2017 was characterized by the further expansion of Vonovia Mess Service GmbH (VMSG). This company bundles all activities relating to the Group’s own meter reading service and the provision of energy services.
At the end of the year, automated meter reading (smart metering) was being used for 80,000 apartments, including the performance of ancillary cost settlement services. This represents a marked increase compared with the 30,000 apartments in 2016. VMSG is also planning to achieve further growth in the coming year. Tenants benefit from automated remote meter reading, rendering the need for them to be at home on “meter-reading day” obsolete. The remote testing of the meter devices at periodic intervals allows device faults to be picked up on early on, meaning that consumption estimates are becoming increasingly unnecessary.
We are tapping into further potential in this segment by investing in decentralized power generation. In 2017, we also continued to invest in expanding the photovoltaic activities and established another 47 facilities in Dresden. This expansion gives Vonovia a photovoltaic portfolio of 206 facilities with an installed total output of 5.5 MWp, enough to generate approximately 5,100,000 kWh in renewable energy every year.
The entry into force of the Act on the Promotion of Landlord-to-Tenant Electricity (Mieterstromgesetz) in 2017 created a legal basis for allowing electricity generated locally to be used by our tenants directly on site. We believe that this area offers considerable growth potential and we will continue to increase our efforts to allow our customers to participate even more directly in the energy transition. The first photovoltaic projects for tenant electricity are already being planned for 2018. In addition, the new Vonovia company headquarters will be equipped with a 100 kWp photovoltaic facility. The electricity generated by the facility will be used almost in full to supply Vonovia itself.
27 cogeneration units also allowed electricity to be generated on a decentralized basis. The heat generated in the process is used to heat the drinking water and support heating systems within residential buildings.
One service that is already well-established is Vonovia’s cable TV business. This business area was launched at the end of 2011 in the form of a strategic partnership with Deutsche Telekom. Further partnerships with other cable network operators followed and mean that, today, Vonovia’s multimedia subsidiary already supplies more than 80% of Vonovia’s properties with TV signals. These properties feature high-bandwidth telecommunications connections offering Internet bandwidths of 50 Mbit/s and more. We plan to gradually expand the existing service business to include further service offerings.