Schneider and GreenYellow target smaller businesses with energy saving technology
By America Hernandez
PARIS (Reuters) – Schneider Electric and solar startup GreenYellow will target small- and medium-sized European companies hurting from high electricity prices with previously out-of-reach energy saving technology, the firms said on Thursday.
While large energy-intensive businesses have long invested in demand management and so-called “microgrid” systems – which reduce energy use through automated controls, batteries and integrated solar panels – high costs have been a barrier for the smaller firms that are now bearing the brunt of Europe’s energy crisis.
Betting that energy price spikes seen in 2022 will be repeated in winters to come, Schneider and GreenYellow are launching a pay-as-you-go system for smaller clients to access the necessary equipment and a supply of renewable electricity at a guaranteed fixed price below predicted market rates.
The two firms said the three- or four-fold bill increases they expect SME’s to face next year compared to pre-crisis prices means they consider it worthwhile to roll out the offer, even if the sector is considered niche and not of interest to many competitors.
“Family-owned businesses in food, plastic parts manufacturing, retailers, who never had to care about their energy bill, are suddenly in the red,” Philippe Delorme, executive vice president of European Operations at Schneider, told Reuters. “The coming winter will still be tense, there’s still a deficit between supply and demand in the energy system.”
The subscription system will be launched in France, Spain, Portugal and seven countries in Eastern Europe. Plans for a rollout in Germany, parts of Benelux and the Nordic countries are in the works.
(Reporting by America Hernandez; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)