Romande Energie is the leading electricity supplier in French-speaking Switzerland and the fifth-largest electricity distributor in Switzerland. Based in Morges in the canton of Vaud, the company covers all activities in the energy value chain, from production and distribution to marketing and services.
Romande Energie comprises a holding company (Romande Energie Holding SA) with three subsidiaries specializing in electricity production and distribution (Romande Energie SA), marketing and sales (Romande Energie Commerce SA), and services (Romande Energie Services SA).
The group in its present form was created in 1997 as a result of the merger between two regional electricity producers: Compagnie vaudoise d’électricité (CVE) and Société Romande d’Electricité (SRE). “The companies’ origins date back more than 130 years,” says Philippe Durr, Director of Romande Energie Commerce SA and member of the Executive Committee of Romande Energie Holding SA. “One of them was the first supplier of energy to the region.”
Romande Energie operates in an energy market which has only been partially liberalized. “Clients with a power consumption of more than 100,000 kWh/year can freely choose their supplier,” explains Mr. Durr. “All others have to meet their energy demands through the regional provider. The market will be completely liberalized in the near future. The topic has been discussed for a long time, but a fixed date has not been set yet.”
At the same time, there is a persistent trend towards smaller, autonomous energy suppliers again, producing electricity in the region, for the region. “This development requires providers to offer additional services on top of production to ensure grid stability and energy availability at all times,” states Mr. Durr.
Romande Energie currently supplies 300,000 customers in the region with a consumption of less than 100,000 kWh/year and several thousand clients across Switzerland above the consumption threshold. The company has 850 employees and revenues of 600 million CHF. “These numbers will continue to increase as we are pursuing a growth strategy which also includes acquisitions,” says Mr. Durr.
Romande Energie offers its regional customers four electricity products which set the company apart from the competition: 100% renewable energy generated through Swiss hydro power (Terre Suisse), 100% renewable energy from small, regional hydropower plants (Terre Romande), a combination of hydroelectric and solar power from local production (Terre d’ici), and a basic tariff without proof of origin (Brut).
“We have a strong focus on renewables and regional production,” explains Mr. Durr. “We believe that Swissmade environmentally friendly electricity is better than hydroelectric power from Norway.” In addition to electricity, Romande Energie offers broadband fiberglass Internet access and value-adding services, enabling its customers to reduce their energy consumption.
Romande Energie is also advancing smart energy solutions in cooperation with ETH Lausanneand other technical universities in Switzerland. “We have created a microgrid technology which can be used for developing a new urban district,” says Mr. Durr, giving an example. “It is a turnkey autonomous energy solution which can be installed in a very short time.”
Last but not least, Romande Energie provides customized installation services for photovoltaic plants, heat pumps and district heating systems. “Our goal is to grow our services and activities further along the entire value chain,” concludes Mr. Durr.