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/ Upscaling the residential sector with on-bill schemes - Replicability potential in the EU
Upscaling the residential sector with on-bill schemes - Replicability potential in the EU
The new report by the H2020 project RenOnBill analyses the possible challenges for the implementation of on-bill schemes (OBS) in the EU and suggests ten business model frameworks applicable to this context. In particular, the analysis deeps dive into the target countries of RenOnBill, namely Germany, Italy, Spain and Lithuania, along three dimensions: market readiness, legal/regulatory framework and utilities' operational issues.
On-bill schemes are flexible instruments which can be easily adapted to specific market and utility requirements. The report finds that on-bill financing schemes are by far the most flexible solution, but they are not suitable for small utilities or for the implementation of large programs, because of the possible relevant impact on the financial ratios of the companies. On-bill repayment schemes solve these issues, but they are less flexible, since the financial institutions providing the resources may set constraints on the typologies of interventions to implement as well as on the market segment to approach.
Starting from these two general models, RenOnBill considers several variants with different service infrastructures and different typologies of financial arrangements. Furthermore, on-bill schemes can also adapt in their scope and be aimed, for instance, at supporting vulnerable customers against energy poverty or to support the spreading of cutting-edge products and services.
There is a substantial market potential in Germany, Italy and Spain, despite the possible difficulties in addressing this demand. Lithuania is different, as regulatory changes could be necessary to open the market because district heating utilities serving the five largest cities cannot offer energy efficiency services to final users.
On-bill schemes demonstrate to be flexible mechanisms for offering a number of energy efficiency and innovative services. For specific types of utilities, on-bill schemes can even consolidate the position of the company on the market or open new opportunities thanks to their innovative aspects. If well-conceived they may represent a breakthrough for the energy market. In particular, the findings reported for Germany, Spain and Italy can be reasonably extended to similar markets, such as France, Belgium and the Netherlands, which need to refurbish their building stock, especially for reducing space heating demand.