domy sobe by veolia

Solar energy for millions of apartments

For a long time, photovoltaics have been available for businesses or family houses only. That is something we wanted to change. Instead of building yet another solar panel manufacturer or installation company, we brought to life Domy sobe – a unique photovoltaic solution for apartment buildings with a potential across CEE.

introduction

Solar panels have the potential to vastly improve people’s lives in several ways. They help reduce carbon emissions, sustain the environment, save money on energy bills, and increase households’ independence from Russian fossil fuels.

For ordinary people, photovoltaics are the easiest way to get their own source of renewable energy. This rings true for the millions of residents who live in apartment buildings and other similar housing stock structures in the CEE region – especially in the former Eastern Bloc.

Our main contribution

Domy sobe provides affordable and reliable photovoltaics for millions of apartment dwellers. On top of that, its unique smart home web app, Dominiq, increases convenience, control, and security.

What know-how did we use?

Corporate venture building
In-depth market
and industry analysis
Business design
& testing
Mobile app & Smart home solutions
About

55% of Czechs live in apartment buildings. 52.5 years is the average age of Czech apartment houses.

The Czech Republic in particular is unique in Europe in having up to 55% of its inhabitants living in apartments. Their average age of these apartments is over 50 years and entire housing estates of socialist-era apartment blocks are – similarly to other CEE countries – energetically obsolete. That’s why in 2020, together with Veolia, we came up with the Domy sobe service. Thus, offering convenient and reliable PVE to millions of Czechs who live in apartment buildings.

Brief

5% of the Czech energy mix consists of photovoltaics

There are 64,803 homeowners' associations in the Czech Republic

The use of photovoltaics in the Czech Republic amounts to less than 5% of the energy mix. This is not enough, which is why we strive to increase the availability of solar energy. At the same time, Domy sobe offers millions of Czech residents of older apartment buildings the safety, comfort, cost-saving, and smart technology of modern buildings. For homeowners, the use of solar energy and smart solutions also increases the value of the investment in buying a home.

CHALLENGE

There are up to 100,000 apartment buildings in the Czech Republic

Only 6,293 solar power plants were added in 2021 in total

The biggest challenges of the project were the technical complexity and a common concern that, while beneficial to the environment, solar panels are expensive and disadvantageous. In reality, people were afraid of photovoltaics. We had to explain that what we are offering is a long-term solution with significant energy cost savings, one that increases energy independence from public sources. As a matter of fact, the lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic helped the venture by offering additional time to create online and printed educational materials. Regular communication with homeowners through blog posts, newsletters, and social media were also key.

SOLUTION

Photovoltaics guarantee monthly electricity savings of 50% and more

The state subsidy for PVE installation can reach up to 50% in the Czech Republic

We have brought a unique photovoltaic solution to a new market consisting of apartment buildings and their residents. To meet the challenge, we designed the solution in a user-friendly manner, with many easy-to-understand advantages:

  • Reliable photovoltaic power plant with battery backup
  • Reduction of electricity bills by up to 50%
  • A big step towards sustainability and energetic self-sufficiency
  • Grouping of electricity meters under one point of consumption
  • Lower (common) unit price per MWh
  • Web app for remote readings, monitoring and energy savings
  • Up to 50% of the investment price covered by state subsidies
RESULTS

The average return on solar investment is currently 5 years

The average lifespan of photovoltaics is 30 years

Domy sobe has opened up the topic of photovoltaics for apartment dwellers in the Czech Republic, making the benefits of solar energy available to millions more residents. In addition, the service:

  • Reduces energy consumption of outdated housing stock
  • Brings smart solutions on top of increased energy self-sufficiency
  • Which alone, for example, can save up to 15% on heating costs
  • Increases the safety of apartment buildings with fire sensors
  • Has found a way for housing associations to vote online
positive impact

394g CO2

saved by every 1 kWh produced by solar energy

66 tons of CO2

saved by already contracted Domy sobe PVE installations every year

Currently, no one in the Czech Republic is focusing on the modernization of older housing developments with solar energy as much as Domy sobe. Moreover, the venture doesn’t limit itself to the benefits of photovoltaics. Since the beginning, it has been expanding the solutions to include smart home elements and more. The team is now in the process of adding wall boxes for charging electric cars while also looking to expand from older homes to new developments.

Domy sobe supports the drive to achieve the 2050 zero-emission plan in several ways. Photovoltaics for residential buildings provide a clean and sustainable source of energy, including tools to optimise and reduce consumption in general. Most importantly, however, this enables the use of solar energy for approximately 50% of the country's population who live in apartments and previously had no access to photovoltaics at all.

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