The German billing market is still shaped by three parameters: regionality, a strong role of subsidiary companies of energy suppliers and thus a high rate of intracompany outsourcing. Based on a actual survey of trend:research the following table compares different providers of billing services in Germany by means of their portfolio of products, their number of customers and employees and the amount of meters supervised.
Competition activities are most frequently concentrated on geograhically limited market segments. Often, energy suppliers consider billing services as core competences, which are only reluctantly given to service providers outside the holding. Affiliated billing companies play a leading role in the market.
Competition exists to a lesser extent between the different service providers than between the service providers and those energy suppliers that perform their billing themselves, so far.
The framework consists of the legislation (e.g. Unbundling) and liberalisation of meter and metering infrastructure in Germany, growing change of supplier through customers and therefore higher demands on IT-software for metering. These developments raise the pressure on energy suppliers. Outsourcing on outside service providers could be increasingly seen as a better option for optimizing internal processes in the future.
Nevertheless, time will show if the competition of service providers will have a stronger role on supra-regional level in Germany through the new general conditions and outsourcing beyond the own corporate group. Billing service providers, that are already positioned as competitor on the nationwide scale like ENTEGA Service GmbH could have benefits hereof.
trend:research provides the actual status quo on outsourcing in the billing sector in the German study „Outsourcing in der Energieliefer-Abrechnung“ („Outsourcing in energy supply-billing“) which will be published in June 2009.
Market overview for Billing Service Providers (full service) in Germany 2009