With EBIT of 50.9 million francs, Repower Italy recorded the best operating income in its history, surpassing the prior-year result by 73.7 per cent. Last year the company served 44,250 electricity consumers and 17,115 gas customers, all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The gratifyingly high volumes of renewable energy generated underscore the quality of the assets acquired in 2018 with Repower Renewable S.p.A. Repower Italia S.p.A.’s subsidiary generated similar volumes as in the prior year, producing 142 GWh of wind power, 17 GWh of solar energy and 5 GWh of hydroelectricity. Two additional wind installations owned by Repower Italy generated 32 GWh, better than budgeted. Despite the overhaul of the Teverola combined cycle gas turbine plant, which was conducted as planned during the fourth quarter, the facility delivered extraordinarily good results. The plant generated 785 GWh of electricity, 46.6 per cent up on the prior year.
Marketing and communications
In 2019 the “I’ve got Repower” campaign was launched with the aim of boosting Repower Italy’s positioning and brand recognition. It was a great success and attracted a lot of attention. Repower wants to use the expressive, highly recognisable commercial, borrowing from the song “The Power” from Snap!, to reach a broader audience.
In 2019 a new power product called DUCALE was launched, combining the pool price with a fixed price. A formula is used to divided the supply period into two periods: in the first six months, the electricity consumed is priced on the basis of a single price, specified by the product, between the national single price (PUN) and actual consumption. From the seventh month on, the power consumed is priced at a single, fixed hourly price.
Electromobility and innovations
In March 2019 the third edition of the “White Paper” on sustainable transportation and electric vehicles powered by Repower was presented to an audience of media representatives and other people interested in mobility. Each edition of the White Paper generates an even greater response, and it is now seen in Italy as a relevant, independent source for anyone wishing to get an overview of a constantly evolving industry.
Repower Italy is putting a great deal of effort into driving electromobility forward. The promotional tour for the Repowere electric boat, launched back in 2018, also got a great response in 2019, with the vessel making its way in Italy from Lake Varese and Lake Garda and from Liguria to Lake Lugano before being presented to the local media in Lugano too. The mayor of Lugano, Marco Borradori, himself committed to emission-free vehicles, showed particular interest in this technology. The tour showcased the Repowere electric boat as a flexible and efficient mode of transport that is a silent, environmentally friendly way of discovering the beauty of nature.
Repower Italy has also been able to tap into a rapid increase in sales of electric bikes in Italy in recent years. In northern Europe lightweight three-wheel vehicles are also very popular, with clear advantages over cars and vans in urban environments with narrow streets. This prompted Repower Italy to commission the well-known industrial designer Makio Hasuike to design three-wheeled electric vehicles of its own. The result is two cargobikes, the LAMBROgio and the LAMBROgino. These lightweight three-wheelers with pedal assist can be used in a wide range of settings, from urban transportation and logistics to commercial and industrial use.
Repower Italy away from home
Repower Italy is also taking its products abroad. Among other things it was one of the 30 select Italian companies given the opportunity to showcase their design products at the China International Import Expo (CIIE), presenting the aesthetically pleasing E-LOUNGE, a multifunctional bench with charging facilities for electric bikes and mobile devices. The E-LOUNGE demonstrates how design and innovation can help promote smart cities. The bench, which was designed by Milan studio Antonio Lanzillo & Partners, marries award-winning Italian design with Swiss technology and craftsmanship. Its good looks and functionality have earned the E-LOUNGE a gold German Design Award.
The new cargobikes and the E-LOUNGE were also presented in public at other fairs in the course of 2019. The LAMBROgio and LAMBROgino were unveiled for the first time in spring 2019 at the world’s most important design event, the Design Week in Milan. We also provided eight E-LOUNGES for the site under the banner of solutions for living and the smart city. At the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo e Motociclo (EICMA), the world’s biggest fair for the entire two-wheel sector, the focus in autumn 2019 was on the two cargobikes, while E-LOUNGES were provided for visitors to rest and charge their mobile devices.
In addition to promoting sustainability in energy terms, Repower Italy deliberately thinks outside the box. This includes initiating “Repower on board”, a programme promoting investment in companies and projects around sustainable products and sustainable living. Among other things this has resulted in support for Planet Farms, a business working in vertical farming, a technology using multistorey buildings to enable viable agriculture and the mass production of plant and animal products in built-up urban areas without environmental pollution or pesticides. Repower Italy holds an interest in Planet Farms, which in 2020 will commence operations with a vertical farm in the Milan area, so far the biggest of its sort in Europe.
Repower Italy has also combined energy with innovation. Among other things this spawned the idea for the Premio Speciale Repower innovation prize, awarded for the second time in 2019 in conjunction with the Premio Gaetano Marzotto, the most important award for start-ups at the European level. The award goes to a start-up business that is developing particularly innovative products. The winner of the ninth Premio Gaetano Marzotto, presented on 21 November 2019, was RiceHouse, a young company that converts waste from Italian rice processors into an environmentally friendly material for all types of construction, as well as a clean energy resource.
Our clients also place great emphasis on sustainability and value what Repower has to offer. Pastificio Cirigliano, for example, a company that has been a customer of Repower Italy for many years, opted two years ago for Verde Dentro, the product featuring electricity from 100 per cent renewable resources. Antonio Cirigliano, one of the brothers who owns the family business, explained why this environmental awareness is so important for them and their customers:
ANTONIO CIRIGLIANO, co-owner of PASTIFICIO CIRIGLIANO
Pastificio Cirigliano: fresh pasta with a green heart!
Italian quality, two generations of entrepreneurs who started as a small bakery in Moliterno (Potenza) in the Basilicata, and an eye to the environment: these are Pastificio Cirigliano’s recipe for success.The pasta factory produces fresh pasta from local ingredients according to traditional methods, including drawing the pasta through bronze moulds and drying it naturally.
For the last eight years, Cirigliano has been using products and services from Repower. For the last two years it has also been using Verde Dentro: Repower supplies the company with electricity from 100 per cent renewable resources with double certification. With this environmental awareness increasingly appreciated by customers, Cirigliano has decided to print the Verde Dentro logo on the packaging of its pasta. We talked about this in our interview with Antonio Cirigliano, one of the three brothers who own the business.
Where would you say the strength of your business lies?
In the high quality of our pasta. It’s a genuine Italian artisan product. It all started with a small bakery started by our father back in the sixties; over the years we grew, first with the addition of two milling plants in Spinosa and Moliterno (Potenza), then with our pasta factory. We produce on an artisan basis, not industrially. Our customers love our pasta because it reminds them of the homemade pasta their mothers and grandmothers made. We’re close to our local customers, but our clientele also includes major retailers from all over Italy. We also export to the UK, Spain and Switzerland.
What Repower services do you use?
Repower has been supplying us with electricity and gas for the last eight years. Two years ago our Repower sales consultant suggested that we use green power in the form of the Verde Dentro package. This certifies that the electricity and gas we use are 100 per cent clean. This is crucial for us, because we want to produce artisan products with respect for the local area and the natural environment.
Where does the relationship with Repower score highly when it comes to advising you and taking account of your specific situation?
A business consists of people, so personal relationships are very important to us. We feel very well-looked-after at Repower because they take account of our specific needs. We have an excellent relationship with our consultant. The service is outstanding: Repower helps us to constantly monitor our energy consumption, and our consultant gives us good advice on how to save energy in our production processes – a key factor when it comes to keeping our costs in hand. It’s a competent company that we can rely on to give us good advice and resolve any problems early on.
The Verde Dentro logo also appears on your packaging. What’s the benefit in terms of your communications? How have your customers responded?
It’s been very positive for our image and reputation. Our customers want information, and ask us what Verde Dentro means. They’re getting more and more aware about environmental matters; particularly here in Basilicata, where we have the biggest oil reserves in Continental Europe, customers are glad to see a small business like ours caring about clean energy and using renewable resources.
Efforts to expand the RICARICA 101 electric vehicle charging network in Italy continue. Many winegrowers wishing to offer their guests an EV charging point have also joined the network. For many years the wine business has been a special area of focus for Repower Italy, and the company is proud of its cooperation with Vinibuoni d’Italia. The joint aim of the two organisations is to promote the culture of wine and sustainable transportation. At the new edition of the Meran/Merano wine festival there was an award for the winegrowing property doing the most to promote efficient consumption, electric transport and the use of renewable electricity. The award went to Produttori di Manduria, a property in Manduria.
One of these winegrowing properties that promote electric transport and use electricity from renewable resources is Venica & Venica. Ornella Venica, who manages the property, talked to us about her operation and the very special relationship she and her family nurture with Repower:
ORNELLA VENICA, WINE RESORT VENICA & VENICA manager
Venica & Venica: Passionate about wine and nature since 1930
Venica & Venica is a family-run winegrowing property with 40 hectares of vines in the DOC Collio area. The Venica family has lived in Dolegna del Collio in the province of Gorizia since 1930. Back then, grandfather Daniele acquired the house and the surrounding land, which he worked as a tenant farmer in rhythm with nature.
Thanks to an innovative approach and ongoing research, Daniele’s grandsons, Gianni und Giorgio, have managed to give the winegrowing business an environmentally-friendly identity, creating the Wine Resort Venica & Venica. Venica & Venica spokesperson Ornella tells us about a corporate culture rooted in good, tried-and-tested practices and respect for the environment, people and the community.
Where would you say the strength of your business lies?
The most important factor is definitely the beautiful location of our vineyard among the hills of the Collio, with the Julian Alps in the background. We’re not far from the border with Slovenia, and it’s only ten kilometres to UNESCO World Heritage Centre Cividale del Friuli.
We offer guests the opportunity to visit our historical cellars and taste our wines. Our hospitality business also includes the Wine Resort, with six rooms and two apartments where guests can spend relaxing holidays enjoying the smells, sights and sounds of our unique region.
Sustainable transportation and high-end accommodation: why do you think that’s such a winning combination?
These days you can’t talk about quality of life and hospitality without taking account of the environment. Some examples? Since 2006 we’ve been using solar modules to produce electricity and domestic hot water.
A year after that we acquired a 60 kilowatt wood-fired boiler fuelled from our own woodland, which we use to heat the cellar and provide hot water to the rooms.
Since 2011 we’ve been part of the V.I.V.A. SUSTAINABLE WINE project, a programme initiated by the ministry of the environment to promote the sustainability of Italian wine cellars and evaluate the impact of winegrowing on nature.
Since 2017 our guests have been able to charge their electric vehicles at a PALINA charging station from Repower. This year, to mark our 90-year anniversary, we’ll also be installing a Repower E-LOUNGE bench, which also charges electric bikes. This will help promote electric bike tourism in our region.
I think it’s safe to say that guests enjoying a stay in first-class holiday accommodation like Venica & Venica see themselves as part of a process in which producers and consumers work hand in hand to make a difference as guardians of the terroir.
Where does Repower score highly when it comes to advising you and taking account of your specific situation?
I think our relationship with our Repower consultant, Carlo Uccelli, can best be described as follows: focus on our needs as a customer and personalised, high-quality service. From the outset our relationship was close and based on trust. After a thorough analysis of our business situation (back then we were using the services of one of Repower’s competitors) he was able to pinpoint and work on the areas that needed improvement – extremely professionally and with a great eye for detail.
What responses have you had in terms of the visibility of your business since installing the PALINA charging point?
It has to be said that it’ll be some time before electric mobility is established across the board in this country. What Repower is doing in this respect is really remarkable. We hope success will come as quickly as possible.
We’re proud to have a strategic alliance with a company like Repower, and it’s something we also noted in our 2019 sustainability report: Repower isn’t just an energy provider, but a real ally.
What are the advantages of being part of a charging network like Ricarica 101 connecting hundreds of charging points across Italy, as opposed to operating as an independent, individual charging service?
The main point of being part of charging network is networking. The more members the better! It means you have integrated, more efficient communications that make everyone involved in the project more visible.
In 2019 Repower Italy generating operating income (EBIT) of 50.9 million francs, the best result in the history of Repower.