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Shell. Photo: Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Oil-and-gas giant Royal Dutch Shell and two partners rolled out a new business unit Thursday that provides a suite of energy services to buildings, such as heating and cooling, efficient lighting, controls, and electric vehicle charging.

Why it matters: It's the latest wrinkle in the growing movement of some of the largest multinational oil companies — especially European-headquartered players — into the electricity space, although it remains a small part of their overall portfolios.

  • Shell's new unit, called Shell Energy Inside, provides services on a "subscription" basis, wherein customers pay fixed monthly expenses.

The backdrop: For instance, today the Norwegian oil-and-gas giant Equinor announced its latest move in renewable energy: an $82 million deal to obtain an almost 10% share in the multinational solar power company Scatec Solar ASA.

Where it stands: Shell is working with two companies in the U.S. market to offer the power services to commercial, industrial and municipal buildings.

  • Sparkfund, which specializes in providing various building energy technologies on a subscription basis.
  • GridPoint, which provides "smart building" controls, software and analytics.

Background: Shell states on its website that, in deregulated markets, the Shell Energy Inside services will be bundled with retail power from Shell Energy North America and its Texas-based subsidiary MP2 Energy.

  • Shell recently soft-launched Shell Energy Inside when VP of energy solutions Brian Davis mentioned it in an interview with Greentech Media.
  • Thursday marks the formal rollout and identification of partners.

What they're saying: I chatted with Sparkfund CEO Pier LaFarge. He argued that the subscription offering is part of a broader way of imaging how energy services are provided, much the same way that, say, Netflix has shaken up entertainment.

  • “We have iPhone-d the delivery of energy outcomes inside the building and we keep all of the crazy behind the curtain," he said.
  • LaFarge said the work with Shell and GridPoint represents "business model innovation, not just technology innovation."

The big picture: Shell Energy Inside is part of Shell's wider "new energies" division, which is aimed at low-carbon fuels and power. Shell said last year that it's investing $1 billion–$2 billion per year in the new energies division until 2020.

Go deeper

Attempting to reform gig work via co-ops

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ride-hailing service The Drivers Cooperative recently debuted in New York City, claiming that its lack of VC funding would result in better driver pay and lower passenger costs.

Why it matters: TDC’s approach is a direct rebuke to the venture capital-fueled gig economy model.

1 hour ago - World

Conservative cleric Raisi elected Iran's president

Raisi gives a press conference after voting. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty

Hardliner Ebrahim Raisi easily won Friday's presidential election in Iran, recording 62% of the vote with more than 90% of ballots counted.

Why it matters: Currently the head of Iran's judiciary, Raisi is a close confidant of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and has the support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). His victory solidifies him as a leading candidate to succeed Khamenei, though Friday's low turnout speaks to the disillusionment of many Iranian voters.

Juneteenth forces U.S. to confront lasting impact of slavery economy

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Corbis, Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Juneteenth, a once-obscure commemoration of emancipation of enslaved people in Texas, has transformed into an annual reminder about how slavery robbed Black Americans of generational wealth.

Why it matters: That lack of generational wealth still denies Black families the economic security that many white families take for granted.