Declining energy consumption and growing investments reduce 2014 profits at Stromnetz
Stromnetz Berlin GmbH increased its investments in Berlin's energy grid in the past year by around 20 per cent, to EUR 139 million (2013 investments: EUR 116 million). At the same time, partly by using more energy efficient devices and processes, Berlin's customers consumed 4.8 per cent less energy than in the previous year. The increasing amounts of money spent on Berlin's energy grid and the reduction in energy consumption cut Stromnetz Berlin GmbH's annual profits by around a third in relation to the previous year (2013: EUR 121 million/2014: EUR 80 million).
"It's no surprise that putting in the investment necessary for timely grid remodeling is restricting our profits," explains Dr Helmar Rendez, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Stromnetz Berlin GmbH. "We are far more reliant on our long-term investment planning, which predicts increasing expenditure in the next few years as well," continues Rendez. Lower electricity sales in 2014 also contributed to the reduced profits, explained Rendez. If less electricity is flowing through the grid overall, that has an automatic effect on the grid operator's business results. In addition to energy saving measures - especially by household customers - the milder weather in autumn and winter also affected electricity sales.
The Berlin company set a new investment record in 2014. Beginning construction on a new substation for Europacity and continued "smart grid" strengthening of the grid were two of the biggest investment milestones in 2014. In 2015 and beyond, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH intends to continue its consistent renovation of the grid and will have invested a total of around EUR 1.4 billion in Berlin's energy grid by 2023. At EUR 72 million, the construction of a cable node in Berlin-Charlottenburg, beginning this year, represents the single largest investment in the history of Berlin's energy grid.
Although all of the network operator's large projects are awarded by European tender, local trade firms and industrial firms often win the bids. This means that around two thirds of expenditure on Berlin's grid feeds back into companies in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.