Energitjänster på en avreglerad marknad: För en effektivare energianvändning?
This thesis studies the efforts made by society to achieve more efficient energy use in order to better utilise resources and lessen the stress on the environment. Despite the value to society promised by more efficient energy use, too few attempts are made at realising this value. One instrument available to governments in their efforts to stimulate efficiency schemes, is to encourage energy companies to supply Energy Efficiency Services (EES). It may seem paradoxical that energy companies would both deliver energy and offer EES, i.e. on the one hand try to increase their sales volume and on the other hand advise on and implement schemes aiming at decreasing energy use. The fundamental problem at the heart of this thesis is whether EES offer a viable mechanism for society to achieve more efficient energy use. This problem is examined by studying how energy companies present, deliver, and carry out EES, and further how customers assess them. Our overarching research question, therefore, is: Does the supply of energy efficiency services lead to a more efficient use of energy from a public and business economics point of view? The theoretical frame of reference is Transaction Cost Economics and Resource Based View and the research methods used are surveys and case studies. Questionnaires were sent to all the energy companies in Sweden and the United Kingdom in order to map out and compare EES operations in these two countries. Some survey questions have been explored further through case studies in the form of interviews. Questionnaires were also sent to 752 manufacturing- and real estate companies in Sweden to better understand the demand for EES. The key findings are (1) The purpose of EES is to support energy sales rather than contributing to more efficient use of energy, (2) The demand for EES is weak and it is not stimulated, (3) The sale of direct EES involves high transaction costs, (4) The energy companies lack strategic resources aimed at direct EES and (5) EES are an insignificant part of energy companies’ activities. Our findings lead to the following answer to the overarching research question: the supply of EES does not result in a more efficient use of energy – neither from the viewpoint of public economics nor from the viewpoint of business economics. EES do not result in a economic, efficient use of energy, since managing these services requires too many resources. In addition, primarily indirect EES are sold, with limited effects on energy efficiency. Apart from this, the few direct EES that are put into practice bring about high transaction costs meaning that society’s costs for increasing energy efficiency exceed what is gained in terms of better performance. The comparative study of EES concerning the Swedish and the British market shows that it is likely that supply of EES on other deregulated markets will have similar consequences.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law
Resource Based View
Business Analysis and Management Accounting