9.20 Eneco Energie

Eneco Holding N.V. is one of the top three energy companies in the Netherlands, and specializes in the production, trading, transmission and supply of gas, electricity and heat and related services. Eneco was founded in 1995 from a merger of the energy companies of Rotterdam, The Hague and Dordrecht, and today serves two million business and domestic customers. The company is headquartered in Rotterdam and employs some 3,500 people.

The company is moving from fossil fuels to alternative and sustainable energy sources, and is active in the trading of sustainable energy products and CO2 certificates. {5} {6} {7}

Flower-Producing Greenhouses

Important customers of natural gas are the flower-producing greenhouses of the Netherlands, and Eneco was able to break the intense price competition by offering flower-growing companies a complete service. After studying customer requirements, Eneco commissioned a system that monitored and controlled the carbon dioxide levels and greenhouse temperatures. The system's more efficient use of gas allowed Eneco to sell a commodity as a premium-price service. {1}

The software was designed by Yokogawa, and the key factors of the system were: {2}

1. A General Packet Radio Service {3} in place of a traditional IP/TCP network to reduce cable costs.
2. Adaptation of existing components (notably temperature monitors and CO2 meters).
3. Fast/Tools software package that monitored and set the required greenhouse conditions, and which could be viewed on the Eneco website.
4. An off-the-shelf system, modified by Yokogawa, quickly installed and backed by a long-term service contract to each customer.

Points to Note

1. Outside-in, customer-first approach.
2. Selling of a commodity under severe price competition as a premium service.
3. Advantages of Internet technologies.


1. How did Eneco Energie break into the intense price competition of natural gas sales?
2. Describe the Yokogawa control system.
3. What Internet technologies are employed by the Yokogawa system, and what is the mutual gain to the parties concerned?

Sources and Further Reading

1. Strategy from the Outside In by George S. Day and Christine Moorman. McGraw Hill. 2010. 211-2.
2. Stardom and Fast/Tools Integrated SCADA Solution for Heat and CO2 Custody Transfer System. Yokogawa. August 2005.
3. General Packet Radio Service. Wikipedia. Basics of this 2G and 3G cellular communication systems global system for mobile communications.
4. Wind set fair for Island by Martin Neville. Isle of Wight County Press Online. January 2010.
5. Experts about Energy: 2011 and Beyond. Deloitte. 2011. 12-15.
6. Eneco Energie. Wikipedi. Brief entry.
7. Eneco Wikipedia. Fuller article in Dutch.