Carbon emission reduction driving energy purchasing decisions including Power Purchase Agreements and on-site renewable generation
Retail energy providers will be left behind if they fail to offer products and services that help their customers reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, finds DNV GL’s latest Energy Blueprint: Sales Strategies report, a comprehensive survey that explores the interconnections between competitive energy providers, commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, and the aggregator, broker and consulting (ABC) companies who support the industry. These customer preferences are in line with findings of DNV GL’s 2020 Energy Transition Outlook, which forecasts renewable energy will provide 62 percent of the world’s energy needs by 2050. Of the customers surveyed, the study found that more than half of C&I customers already have a comprehensive GHG or renewable energy strategy in place. Notably, 43 percent indicated that they see energy suppliers as key partners to support the development of their GHG management strategy.
C&I customers are establishing more aggressive and precise GHG management targets that include goals to measure and reduce Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions within specific timelines. Achieving these goals will require customized solutions for each end user, deployment of new technologies and strong relationships between suppliers and ABC partners.
While renewable energy credits are the preferred product to manage GHG emissions (31 percent), on site renewable generation follows as a close second (27 percent); in fact, 63 percent of C&I customers identified behind the meter (BTM) solar as a top three priority to achieve their energy goals. Customer demand for power purchase agreements (PPAs) has also increased substantially, from 1.54 GW in 2016 to 9.33 GW in 2019. This reveals a shift towards greater transparency about generation sources. Whereas many C&I customers previously were willing to pay a premium for a generic type of “green” power, there is growing demand for products that provide more certainty and visibility in their energy sources. In this vein, DNV GL’s survey found that C&I customers are becoming more comfortable with onsite renewable generation and more comprehensive product offerings from their energy providers.
“C&I customers are demonstrating an increased sophistication in their understanding of energy markets, desire to manage greenhouse gas emissions, and willingness to find new ways to ensure their energy supply is green,” said Richard S. Barnes, President, Energy North America at DNV GL. “At the same time, leading-edge suppliers have recognized the opportunities in the energy transition, and are creating the market conditions that will move it forward.”
The study also asked ABC respondents to rank the suppliers they do business with based on sales support, after-sales support and price competitiveness, with Constellation, an Exelon company, pulling the highest average composite score of all suppliers ranked for the second year in a row. The differentiator for the highest ranked retail energy providers is the breadth of their offerings, including and especially those that will help their customers manage their sustainability and GHG goals and more easily procure renewable energy. However, for retail energy providers to remain competitive, they must respond to their customers’ desire for more renewable energy and develop capabilities to create GHG strategies and understand the value of BTM solar + storage.
“Our ranking as the top supplier for the second straight year speaks to Constellation’s continued commitment to providing the products, services, and overall experience that both our ABC’s and customers demand,” said Dan Verbanac, Senior Vice President of Retail for Constellation. “DNV GL is an authority in our industry, and this recognition serves to validate our efforts to help customers achieve their energy and sustainability goals.”
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