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eFriends Energy

Energy · Nappersdorf, Austria

Innovative Austrian photovoltaic system recognized in the local edition of the SME EnterPRIZE project, in the Sustainability through Digitization category

The power of the sun: no other form of energy generation is as sustainable and so uncompromisingly environmentally friendly – and available in unlimited quantities.

When the five founders of eFriends set up a community photovoltaic system a few years ago, they realised that their surplus electricity was flowing uncontrolled into the grid. Watching this precious electricity get “lost” led to a revolutionary idea: developing a technology that allows everyone to share electricity – in real time and regardless of location, with the help of an app.

That made sense because measurements confirm that different daily consumption patterns help to make better use of photovoltaic systems. The more households you connect to such a system, the more efficient it becomes.

In 2018, the pilot year, eFriends equipped 100 households with the revolutionary technology and tested it under sometimes adverse conditions – with success: in the same year, eFriends Energy GmbH officially became an energy provider. Just one year later, they turned into Austria’s largest energy community with over 400 households – all with the common vision of using electricity better, making electricity better. eFriends expects 1,000 users before the end of 2021.

Growing media interest and an appearance on the TV show “2 Minutes 2 Millions” brought attention, new investors, new eFriends and further awards such as the Futurezone and the Eurosolar Prize Award.

At the same time, the power of the community became apparent: eFriends started to participate in photovoltaic systems of small businesses and received more than 100 percent return on their investment in the form of solar power and value vouchers.

Communities throughout the country are discovering this sharing model for financing sustainable and independent power generation – a new form of connection, a community within the community. The technology has been let loose, the model of genuinely and freely sharing regional electricity across the country has unleashed what was before unimaginable potential.

And yet, the story has just begun: with each new eFriend, the community grows, whether through electricity producers or electricity consumers. Because shared electricity is better electricity. And the better our electricity, the better our world.

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