Possibility of Integrated Product Service Engineering for a Swedish Utility Supplier toward Economic and Environmental Sustainability
The energy demand of today, with increasing population and the price of fossil fuels in one hand and consequent environmental issues such as climate change and global warming on the other hand, has resulted in global consideration concerning increasing energy efficiency in distribution network. Integrated product/service engineering (IPSE) has been frequently applied to propose integrated product/service offering at different physical product manufacturing companies. However, it has not been utilized at utility providers. Therefore, this project applies IPSE, at a Swedish utility provider to introduce new ideas of business models with the aims of increasing energy efficiency in the distribution network with means of new technologies and energy policy instruments.
Literature survey on IPSE methods to choose the most appropriate method was followed by literature review on smart grid and new technologies as means for utility provider to increase energy efficiency in distribution network. Different IPSE methods has been discussed and investigated recently. For this thesis, however, PSS Layer method was applied to answer the research questions such as customer needs, new technologies, involved actors, the flow of information and service between actors, life cycle activities, associated services, contracts and finances.
Then, interviews with experts at Göteborg Energi AB were implemented to investigate customer demands, available new technologies, economic and technical opportunities and barriers.
Five different integrated product/service proposals by providing the nine dimension of PSS Layer method were designed. In each model, new actors and technologies were introduced to increase value for both customer and utility provider.
As discussion, first, it was shown that the findings in designing new business models at GBE could be generalized to the most of Swedish utility providers. Second, the five proposals with their impacts on GBE were presented and the main aspects of each integrated product/service proposals were discussed. Then, the keys to tackle the problem by designers were described. Finally, the feasibility of the results by PSS layer method was assessed by comparing the method with theory.
Organizing workshops with the attendance of involved actors was recommended to add more details to the proposed business models. For further research, cost-benefit analysis and life cycle assessment were important to analyze the feasibility of proposals.
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