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Logo des frühen Vogels bei EWE The early bird

Digital business models in focus

Pioneering work at EWE

The Group is focusing on the topics of climate protection and digitalisation. These two issues will shape the years and decades to come. At EWE, they go hand in hand and complement each other. But how can this be achieved, in concrete terms? With innovative solutions and new approaches and perspectives!

What is our goal?

Under our Early Bird motto, we are presenting various start-ups, projects and fund investments of the Group, showing how EWE is taking early advantage of the opportunities of digitalisation, and developing digital business models based on these opportunities.
In keeping with this motto, those responsible from the projects explain themselves what makes their own project special, and the good news is that climate protection is often core to their thinking.

Logo der Klima-App Codyo
Codyo – together for more climate protection!

Do I drive my SUV to work or should I ride my bike? Cutlet or salad? Hot bath or cold shower? Since September 2020, EWE’s Codyo climate app has been providing guidance on the climate impact of everyday decisions like these. And that’s not all, Codyo also offers tips on climate-friendly behaviour, encourages users with mini-competitions and facilitates exchange in a community of like-minded people. What could be more natural than inviting people who are already in contact with each other and who are concerned with sustainability to measure their impact on the climate with Codyo?

More climate protection for companies

Part of the next stage of Codyo’s development focuses on helping companies set climate targets together with their employees so they can hopefully achieve them using Codyo. The focus here has to be on more than just the emissions caused by the company’s activities. Attention also has to be paid to what employees achieve through their personal behaviour. Natural cosmetics manufacturer Weleda kicks off the Business Customer segment.

Three questions for Frank Glanert, Business Development at Codyo

What is Codyo all about?

We are seeing how important it is to make sustainability and climate protection more appealing, so Codyo is particularly colourful and attractive. It’s time to move on from making gloomy prognoses and hectoring others. Codyo is easy to use and helps me on a personal level to orient myself and do my part to succeed. Our users are as colourful as the team behind it, which approaches the issues from the very different professional perspectives of design, data science, and product and market development.

What makes Codyo an early bird?

We are the first to think about B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to customer) in this area together and for the long term, and to make specific suggestions for action to individual users to trigger sustainable change. No one is currently approaching it the way Codyo does. It is particularly important now at this early stage to offer the kinds of solutions that appeal to people and companies alike and to think together.

What problems are you trying to solve?

The issues of climate protection and CO2 neutrality, which are still problematic, are our focus. The key to successful development in this area depends on insight and concrete behavioural changes on the part of each and every individual. EWE is also on the path to climate neutrality and it is becoming clear that it needs to take people with it, meaning customers as well as employees and the companies we approach.
Logo von Limbo
LiMBO – web-based energy management tool for local authorities

Not a Caribbean dance, LiMBO is a German acronym meaning ‘monitoring, evaluating and optimising real estate’. Local authorities usually manage a large number of properties and buildings and set ambitious energy-efficiency targets. Professional energy management systems provide support in achieving these goals. Various subsidies are available for implementing and certifying professional energy management systems. LiMBO can be the foundation of an energy management system as a software solution eligible for subsidies.

Energy reports at the touch of a button

Local authorities can use LiMBO for partially automated capture of their properties, such as schools, gymnasiums, swimming pools, town halls, etc. as well as their electricity, gas, heat and water consumption data. Based on key energy figures and benchmarks, the need for action to improve the energy efficiency of the property is analysed and the corresponding measures are documented. The display of the consumption values directly shows the effects and changes achieved. Cost and CO2 emission trends are also calculated and displayed. Local authorities can also use LiMBO to instantly generate energy reports for their properties, which they will be required to produce for the first time in Lower Saxony for 2022. During the development phase, the team worked closely with local authorities to adapt the product precisely to their needs. LiMBO also focuses on coordination with its municipal customers in further developing the software. The municipality of Schortens was the first to sign a contract with EWE

Three questions for Christoph Wahmhoff, Innovations business segment

What is your business model all about?

LiMBO is a carefully coordinated software solution for municipal energy management, which we offer throughout Germany out of the Innovation business segment.

What makes LiMBO an early bird?

Local municipalities face an increasing need to implement energy efficiency and climate protection measures and to make the effects tangible. Cost savings and, most importantly, the carbon footprint are big drivers here as well. Through continuous monitoring, LiMBO displays at a glance where the municipalities have the greatest potential leverage to achieve their objectives. We have been working on the needs of the municipalities over recent years with the enera project, seamlessly transitioning into the development of LiMBO. This means that we are now in a position to launch a product that stands out from other established facility management tools, with plenty of lead time for the upcoming energy reporting obligation in 2022.

What problems are you trying to solve?

EWE is a municipally-owned company, to which the municipalities are linked in various roles; among others as shareholder, regulatory authority, and customer. Our aim as a partner is to provide support, while at the same time successfully marketing a product that precisely fits the needs of the municipalities. We plan to steadily expand the existing core functions, naturally trying also to integrate additional Group-internal business models from, for example, the fields of electric mobility, photovoltaic potential and CO2 accounting. Lots of ideas are already out there.
Logo von gridlux
gridlux – simply fibre optics for everyone

Our colleagues at gridlux have also recognised and internalised the concept that “fibre optics are the main artery of digitalisation, ensuring our economic and social future over the long term”.  In 2021, gridlux received an award from the German Association of Local Utilities (VKU) for its idea of strategic preliminary planning for FTTx projects, for example to identify fibre-optic expansion areas more quickly and cost-effectively. The cloud-service bundles all the necessary resources to ensure rapid planning of potential expansion areas.

Excel-based planning is a thing of the past

Germany’s fibre optic boom continues to gain momentum. Reliable, stable and high-performance internet access is a success factor for businesses and locations. gridlux is already working on innovative approaches in the field of artificial intelligence, allowing expansion planning to be mapped entirely digitally. All the key data is prepared by software in a matter of seconds.

Headwind for fibre optic expansion

The gridlux software is disrupting fibre optic expansion planning and creating competitive advantages. In particular, the fundamental processes of area selection are significantly simplified and ultimately rendered more efficient. Strategic decisions can be made faster thanks to gridlux. You can find more information about the work gridlux is doing here.

Three questions for Arne Drees, Product Owner of gridlux

What is gridlux all about?

We are small, agile and nimble. The planning of potential fibre-optic expansion areas is a very resource-intensive activity; we have found a solution to this problem not previously available on the market. Our target customers, which are mainly telecommunications and consulting companies, use gridlux as a straightforward cloud service. Our team of five consists of business developers and data scientists from the Innovation business segment. We are particularly proud that we implemented most of it ourselves, even if it meant sometimes leaving our comfort zone. It taught us a lot and helped us often make good decisions.

What makes Codyo an early bird?

The expansion of fibre optics is booming in Germany. Reliable, stable and high-performance internet access is a success factor for businesses and locations. The coronavirus crisis has demonstrated once again that we still have a long way to go when it comes to broadband connections. Our tool and our use of artificial intelligence make us pioneers and early birds, helping our customers speed up the fibre optics roll-out and completely digitalise planning. They receive the most important data within seconds, including an individual business case calculated by the software, making Excel sheets a thing of the past.

What problems are you trying to solve?

We are mixing up fibre-optic roll-out planning, as our software opens up competitive advantages for our customers, which include EWE TEL, Glasfaser Nordwest and Entega Medianet. The fundamental processes of area selection are being digitalised, improving the data on which basis strategic decisions are made. The coronavirus pandemic and the lack of trade fairs is and has been a very challenging time for us. The industry is also rather traditional and gridlux is an innovative, but complex, product requiring more intensive and trusting communication with decision-makers. We hope to convince even more customers to replace guesswork, and Excel files on network drives, with gridlux in future.

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