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07. April 2016

Public utilities, expansion of business segments and cooperation with municipalities: a recapitulation

During the event organised by Rödl & Partner, managing directors of public utilities and other market actors reported on their experiences when building up market segments and on the further future development of core activities. The highlights of the talks and discussions were as follows:

"There is no patented recipe for success."

The business models which are successful at one public utility might not necessarily work at another. Regional differences or varying market conditions can prevent projects from being transferred from one company to another on a one-for-one basis.

"Customer retention is important."

In order to counteract increasing competition in sales,  the positioning of products with long contract durations (e.g. heat, energy supply for tenants) and the implementation of appropriate marketing tools (e.g. customer cards, subsidy programmes) are critical for success.

"Yes to renewables, but not at any price.”

Investing in renewables can be advantageous from an image perspective, but should also be viewed as an investment with yields commensurate to the risk.  For that reason it is preferable to develop projects in-house rather than buying in ready-developed projects, wherever possible.

The moderator, Mr. Lamprecht, (Editor in Chief of the magazine Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen) pointed out that local/regional conflicting goals concerning the expansion of renewable energies and potential resistance from members of the public can sometimes mean that such projects can lead to images being tarnished rather than boosted. He also emphasised that the perception that license award procedures and grid take-overs would largely serve to occupy consultants and courts and would not be successfully implemented is not accurate. He went on to say that numerous successful examples had demonstrated that municipalisation is to be considered a great opportunity for public utilities.

Dr. Matthias Koch, Rödl & Partner Cologne, Tel. 00 49 221-949909-216, matthias.koch (at) roedl.com
Anton Berger, Rödl & Partner Nürnberg, Tel. 00 49 911-9193-3601, anton.berger (at) roedl.com

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