Helping Gaz de France develop a retail power business through flexible pricing and demand forecasting solutions
“Close collaboration with Capgemini has made it possible to implement the necessary tools to develop our retail business activity, with the flexibility to accommodate market evolutions as well as our own expansion.”
Yves Debailleul, Head of Electricity Retail, Commercial Division, Gaz de France
As the incumbent natural gas player in France, Gaz de France faces new challenges and opportunities from gas deregulation and public shareholding. On the one hand, gas deregulation awarded French business customers – about 550,000 sites – the right to choose suppliers in mid-2004. On the other hand, a minority share of the company’s equity was sold to the public in the second half of 2005.
In this context, Gaz de France decided to grow a material presence in the French electricity market and beyond. The objectives are two-fold: Retain gas customers through dual offerings, and become a primary challenger to ElectricitÃ© de France in the French market.
Given the stakes for the company and the specificities of electricity retail as compared to gas, Gaz de France decided to implement a range of specific applications to support the new activities. Capgemini, in collaboration with SAS, was entrusted with the challenge to address two core business solutions, pricing and demand forecasting.
While pricing focuses on the management of offers and contracts to fit client needs, demand forecasting ensures optimal energy purchases to avoid imbalance penalties. Both solutions play a key role to manage profitability of the retail business, which typically displays small margins in deregulated markets.
Both solutions are now live to support electricity customer acquisition for Gaz de France. The company has embedded its own expertise in the requirements, thus ensuring that the result remains proprietary.
In addition, business experts at Gaz de France who worked on the projects, and are now key application users, underpin effective knowledge transfer. This allows Gaz de France to capitalize on its early experience and fine-tune various parameters and operation procedures of the new retail business.