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Alix joined Delta-EE’s Paris Office in 2019 to work in the New Energy Business Models and Connected Home Services. She supports Delta-EE’s customers by delivering technical researches, strategy analyses and market insights.

Alix holds an MSc in Sustainable Energy Future from Imperial College London and a BEng of Mechanical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal.

MoneySavingExpert has over 4.5m members in its Energy Club, but will customers ever convert to auto-switching?

Here at Delta-EE, we have been talking about auto-switching as an important, emerging trend for a very long time.  As long ago as May 2017, my colleague Jenny Carson posed the question, “Is the energy industry underestimating its potential to mix things up?”, noting in passing the added appeal of completely free variants of the concept, based on Delta-EE’s own customer research.

The lingering doubt, as with any innovation, was whether it would all just prove to be a passing fad. By the time we revisited the topic in late 2018, we had, however, identified no fewer than 20 auto-switchers across the globe, which suggested, if nothing else, that a lot of entrepreneurs thought it was just as promising an idea as we did.  But the uncertainty remained, with few of the major price comparison sites climbing on board, and some of the first auto-switch companies, such as Voltz (UK) and Wechselfuchs (DE), disappearing almost as quickly as they had first appeared. 

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Home energy management: a complex space where actors will need to act in synergy to make sure they are not left behind

With the increasing number of residential energy assets in Europe, home energy management (HEM) is becoming particularly interesting. HEM brings value to residential owners and companies offering the solution but also to the wider electricity systems, by enabling a variety of use cases, from time-of-use or self-consumption optimisation, to flexibility.

In the home energy management space, different companies - and types of companies - must act in synergy

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2019: 0% annual sales growth in the Dutch Smart Thermostat Market

A bit of history…

The Netherlands was one of the first markets to innovate with connected controls in Europe. With over 80% of Dutch boilers working with the OpenTherm protocol, smart thermostats could relatively easily be connected. In the early 2010s, while Nest was making a name for itself in the US, some start-ups were similarly trying to capture opportunities in the Dutch market, and Quby was at the forefront of it. At the same time, control companies, such as Honeywell, and heating manufacturers, such as Nefit, started to develop their own offers.

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Customer interest in peer to peer trading is growing, with an increasing number of players in the market

The development of new technology and the growing ethical concerns of energy consumers have, among other things, led to the emergence of innovative peer to peer trading solutions. Although “Peer to Peer” energy trading implies direct interaction between prosumers and consumers, nearly all peer to peer (P2P) exchanges of energy in Europe are ‘virtual’ not ‘physical’. This means they are purely commercial exchanges, overlaid on top of the public network, which avoids the cost of setting up new wires, necessary when implementing physical P2P energy trading.

Various technology and social factors are driving the P2P trend

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Home Energy Management in Europe: a rapidly evolving market with a growing potential

The European Home Energy Management (HEM) market has been quite slow to develop in the last decade, only reaching around 300k installations to date. But this is going to change.

By 2023, we expect the market to reach 2.3M units installed. While the overall HEM European market will grow, the highest potential for growth will continue to be in the Nordics in terms of relative penetration and Germany in terms of absolute numbers. France, the UK and Italy will remain behind even though we predict their HEM markets sizes will increase faster. With its high penetration of solar PV, one may have expected Belgium (and to a lesser extent the Netherlands) to be an interesting market, but its net metering system is clearly a barrier to HEM. Finally, Spain, and its interesting geography for sun power, could have been better placed, but there is a lack of incentives for customers to install and self-consume solar PV.

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