Rotterdam, 8 August 2017 – Stedin Group is publishing its first half-year report as an autonomous business. The parent company of grid operator Stedin, Joulz and DNWG was created on 1 February following the forced unbundling of Eneco Group into an energy company (Eneco Group) and a network company (Stedin Group). Organisationally, the main feature of the past half year was repositioning. Financially, Stedin Group expects to end the year according to plan.
“It was an intensive first half year,” says Gerard Vesseur, CFO of Stedin Group. “After finalisation of the unbundling of Eneco Group, we sold CityTec, the business unit that specialised in public lighting, and the network area in Weert. We were also very pleased to welcome colleagues from Zeeland on the acquisition of DELTA Netwerkgroep (DNWG).”
It was an intensive first half year.
Stedin Group’s profit after income tax (before non-recurring exceptional items) was lower at €33 million (H1 2016: €58 million) as a result of the tariff decision by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers that required Stedin Group to charge lower rates. This was a benefit to our customers. Furthermore, operating expenses were higher. “This was because of more municipalities levying tax on our underground energy networks (precario), unbundling costs and large-scale offering and installation of smart meters . Nevertheless, the financial results were as we had expected,” Vesseur explains. The purchase of DNWG cannot yet be discerned in these interim figures although it has been consolidated in the balance sheet. The results will only be incorporated from 1 July.
After unbundling, Stedin Group immediately started repositioning its activities. DNWG was acquired from the Zeeland energy company PZEM (formerly DELTA) and has been part of Stedin Group since 13 June. DNWG, with its subsidiaries Enduris (grid operator) and DNWG Infra (infrastructure company), operates in the province of Zeeland where Enduris manages the energy network for 200,000 households and businesses. “DNWG and Stedin Group are a good fit. By working together and learning from each other, we will be more effective and efficient,” says Vesseur. “At the same time, with the future in mind, we had to dispose of some units.” CityTec was sold to Strong Root Capital on 31 March as the maintenance of public lighting is no longer part of Stedin Group’s long-term objectives.
In addition, the grid operator in Weert (Limburg) was transferred to Enexis Netbeheer on 1 July. Stedin owned the networks in the municipality of Weert while Enexis Netbeheer managed all the other gas and electricity networks in the province of Limburg. The sale of the network area makes public network management in Limburg clearer to all involved.
Stedin Group can see momentum in the energy transition. More and more people are installing solar panels and opting for electric cars and so Stedin Group is working with the authorities, customers and market players on the best way of shaping the energy transition. Stedin recently successfully concluded a three-year pilot with all-electric homes in the Hoog Dalem district of Gorinchem. Furthermore, Stedin is working with other municipalities to examine where newly-built housing can be connected to sustainable alternatives. The development and use of such alliances is vital since the energy transition is a job for society as a whole.
Natural gas will have to be phased out if the Netherlands is to be CO2 neutral by 2050. Stedin Group is calling on the House of Representatives of the Netherlands to make progress on ending the mandatory connection of newly-built homes to the gas network. A CO2 neutral Netherlands is a major challenge and so we must avoid the requirement of constructing new gas networks.
Sustainable energy for everyone. Stedin Group has about 4,500 employees working towards this every day. We believe it is our responsibility to ensure that all our customers can have sustainable energy where they live, work and do business. As Stedin Group, we are making the energy system more sustainable while keeping it robust and affordable. Grid operators Stedin (Zuid-Holland and Utrecht) and Enduris (Zeeland) and specialists in the Joulz and DELTA Infra infrastructure companies work together within Stedin Group to achieve this.