Triple Pundit – Consider This Tool to Fight Climate Change: Energy as a Service

Climate change does not have a technology problem; it has a political problem. The challenge is not only in the traditional sense of politics, but also in the structural barriers that prevent the full transition to a clean energy economy. The electric utility sector is a prime example of how doing business as usual gets in the way of taking meaningful action to address climate change risks. One idea for addressing this challenge is the energy as a service (EaaS) model.

One huge problem utilities, and their customers, face today

Currently, electric utilities are designed to sell units of electricity. That reality drives business decisions based on the amount of electricity sold, regardless of other costs, such as social or environmental costs. Although some utilities factor in such costs into how they price their services, it is not the prevalent method that U.S. utilities have adopted.

In order to transition to a clean energy market, certain barriers must be overcome: in particular, high upfront technology costs. Further, capital constraints on the customer side, as well as uncertainty about the efficacy of a certain technology’s performance, can also hinder a utility’s efforts to invest in new technologies.

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