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Solar photovoltaic

Romande Energie digitalizes their workflow with Urbio to better serve their customers

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About Romande Energie

Romande Energie is the leading electricity provider in Western Switzerland and has been active in renewable energies for over 20 years. They offer access to innovative and competitive energy solutions to more than 300,000 customers, companies, municipalities and individuals.

Urbio’s solution was extremely appealing from the start because it provides a truly comprehensive, multi-fluid approach. That’s exactly what we need in order to offer our clients the extra mile in terms of energy services.

Philippe Corboz, Smart city project manager

The challenge

Romande Energie is fully aware of the challenges brought by the energy transition. With evolving energy markets and the emergence of new consumption modes, utilities are facing ever increasing competition. They must constantly innovate to maintain high-standing service to their customers, and to expand their activities with agility and efficiency.

For example, the solar industry is currently one of the fastest growing yet most competitive industries. Utilities must provide their customers with coherent offers, in line with their expectations and their unique context. Concretely, it has become essential to quickly locate the most promising roofs based on a myriad of parameters, including size, materials, financials, environmental impact and technical choices. The aim being to offer building owners tailor-made solar services, complemented by a range of energy services such as heat pumps or storage batteries.

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“Urbio can easily replace 5 days of work by 5 minutes.”

Philippe Corboz, Smart city project manager

The solution

“We first discovered Urbio during an innovation seminar hosted in our headquarters in summer 2020”, says Philippe Corboz, the Smart city project manager at Romande Energie. “Our team immediately saw a fit between Urbio’s digital approach and our company’s strategy.”  

The first application of Urbio was on a perimeter of over 2000 buildings. While qualifying a single roof and pre-designing its solar installation usually takes up to 20 minutes, Urbio’s generative design solution can reduce this to under 5 minutes – for several thousands of buildings.    

“What is great about Urbio is that it enables our engineers and sales teams to focus their time and attention on the most promising buildings right from the start. All of the early-stage technical design and financial forecasting for each installation is fully automated.”

With a combination of machine learning and generative design, Urbio identified the 250 most solar-compatible buildings, while automatically evaluating metrics such as electricity production, investment costs or return on investment. 

Following the success of this first project with Urbio, Romande Energie is currently evaluating the potential to apply it to its other activities such as district heating, or projects related to building retrofit.

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