- The energy business is changing . For gas and electricity knocked households until recently with their energy company. Nowadays, more and more households generate their own energy through solar panels. When home batteries appear that households and industry can store power for later use , the role of energy suppliers seems played out.
Hans Valk, director Innovation at Eneco, do not expect the technological changes mean the end of the power company, but the role does change. "We go from provider to provider."
Energy is an important topic in the smart home market. In 2012 Eneco Show was one of the first parties to introduce the smart thermostat in the living room. Meanwhile, even major players like Google (Nest) discovered this lucrative market.
By the early introduction of Show Eneco has a lead, but to maintain this, it is necessary to continue innovating. Falcon is aware that the energy giant can not do alone. "Innovation is about connection. We can not do it alone," Falcon said so last week during the Innovation of the company where startups presented their ideas.
With a budget of € 100 million are the startups in line to work with the energy giant. Valk and his team thing gems out to fish there. By far the best collaboration to date that with Toon developer Quby. These smart thermostat now go about 3,000 copies per week over the counter. The cabinet is central to the new service role of the company. "Show goes in the future managing energy flows. What do you think of the energy generated by your solar panels is happening. Do you sell it or charge you the battery of your electric car already on it?"
Eneco has a majority stake in Quby, but that does not apply to all startups where it cooperates. Eneco has no interest in the company Sustainer Homes which shipping containers converted to a self-sufficient houses. However abolished the first such house that is completely independent of the power grid and water and gas pipes. The balance between the different systems, like solar panels, wind turbines, battery energy storage and heat pumps, the energy giant is interesting for the development of new services.
Eneco also focuses on startups. ZonPlusStroom is a utility designed for people with solar panels. Customers of all energy suppliers can join the cause, but for Eneco customers are free services.
The concept of Peeeks comes from its own ranks. "We had the concept, but not the right people to get to work there go," said Falcon. Along with entrepreneurs from Yes! Delft The plans have been further developed and both have half the shares. Peeeks offers smart software that large corporate users such as cold stores and skating rinks can adjust based on the current price. When deficits in the energy market systems are turned off and a negative current price go cool properly.
Collaborating with startups means that a company like Eneco itself is smaller. "All corporate companies are smaller," is the belief of Falcon. Large companies always thought, if it is important, I do it myself. In the future we will only concern ourselves with what we are good at. "