In Europe, Netherlands-based Eneco Group, a collection of energy suppliers, last week forged an alliance partnership with technology consulting company Capgemini to create utility digitisation solutions.
Eneco Group comprises four suppliers Eneco, Stedin, Joulz, Ecofys, which combined source 20% of its supply from renewable energy sources.
The new agreement will extend Eneco and Capgemini’s working relationship, currently focused on infrastructure services, to develop new services and business models for the utilities sector.
The pair said the new agreement will help transform Eneco’s current IT landscape, as well as create joint technology exploration, joint Intellectual Property (IP) and business development.
Preliminary and early focus areas will include home energy management, electric vehicle charging, local energy generation and digital customer services.
Agile energy services
Eneco Group, which has a strategy to assist its customers in becoming prosumers, said its success will depend on its ability to innovate and transform its current IT landscape and capabilities, in order to reduce total cost of ownership and create a launch platform for its future services.
Joeri Kamp, CIO of Eneco Group, said: "Our customers are changing the way they use energy in their homes and for their businesses dramatically. Decentralised and renewable energy have become the standard.
"Our focus is on facilitating this transformation with agile products and services. To do this effectively we need to move forward in integrating IT solutions with our knowledge of sustainable energy and utilising energy infrastructures in a way that hasn't been seen yet in the energy sector."
The new agreement intends also to drive utility digitisation solutions, as Eneco and Capgemini plan to develop new energy services for utilities through Capgemini’s Utility to Energy Services (U2es) transformation programme.
The U2es initiative has three components, which Capgemini believes will help to futureproof utilities.
One is utility customer satisfaction and building new customer and strategic relationships, another is enabling operational excellence and creating new business models and new revenue streams.
Europe smart grid market
Capgemini is expanding its presence in Europe's smart grid market.
In March 2015, the consultancy partnered with global utilities software company Enoro to deliver smart grid services in Austria.
The two companies agreed to jointly offer services -Enoro’s GENERIS product for meter data management and its Smart Meter & Smart Grid Platform and Capgemini’s Smart Energy Services platform to customers including energy providers.
And in 2013, French natural gas distributor GrDF awarded Capgemini two three-year contracts worth a total of €23 million to develop an information system for France’s smart gas meter rollout to 11 million homes by 2022.