Energy market

Using solar power to counter the German gas levy

Ralph Stemper, Head of Structured Sales

Ralph Stemper



For companies of all sizes, financing solar projects has never been easier

German companies really don’t have it easy at the moment. After corona lockdowns and supply bottlenecks, it is now primarily the war in Ukraine that is making “business as usual” impossible and causing balance sheets to go awry. Most recently, a survey by BVMW (German Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses) revealed that almost three quarters of German companies are suffering from the rising energy prices. Around two-fifths even see their existence.1

From October, most companies will have to pay an additional gas surcharge. This is intended to protect importers who until recently have relied on Russian gas and now have to buy expensive gas elsewhere to insolvency. How exactly the gas levy will be implemented and which companies will benefit from it is currently still the subject of heated debate. Markus Jerger, chairman of the BVMW warns that the levy could further worsen the precarious situation of many SMEs. “And it is to be feared that the gas levy will continue to rise after the regular evaluations.” 2

Despite all the uncertainties of the energy market, one thing can be said for sure: In the medium term, electricity will remain expensive. Companies would be wise to become more independent from the open energy market. For this, photovoltaics on the company roof is one of the simplest and most effective options. The good news: There is a whole range of smart financial solutions out there for companies reluctant to invest in their own system.

Energy-as-a-Service as a means to energy independence

Particularly easy and low-risk: ENVIRIAs Energy-as-a-Service concept. In this model, ENVIRIA takes over the financing, installation and even the operational management of a solar power plant on the customer’s company roof. The customer pays a fixed fee for the use of the plant and in return saves between 20 and 60 percent on their monthly electricity bill for every kilowatt hour of green electricity generated. Not to mention the positive effects on the ESG rating and the company image, which could represent a competitive advantage when recruiting young talents. You can find out more about how the model works here.

One company that has already gone down this path is Maja furniture factory in Bavaria, which produces high-quality furniture for IKEA and other international companies. For this customer, ENVIRIA installed a high-performance rooftop solar system while also adapting the electrical infrastructure on site. With ENVIRIA as the sole point of contact in all phases of the project, Maja had hardly any additional organizational work on their hands: While work on the roof proceeded quickly and professionally, the employees inside the factory could continue to concentrate on their demanding core business.

Today, the company produces not only furniture but also a great deal of energy, most of which it consumes itself. As a result, it has significantly reduced its energy costs – and doesn’t have to worry quite as much about the developments in the electricity market.

Solar financing tailored to the needs of the client

In addition to the popular Energy-as-a-Service model, ENVIRIA offers a whole range of other alternatives for getting into solar energy in an uncomplicated and low-risk way. For example, it is possible for companies that use little energy on their premises to unused roof space to ENVIRIA for solar use. In addition to monthly rental income, this solution also brings tangible benefits in terms of ESG scores and employer branding.

A concept still largely unknown in Germany but particularly attractive for real estate funds is the sale-and-lease-back principle. Here, the customer buys a PV system from ENVIRIA and leases it right back to the solar provider. In this model, as in the ones mentioned above, the company benefits from low-cost green electricity and a better ESG rating. More importantly, however, the smart detour means that the operation of the solar plant is not considered active management and therefore does not result in any tax disadvantages for the customer.

The times when installing a solar plant on the company roof was synonymous with risky investments and bureaucratic hassle are over. Companies of all sizes and from all sectors can benefit from this development – and do their part for the energy transition in the process.



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