Accelerating the Swiss Energy Transition: Introducing the Servetia Initiative
Innovative business models are an often overlooked means to combat climate change. They hold great potential in overcoming some of the most important barriers hindering the widespread deployment of clean and energy-efficient solutions.
Servetia, an initiative led by BASE in collaboration with E4S and funded by Fondation Valéry, is a programme focused on showcasing the model of servitisation and its potential to decarbonise and accelerate the Swiss building sector’s energy transition.
As per the servitisation business model, customers or end-users only consume the “outcome” or service provided by energy-efficient systems rather than purchasing them and having to deal with their risk and financing themselves. For example, one would consume the “comfort” of a renewably-heated office space, or the needed amount of electricity produced by solar photovoltaics (PV). This model ensures that customers only pay for the actual services rendered, sparing them the burden of upfront costs. Technology providers retain ownership and assume responsibility for the operation, maintenance, repair, and upgrades allowing businesses to focus on their core operations. Providers are incentivised to drive systemic efficiency and deliver the best value to the end-customer.
Deploying Servitisation is no trivial task: Customers may lack the trust to sign a long-term contract, and suppliers may find it challenging to shift from selling assets to selling recurrent and customer-centric services. The Servetia initiative assists the Swiss market in adopting this model for energy-intensive applications. It raises awareness of the benefits of the model among end-users, develops standardised tools (e.g. contracts, pricing models, and financial structures) and fosters stakeholder trust and transparency.
Pilot locations across Switzerland are being selected for their high potential to benefit from Servetia’s services and gain substantial energy savings from the investment-free solutions provided by chosen partners. E4S and BASE build bridgesbetween stakeholders, disseminate research findings, and provide a platform to access the initiative’s results and updates.