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


This Task will focus 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 will focus on identifying and supporting the creation of energy ecosystems in which these business models can succeed.


The Task will be tailored to country specific needs and demands in terms of business models for Energy Services and the ecosystems to be analysed, but will explicitly collect, compare and share the learning’s and provide a best practice list.

As a starting point, and based on the preliminary analysis and feedback on the potential needs of interested countries we can discern common interests that we would like to propose as a starting point for analysis in all countries, with the possibility of adding other foci tailored to the specifics of the countries at a later stage. We will start with the collection of the know-how of the different countries on these issues and compare the different country situations and policy measures to establish a best practice list.

The focus will be on business models focusing on providing services for energy efficiency and energy savings in the urban environment, namely focused on buildings or districts.

The following segments or key target groups will be focused on:

1. Companies (also small SMEs);

2. Communities/cities trying to set up (decentralised) energy smart districts;

3. Households experiencing the princpal-agent (owner-tenant) problem;

4. House-owners

The first suppliers of energy services we will focus on are the professional suppliers (electricity utilities; HEMS and BEMS vendors/developers; aggregators of Demand Side management; providers of ICT services and (intermediaries representing) social and local energy communities.

We focus on Business models aimed at:

  • making industries and businesses more energy efficient, including audits and advice services.
  • smart districts, e.g. aimed at providing smart heat for district heating systems (CHP or other heating system change, integrated approach with decentralized energy sources and measures on the demand side (renovation, EE measures, epc, labelling).
  • viable smart grid based services on the level of buildings, e.g. small-scale distributed power, smart grid technologies ( smart meters, HEMS, BEMS, control systems, forecasting, optimisation and interfaces) and smart appliances.

Issues of common interest we will focus on in all business models, irrespective of country specific differences are:

  • Technology acceptability (related also to privacy, ownership of data and security), behavior issues, shaping of incentives as well as governance and regulation;
  • Outputs beyond energy and cost savings as identified by the IEA in spreading the net (2012): health and wellbeing improvements, job creation, poverty alleviation or increased disposable income, industrial competitiveness and productiveness, energy provider and infrastructure benefits, energy security, development goals.

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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  • 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.

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Participating Countries:





The Netherlands


European Copper Institute


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Time Schedule

The Task has entered into force on 1st November and shall remain in force until November 1st 2016, unless 5 or more countries are participating (this will extend the Task without further cost to November 1st 2017).

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  • Austria

    DI Mr Reinhard Ungerböck
    Grazer Energieagentur GmbH
    Kaiserfeldgasse 13
    8020 Graz
    Telephone: (43) 316 811 848 17
    Telefax: (43) 316  811 848 9
    E-mail: ungerboeck@grazer-ea.at

  • European Copper Institute

    Mr Hans De Keulenaer
    European Copper Institute
    Avenue de Tervueren 168, b-10
    1150 Brussels
    Telephone: (32) 2 777 7084
    Telefax: 832) 2 777 7079
    E-mail: hans.dekeulenaer@opperalliance.eu

  • Norway

    Even Bjornstad
    Enova SF
    Postboks 5700 Sluppen
    N-7437 Trondheim
    Telephone: 0047996382180
    E-mail: even.bjornstad@enova.no

  • Sweden

    Ms Lotta Bångens
    Senior Consultant
    Aton Teknikkonsult AB
    St. Göransgatan 84
    112 38 Stockholm
    Telephone: (46) 8 747 8698
    Mobile: (46) 70 343 9212
    E-mail: lotta.bangens@aton.se

  • Switzerland

    Ms 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
    E-mail: marine.beaud@bfe.admin.ch

  • The Netherlands

    Dr. Boukje Huijben
    Strategic Area Energy
    Eindhoven University of Technology
    P.O. Box 513
    5600 MB Eindhoven
    E-mail: J.C.C.M.Huijben@tue.nl

  • The Netherlands

    Renske Bouwknegt
    Kleine Koppel 16
    3812 PH Amersfoort
    Mobile: (+31) 38 89 1557
    E-mail: renske@ideate.nl

  • South Korea

    Professor Suduk Kim
    Department of Energy Systems Research
    Ajou University
    Telephone: 82312192689
    Fax: 82 31 219 2208
    E-mail: suduk@ajou.ac.kr

Operating Agent

  • The Netherlands

    Dr. Ruth Mourik
    Eschweilerhof 57
    5625 NN Eindhoven
    The Netherlands
    Telephone: +31 40 2425683
    Mobile: +31 6 25075760
    E-mail: info@duneworks.nl

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This is where the Task 25 publications reside.

Work plan:

Work Plan


Conference Paper ECEEE 2017 Summer Study

Conference Paper Behave 2016

Methodological Approach

Deliverable 2: Report Sweden

Deliverable 2: Report Netherlands

Deliverable 2: Report Switzerland

Context Analysis

Literature review – User-centred business models

Master Thesis – A paradigm shift? User-centred business model design for energy efficiency services

Articles, blogs, spotlights, video’s, etc:

Flyer (September 2016)

Flyer (2015)


Introduction video


Results and Outlook (2017)

Business models for a more effective market uptake of DSM energy services for SMEs and communities. (ECEEE Summer Study, May 2017)

Business models for a more effective market uptake of DSM energy services for SMEs and communities. (May 2017)

Mind your business!!! What we can learn from 50 businesses in Energy Efficiency. (November 12th 2016)

Business models for a more effective market uptake of DSM energy services for SMEs and communities. (March 16th 2016)

Business models for a more effective market uptake of DSM energy services for SMEs and communities. (November 13th 2015)


Mind your own business, towards a more user centered business model. DSM University webinar, January 23th 2017

What job is Energy Efficiency hired to do? A look at the propositions and business models selling value instead of energy or efficiency. DSM University webinar, November 19th 2015.

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