As far as our housing-related services are concerned, we used 2018 to continually expand our initiatives further and also started to explore other offerings for our customers.
Vonovia Mess Service GmbH (VMSG) considerably expanded its portfolio of smart sub-metering devices, which can be read remotely, and can now monitor remotely the consumption figures for approximately 130,000 apartments. This company bundles all activities relating to the Group’s own meter reading service and the provision of energy services.
Furthermore, Vonovia Energie Service GmbH (VESG) started operations. This company is a registered energy supply company, which supplies our buildings and customers with electricity and gas.
In order to address the changing mobility requirements of the future, we continue to pilot new ideas with our partners, for example, car sharing (currently around 40 active vehicles in 18 locations) and the construction and operation of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
We are tapping into further potential by investing in decentralized power generation. 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 be further stepping up our efforts to allow our customers to participate even more directly in the energy transition. Further photovoltaic projects are being planned for 2019. The electricity generated by the facility will be used almost in full to supply Vonovia itself.
Cogeneration (CHP) 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, our multimedia subsidiary already supplies more than 80% of Vonovia’s properties with TV signals. These properties feature telecommunications connections offering bandwidths of 50 Mbit/s and more. We plan to gradually expand the existing service business to include further service offerings.
Modernization in Response to Tenant Request
We are also expanding the support we provide to our older tenants in the Value-add segment: In particular, senior-friendly apartment conversions and bathroom design based on our tenants’ wishes respond to the needs of our tenants.
In 2018, the offering for kitchen modernization in response to tenant requests was rolled out across the board. The offering includes customized kitchen modules that are a perfect fit for each type of building, as well as added extras that tenants can select themselves. Individual plans can also be taken into account as part of the product standard.
The issue of burglary protection is also relevant for many tenants. Together with the State Criminal Police Agency of North Rhine-Westphalia, we have developed an offering that will significantly increase customer security. The product line includes window and balcony security devices, door protection in the form of reinforced bolts and the installation of resistance class WK2/RC2 apartment entrance doors with or without a digital spyhole.