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Svenska fjärrvärmebolags försäljningsstrategier i småhusområden

Persson, Tommy LU and Sernhed, Kerstin LU (2004) In Värmegles 2004:13 2004:13.
Abstract
District heating is well expanded in the residential areas in Sweden, although not in

detached house areas. Increased environmental concerns as well as steadily increasing

electricity and oil prices make the detached houses sector a potential market for the

district heating companies.

District heating in low heat density areas is economically challenging for mainly two

reasons: Firstly, construction of the district heating system implicate large investment

costs. Secondly, the distributions costs, particularly for heat losses, will be larger in

systems with low heat density. In order to maximize the line heat density and to

reduce the investment cost per house a high... (More)
District heating is well expanded in the residential areas in Sweden, although not in

detached house areas. Increased environmental concerns as well as steadily increasing

electricity and oil prices make the detached houses sector a potential market for the

district heating companies.

District heating in low heat density areas is economically challenging for mainly two

reasons: Firstly, construction of the district heating system implicate large investment

costs. Secondly, the distributions costs, particularly for heat losses, will be larger in

systems with low heat density. In order to maximize the line heat density and to

reduce the investment cost per house a high rate of connections in the area is essential.

Hence the economic prerequisites bring about a market situation in which the district

heating companies are required to connect as many customers as possible within a

specific area at the same time.

The aim of this study is to find out what kind of strategies the district heating

companies use for selling district heating to detached house owners. Our hope is that

this study will help transferring knowledge and experiences between the district

heating companies; that is identify efforts for new, successful strategies and to make

some specific contributions to these new strategies.

Methods used in this study were a survey that was sent to all of the members of The

Swedish District Heating Association and telephone interviews with some of the

companies that answered the survey. The rate of answers in the survey was 30 % and

the number of interviews was 17.

Results from the statistical analysis show that the size of a company is an important

factor for the expansions rate. As measurements of company size either the company’s

amount of customers, or the company’s total amount of heat sold per year, have been

used. Not very surprising, large companies seem to connect a higher number of new

customers in detached houses per year compared to smaller companies. Also, a

correlation between the supply of cheap fuel in the production mix and the expansion

rate has been found, although the correlation is rather weak.

Many companies use sales processes that are similar to each other. The first step in the

sales process is to investigate the customer interest for district heating within the area.

This is accomplished either by sending out interest inquiries to the potential customers

and arranging information meetings, or by assigning an already interested customer to

investigate the interest for district heating in the neighbourhood. A combination of the

different activities also exists. The next step is contract signing. The customer is

usually tied up by the contract to connect to district heating when the system is

expanded to the area, whereas the company does not guarantee any connection unless

a sufficient rate of connections can be achieved in the area. Several companies also

perform sales to latecomers during or after the erection of the system.The figure above discloses results from the study regarding which information

companies have or collect about their potential customers. The information mainly

concerns physical factors that can be used for estimating heat load in an area, factors

that can be used to determine the heat sources presently used by the customer and the

age of boilers and equipment in the houses. Some companies have been rather active

when it comes to physical factors and for instance used the public record of energy

wells in order to get an indication of the existence of heat pumps in the area. This is

one example of an interesting move that other companies surely can adopt.

Social factors like income, profession, education and age of household members are

hardly examined at all. This kind of information is needed by the district heating

companies for them to be able to offer customer specific solutions or to sharpen the

argumentation when marketing district heating. From this viewpoint the customer is

still seen merely a heat load in the district heating system.

When the company presents their offer to connect houses to the grid the customers are

not always in the situation where they can change heat source right away. The district

heating companies have developed a variety of strategies to deal with this problem.

Some companies offer compensation to the customer for the old heat source or assist

in mediating the customer’s old boiler to a buyer. If the customers’ heating device

breaks down before the house has been connected to the district heating system, some

companies arrange a temporary solution for the customer. A small number of

companies offer a resting connection if the customer for some reason doesn’t want to

connect to the district heating system straight away. Only very few companies offer

services that stand out from the core business ”to sell heat to detached houses”. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Book/Report
publication status
published
subject
keywords
fjärrvärme, småhus, fjärrvärmebolag, försäljningsstrategier, värmegles
in
Värmegles 2004:13
volume
2004:13
pages
68 pages
publisher
Svensk Fjärrvärme
ISSN
1401-9264
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
309ba5e4-e5f3-4c88-ad0a-f9a631e173bc (old id 576651)
date added to LUP
2007-11-22 18:07:29
date last changed
2016-04-16 04:41:53
@techreport{309ba5e4-e5f3-4c88-ad0a-f9a631e173bc,
  abstract     = {District heating is well expanded in the residential areas in Sweden, although not in<br/><br>
detached house areas. Increased environmental concerns as well as steadily increasing<br/><br>
electricity and oil prices make the detached houses sector a potential market for the<br/><br>
district heating companies.<br/><br>
District heating in low heat density areas is economically challenging for mainly two<br/><br>
reasons: Firstly, construction of the district heating system implicate large investment<br/><br>
costs. Secondly, the distributions costs, particularly for heat losses, will be larger in<br/><br>
systems with low heat density. In order to maximize the line heat density and to<br/><br>
reduce the investment cost per house a high rate of connections in the area is essential.<br/><br>
Hence the economic prerequisites bring about a market situation in which the district<br/><br>
heating companies are required to connect as many customers as possible within a<br/><br>
specific area at the same time.<br/><br>
The aim of this study is to find out what kind of strategies the district heating<br/><br>
companies use for selling district heating to detached house owners. Our hope is that<br/><br>
this study will help transferring knowledge and experiences between the district<br/><br>
heating companies; that is identify efforts for new, successful strategies and to make<br/><br>
some specific contributions to these new strategies.<br/><br>
Methods used in this study were a survey that was sent to all of the members of The<br/><br>
Swedish District Heating Association and telephone interviews with some of the<br/><br>
companies that answered the survey. The rate of answers in the survey was 30 % and<br/><br>
the number of interviews was 17.<br/><br>
Results from the statistical analysis show that the size of a company is an important<br/><br>
factor for the expansions rate. As measurements of company size either the company’s<br/><br>
amount of customers, or the company’s total amount of heat sold per year, have been<br/><br>
used. Not very surprising, large companies seem to connect a higher number of new<br/><br>
customers in detached houses per year compared to smaller companies. Also, a<br/><br>
correlation between the supply of cheap fuel in the production mix and the expansion<br/><br>
rate has been found, although the correlation is rather weak.<br/><br>
Many companies use sales processes that are similar to each other. The first step in the<br/><br>
sales process is to investigate the customer interest for district heating within the area.<br/><br>
This is accomplished either by sending out interest inquiries to the potential customers<br/><br>
and arranging information meetings, or by assigning an already interested customer to<br/><br>
investigate the interest for district heating in the neighbourhood. A combination of the<br/><br>
different activities also exists. The next step is contract signing. The customer is<br/><br>
usually tied up by the contract to connect to district heating when the system is<br/><br>
expanded to the area, whereas the company does not guarantee any connection unless<br/><br>
a sufficient rate of connections can be achieved in the area. Several companies also<br/><br>
perform sales to latecomers during or after the erection of the system.The figure above discloses results from the study regarding which information<br/><br>
companies have or collect about their potential customers. The information mainly<br/><br>
concerns physical factors that can be used for estimating heat load in an area, factors<br/><br>
that can be used to determine the heat sources presently used by the customer and the<br/><br>
age of boilers and equipment in the houses. Some companies have been rather active<br/><br>
when it comes to physical factors and for instance used the public record of energy<br/><br>
wells in order to get an indication of the existence of heat pumps in the area. This is<br/><br>
one example of an interesting move that other companies surely can adopt.<br/><br>
Social factors like income, profession, education and age of household members are<br/><br>
hardly examined at all. This kind of information is needed by the district heating<br/><br>
companies for them to be able to offer customer specific solutions or to sharpen the<br/><br>
argumentation when marketing district heating. From this viewpoint the customer is<br/><br>
still seen merely a heat load in the district heating system.<br/><br>
When the company presents their offer to connect houses to the grid the customers are<br/><br>
not always in the situation where they can change heat source right away. The district<br/><br>
heating companies have developed a variety of strategies to deal with this problem.<br/><br>
Some companies offer compensation to the customer for the old heat source or assist<br/><br>
in mediating the customer’s old boiler to a buyer. If the customers’ heating device<br/><br>
breaks down before the house has been connected to the district heating system, some<br/><br>
companies arrange a temporary solution for the customer. A small number of<br/><br>
companies offer a resting connection if the customer for some reason doesn’t want to<br/><br>
connect to the district heating system straight away. Only very few companies offer<br/><br>
services that stand out from the core business ”to sell heat to detached houses”.},
  author       = {Persson, Tommy and Sernhed, Kerstin},
  institution  = {Svensk Fjärrvärme},
  issn         = {1401-9264},
  keyword      = {fjärrvärme,småhus,fjärrvärmebolag,försäljningsstrategier,värmegles},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {68},
  series       = {Värmegles 2004:13},
  title        = {Svenska fjärrvärmebolags försäljningsstrategier i småhusområden},
  volume       = {2004:13},
  year         = {2004},
}