The battle for solar cells: – Autovo is just an expensive link

The battle for solar cells: – Autovo is just an expensive link

Oslo Elektriske has become involved in the battle for installing rooftop solar cells. President Fabian Stermo bought the company in January 2022 and began a transformation. In 2022, the turnover ended up being more than NOK 10 million. In 2023, this amount was doubled to NOK 20 million and the result ended up being NOK 500,000. Now it is fully booked until summer.

– We will soon have as much sales in January this year alone as we did in all of 2021, says Styrmoe and adds:

-January is historically the worst month for installers, but we have a lot to do, and we are selling everything we have on the sunny side until summer.

During the two years Styrmoe spent leading the company, the staff grew from four to 18 people.

Decisive: Chairman of Oslo Electrici, Fabian Westgaard Stermo, challenges Otovo. Photo: Oslo Electricsky

There are a surprising number of people who have a lot of money and the desire to invest it in smart solutions, says Stermon.

Crucial to Otovo

Solar energy company Otovo, listed on Oslo Børs, has been losing money since the dawn of time. The share price has fallen by 85.6 percent in the past year and is now trading at NOK 2.61 per share. share, down from over NOK 19. Westgaard questions the business model and is unsure if the company will ever achieve profitability.

-It's just an expensive link. Many players have entered the market and Otovo is no longer alone. They were early adopters, but now more people are seeing that money can be made here. If there are 83 employees and none of them install solar cells, it will be difficult to make money, says the director of Oslo Elektriske.

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Otovo compares prices from local installation companies and connects customers with the cheapest installation company in the area. Oslo Elektriske carries out the inspections itself, thus avoiding a joint like Otovo.

-There are a lot of pitfalls. Spend 25 minutes reading all the terms and conditions of Otovo. It is best to do a thorough inspection ourselves.

Resting on the laurel

Otovo has strong owners behind it. Energy company Å Energi is the majority owner, but government climate fund Nysnø also ranks high on the list of shareholders.

– When you make 700 million and lose 70 million a year, I wonder how much pressure they really feel to produce profitable results. “I'm counting on things going well to pay my employees, so we might expand a little more,” Stermo says.

-I don't want to grow too fast. I want to grow profitably every year and retain ownership.

At the same time, Stermo points out that the price of electricity could quickly double.

– Electricity subsidies are not here to stay, and at the same time I think we will get higher and higher electricity prices than Europe, also in the summer. Rising electricity prices will greatly reduce the payback time of solar cells.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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