[Dirk Briese][February, 22 2008]The status of competition in the German billing market shows diverse structures. The companies serve different market segments within the billing market, dependent on their backgrounds and core competences.
Competition is still largely geographically limited to the regional level. Indeed it can be stated that competition exists to a lesser extent between the different service providers than it does between the service providers and those energy suppliers (and local authorities) that to date have performed their own billing. Even today, spun-off billing service providers still account for the majority of holding and affiliated companies.
However, there is movement in the market, which is leading to an increasing external market share for some (full) service providers. Service providers are also recording a small but increasing number of supra-regional market successes in the area of billing. For most companies, though, sales volumes are still generated more from the subprocesses than from full service billing (with the exception of billing for holding and affiliated companies).
Meanwhile, more than 30 billing service providers – up from 15 in 2003 – position themselves explicitly as full service providers. This number is expected to increase further, both from spin-offs, particularly from the larger suppliers, interconnection companies and transmission system operators, and from cooperative activities among the smaller suppliers.
The following table presents a comparison of the billing service providers in Germany, showing their activities in the billing subprocesses as well as the numbers of employees and numbers of meters supervised. This data is based on a study by trend and market research institute trend:research on “Outsourcing in the Billing Process” (Outsourcing in der Verbrauchsabrechnung).
|Company||Billing service subprocesses||Employees||Comment|
|24/7 United Billing||P||C||C||C||C||C||C||N||300||>1.1 m bills|
|A/V/E||N||C||C||C||C||C||C||C||226||>2 m (incl. enviaM customers)|
|BAS||N||C||C||C||C||C||C||C||ca 270||3.2 m meter readings|
|CentraPlus||N||C||C||C||C||P||C||C||ca 180||900,000 meters|
|Drecount||N||P||C||C||C||C||C||C||ca 120||500,000 meters|
|EnBW Vertriebsund Servicegesellschaft||N||P||C||N||C||C||C||C||>1,000||n/a|
|Enseco GmbH||C||C||C||C||C||C||C||C||300||>3 m meters|
|Entega Service||C||C||C||C||P||C||C||C||198||ca 820,000 meters|
|Envia Service||N||C||C||P||C||C||N||N||ca 260||n/a (responsible 1.6 m enviaM customers)|
|EVU Zählwerk||N||C||C||N||N||C||N||N||n/a||678,000 meters 843,000 meter readings|
|Factur||N||C||C||C||C||C||C||C||150||>300,000 supervised end customers|
|ISG Abrechnungs-service||Portfolio not yet known||ca 30 (estimated)||n/a|
|LAS GmbH||N||C||C||C||C||C||P||C||ca 160||ca 550,000 meters|
|Mainova Service Dienste GmbH||N||C||C||N||C||P||N||N||n/a||1.42 m meters|
|NEW Service||C||C||C||C||C||C||n/a||350,000 meters|
|Prego Services||N||N||C||N||N||C||C||C||ca 250||n/a|
|Regiocom||P||C||C||C||C||C||C||C||400||3 m meters|
|rhein ruhr partner||Portfolio not yet known||135 (estimated)||700,000 meters|
|swb Messung und Abrechnung||C||C||C||C||C||C||C||C||186||ca 900,000 meters|
|SWM Services||Portfolio not made public||n/a||n/a|
Footnote for table:
M – Metering, MR – Meter reading, BESC – Billing energy supply contracts, P/M – Print/mailing, CS – Customer service, ARM – Accounts receiveable management, B/IT – Billing/IT (licences, system management), EDM – Energy data management
N – no process coverage, P – partial process coverage, C – complete process coverage