019.

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