Energy companies are looking for ways in which they can mitigate the reflection of increased energy prices on their customers. Veolia decided to follow the path of offering economical solutions, new products and innovation in energetics and heating. “We continuously adapt our strategy to current events and focus on risk prevention. Our goal is to offer the widest portfolio of fuels, including biomethane and hydrogen, which we consider to be the fuels of the future, while maintaining diverse input options,” Jakub Tobola, business director of Veolia, said.

What is Veolia doing in order to make the current crisis as tolerable as possible for the consumer?

The current energy crisis is placing a lot of pressure not only on consumers, but energy producers and providers as well. Veolia makes an effort to purchase fuel, CO2 allowances and other inputs ahead of time. We make our purchases up to three years in advance in order to avoid exactly what we are seeing on the energy market today- a rapid increase in energy prices. This is one way in which we try to mitigate rising prices and minimize the impact this would have on our clients.

It is also important to mention that Veolia purchases all of its input materials in accordance with many experts that concern themselves in this field daily. Thanks to this, we are able to purchase at prices unreachable by smaller consumers. This means that we are able to produce heat at expenditures that are fundamentally lower than what, for example, a housing association might reach. Consequently, many consumers that parted ways with us in the past are currently returning, as they have realized that our approach and level of expertise in fuel purchasing can save them money.

Natural gas prices have increased significantly, are you working on decreasing your dependence on it?

In our transfer away from coal, natural gas is definitely not the only resource we rely on. Our goal is to offer the widest selection of fuels and maintain diverse input options. Other than natural gas, our fuel mix is also made up of biomass, energy that is produced from  waste and other future oriented options, such as  biomethane or hydrogen.

Do you offer your customers other options for energy saving and self-sufficiency?

We offer our customers a number of options, not only to save energy, but also money directly. We created an energy saving program which offers our customers advice on how they can decrease their costs. We provide them with economical solutions that drive down their energy bills.

Housing associations are among the smallest, yet most plentiful entities within our clientele. As far as they are concerned, we can offer them, for example, a means to produce their own energy through photovoltaic power plants, which we are also equipped to install into apartment complexes.

Needless to say that our customers can also take measures on their own. For instance, by lowering the temperature in their houses by a single degree celsius, they will save around 6% on their heating bill. This is but one example of how our customers can begin saving on their own. Similar measures, however, have their limits, meaning that if we want to save further, we will need to resort to marginally more sophisticated solutions. Seeing a demand for solutions such as the aforementioned photovoltaic power plant has skyrocketed in the past year, and we have significantly expanded our team of experts in this field in order to allow all of our customer’s needs to be met.

Can this crisis also have a positive side?

The energy crisis carries with it a list of negative effects, namely increased energy costs, on the other hand, however, it is also a great learning opportunity. Dealing with these negative conditions is a chance for all of us to carefully consider our use of energy, and ways in which we can make better use of it in our living and working environments. Realizing the importance of making effective use of precious energy is a meaningful lesson to learn.

We are trying to learn as much as we can from this crisis as well. Thanks to the fact that Veolia is a global company, we can use measures taken by our colleagues in different countries as inspiration, which allows us to harness the best practices in not only the energy, but also water industry, to provide our customers here in the Czechia with the best and most efficient solutions.

Mr Tobola, thank you for the interview.