Energy prices have increased exponentially over the past year. This has forced many companies to search for ways to decrease spending in order to avoid having customers shoulder the burden of increased production costs. “Interest in our economical solutions has grown dramatically in the past couple months. Fortunately, for our customers, our stable supply chain will allow us to realize these projects by the end of this year,” Vladimír Hanák, Veolia Energies business development manager, told us.
Are companies beginning to feel the effect of the ever-increasing energy prices?
I would definitely say yes. Everyday, we receive dozens of phone calls not only from private company representatives, but also municipalities and healthcare providers looking for solutions to decrease their energy expenditures. These customers generally choose to replace their lighting units or purchase a photovoltaic power plant, maximizing savings, however, it would ideally include a combination of these measures.
You mentioned that recently, your customers are asking to have their lights replaced. What kind of customer might be interested in this service?
Lighting unit replacement is a great solution to essentially anyone looking to save money on lighting. The amount of money our customers can save depends on their current lighting system and their operating hours. Customarily, however, our solutions offer savings ranging from 57 to 88 percent.
Most often, we replace outdated suspended sodium lamps with LED lighting. Certain spaces only require the maintenance of light points and a replacement of old lamps with new ones. We implement our solutions on a turnkey basis, which means that we take care of the disassembly of the old lighting system, including ceiling cleaning, and ecological disposal of any building materials along with the original lights.
Can your lighting replacement solutions be implemented in a way that does not disturb production?
We always realize our projects in a way that does not disturb the flow of production. We are flexible, which means that we can adapt to the work schedule of any company.
Photovoltaic power plants are another solution you offer. Is the field of photovoltaics also experiencing new innovations?
Yes, it is a field that is continuously being perfected. For example, we offer solar panels that turn their photovoltaic cells towards the sun, thereby following the sun’s path throughout the entire day and increasing energy production efficiency. We also provide double-sided panels that are installed on a special type of foil that reflects incoming sunlight. This solution also helps increase the power plant’s efficiency. Furthermore, solar panels no longer have to only be located on the roof of a building, they can now also be mounted on walls, perpendicular to the ground. This offers great future potential for agrophotovotaics on farmland or hydrophotovoltaics. We are able to include these new technologies in any of our project proposals because we are working with a dozen of the largest global photovoltaic panel producers.
What does the financing of these ecological projects look like?
As far as lighting replacement is concerned, making use of so-called energetics services with guaranteed savings, also known as EPCs (Energy Performing Contracts), is becoming increasingly popular. The advantage of this particular solution is that the investment is paid off from the savings themselves, meaning that the supplier contractually guarantees them. This way, companies are not compelled to make a large one-time investment, which they might have had to cover by taking out a loan.
When installing a new photovoltaic power plant, customers can make use of the National Recovery Plan grant program, which covers 35 percent of eligible costs, and half of the expenses for battery storage on top of that. Needless to say that we offer our customers an order-made overview of their grant options as well as an analysis and recommendation of whether asking for the grant will be worthwhile for them.
What other services do you offer within the scope of your projects?
We essentially offer a complete turnkey implementation of our solutions. We aid our clients in gathering the necessary information for savings calculations and project proposals, we take care of any necessary documentation for the building permit, we assist with connecting the new system to the electrical grid and with getting approval from the fire department. We also offer post-warranty service, or even energetics management. One of our great advantages is the fact that we employ a stable team of experts and constructors, which means that the realizations of our projects do not experience needless delays.
Mr Hanák, thank you for the interview.
Text a foto: Veolia Energie ČR, a.s.