lectrica Serv provides maintenance and energy services, with the mission to ensure the permanent supply of electricity to consumers in conditions of maximum efficiency. The company is the oldest in its field in Romania, benefiting from over 120 years experience.
Electricaserv has a long standing tradition in the Romanian market, as the oldest player in its field of activity. What is the company focusing on at present?
The focus at the moment is on introducing new products in our portfolio, in addition to maintenance and energy services which represent the core of our work. The key area of development will be renewable energy, with priority solar energy. We are waiting for EFA (The Environmental Fund Administration) to green light the program concerning photovoltaic panels, hopefully very soon so that it can be applied within the envisioned timeline. We trust the program will be very successful, the reason being that we are noticing great interest among consumers, and we welcome the decision to make it available for off-grid residences as well. We hope that a follow up program will be put forward in the future.
We are not limiting ourselves to this program, however, in parallel we are also preparing an initiative that will address the needs of companies and other legal entities. There is great appetite for solar energy on their side also, because it will reduce considerably their energy bills and it will allow them to recover the investment in a relatively short timeframe. For a standard company, with a regular working schedule, the recovery can be made in about two to five years. It is also very advantageous because the life span of the panels can reach up to 25 years, and the warranty that we offer as a company is up to 12 years, not very common among our peers.
You have recently reached an agreement with local producer in this respect. How did the collaboration come about and what contribution will each of the companies bring?
We are happy we were able to join forces with another Romanian company and create valuable work for the country. In terms of contribution, Electricom will provide the photovoltaic kits, through their modern production facilities, and also the implementation design. On our side, we will be responsible for installation and maintenance, as well as ensuring the warranty and corrective work where necessary.
How do you expect the high appetite for solar energy to impact the local landscape?
Renewable energy will not necessarily be generated in addition to the energy we are producing today, rather it will have a role of compensation, replacing energy produced through classic sources like coal. This is in line with EU objectives to reduce carbon emissions, and also acts as a means to balance the market during low production times, which is much needed.
We expect that storage capabilities will become common in the Romanian market further down the road. Germany has many initiatives in this area, but in Romania the capabilities are still rather limited. This is mainly because technology prices are still on the high end, and would require investments that may be better used at this point in time to develop production. It is a good moment for this considering that prices for photovoltaic technology has decreased five times compared to 2012.
Does Electrica Serv plan to expand into new geographies?
We do not have any works under way presently, but in the past we have collaborated very well with countries in the Middle East area (airlines, transportation, supply, transmission stations etc.). We are open to new collaborations - for instance we are now waiting on the opening of a bid in Bulgaria, which would give as an entry in the market. Any other European market is of interest, and we plan to undertake a promotional campaign, to create visibility over our traditional services and also these new areas that we are developing.
Are there any particular challenges that you are noticing in the Romanian business environment at present?
One area that affects us directly and that we would like to see improved is related to recent legislation in the construction field, including in the energy sector. The state has proposed fiscal facilities for employees, which stipulate a minimum salary of RON 3,000 (EUR 650). The issue is that this facility applies only to companies whose turnover includes at least 80% work in the construction field. Although we have a branch that is focused specifically in this area, as a group we do not qualify because our overall work spans across various sectors. We find this to be a very narrow interpretation of the law, that unfortunately causes our employees to miss out on a valuable advantage.
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