Efficiency as a Service (EaaS) initiative was launched in June 2020 by BASE, AGORIA, ANESE and Innoenergy with funding received from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The project aims to develop and deploy the servitisation (or pay-per-use) model and a financial structure to enable the transition and accelerate the market adoption of energy efficient solutions by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.
EaaS is a pay-per-use model where the end-customers only pay for the service they receive, rather than the physical product or infrastructure that delivers the service. In this case, the technology provider installs and maintains the equipment and recovers costs through periodic customer payments. These payments are fixed-cost-per-unit for the energy efficient service delivered (for example, euros per cubic meter of compressed air, per tonne of refrigeration, or hours of lighting), and are based on actual usage.
The EaaS model creates conditions for SMEs to access new climate-friendlier technologies without the need to provide up-front capital investment for more efficient and more expensive equipment. Thus, EaaS project removes market barriers by shifting the energy efficiency costs from an expensive, high-capital expenditure to a transparent, lower-risk operating expenditure, freeing up capital to other investment priorities.
The model also creates an alignment of incentives: it reduces the perceived technology risk for the customers as they are not required to invest in the technologies, while they are also incentivised to cut unnecessary consumption as they are charged per usage; and it gives technology providers the chance to optimise the operation of the equipment to reduce running costs by giving the customer the most energy efficient technologies on the market. In addition, the EaaS model also supports a circular-economy model, by incentivising technology providers to make their equipment modular, with parts being reusable/recyclable.