Regional responsibility and social commitment

Energie AG is pursuing the goal of further increasing the regional value creation by implementing infrastructure projects on the local level, cooperating more closely with local specialist companies (market partners) and involving regional providers into the procurement chain. The Group is firmly committed to advancing projects that enable customers to consume and exchange decentrally produced renewable energy.

To the largest extent, Energie AG Group delivers on its regional responsibility through operating hydropower plants across all of Upper Austria. Ongoing infrastructure investments, the continuous training of specialist personnel and the creation and preservation of jobs are important contributions to increasing value generation in the regions.

The high-performance fibre-optic internet connections provided by Energie AG offer the residents of structurally disadvantaged regions the opportunity to pursue an occupational activity (working from home). The continued expansion of the fibre-optic network and development of innovative digital services support the positive economic development of the regions in Upper Austria and contribute to increasing quality of life of the population.

Market partnerships with relevant specialist companies across Upper Austria is Energie AG’s way of assuring the availability of expert advice and help with energy-related questions for customers in their respective home towns and villages, as well as motivating them to save energy through attractive funding options and joint initiatives with these local businesses.

In its supply chains, Energie AG aims at procuring from companies with a regional connection. Orders worth a total of EUR 216.2 million were placed with 2,281 suppliers in the 2021/2022 fiscal year (previous year: EUR 208.2 million with 2,303 suppliers). 92.5% of suppliers were headquartered in Austria (previous year: 93.2%), while 7.4% were based in other European countries (previous year: 6.7%).

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The cooperation with Genussland Oberösterreich initiated by Energie AG in autumn 2020 and completed at the end of calendar year 2021 awarded shopping vouchers redeemable at participating businesses to new customers who selected product bundles with green electricity or biogas from local production.

The Energie AG tour bus on its regional roadshow through towns and villages in Upper Austria in summer 2022 distributed thousands of energy-saving LED lamps to customers.

Energie AG is firmly committed to social engagement, with the Group initiating and supporting institutions and projects of significance for the economy as well as projects in the areas of science, art and education on a local level. The Company takes its function as a role model in terms of social responsibility very seriously and also fulfils this role by pro-actively taking initiative and supporting charitable organisations.

The online platform is a good example for the support of non-profit organisations in the regional and interregional area. It shows fire brigade crews the quickest way to a hydrant.

Activities in the fields of sport, culture and social affairs

Energie AG supports cultural and sport activities on a regional level, including by sponsoring local events, sport promotion programmes (“Energie AG sports family”) and online fitness services.

In the 2021/2022 fiscal year, 14 athletes of the Energie AG sports family received financial assistance as well as other benefits of relevance to their sport and were provided with an environment that promotes and facilitates physical and human development. The main focus is on the sustainable promotion of up-and-coming talents and supporting already successful athletes. The following principles are at the heart of Energie AG’s sport promotion programme: willingness to perform, team spirit, authenticity and regionality.

On the cultural scene, the company has been partner of exhibition projects organised by OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH (the state-owned cultural outlet formerly known as Upper Austria’s Culture Precinct) for a number of years, and exhibitions are regularly held in Linz’s Power Tower.

The Klemens-Brosch Award in cooperation with the State Gallery in Linz, the “Talent Promotion Award” in cooperation with the University of Arts in Linz, and the “Dream Scholarship” in cooperation with OK Friends are additional ways in which the Energie AG Group supports young and talented artists.

Energie AG awarded a digital art prize for the first time in the summer of 2022 and thereby also emphasised its focus on the future and innovative projects.

In addition, Energie AG has been a long-standing partner of many cultural initiatives throughout Upper Austria, including the Upper Austrian Regional Exhibition, Salzkammergut Festwochen summer festival, St. Florianer Sängerknaben boys’ choir and Brucknertage festival.

As a partner of the volunteer fire brigade and the Red Cross, the Energie AG Group makes an effort to support rescue organisations with a high level of voluntary commitment.

In the town of Timelkam, Energie AG runs an information centre about electrical energy called the Erlebniswelt Energie Timelkam (“Timelkam Energy Experience”), which in the 2021/2022 fiscal year was visited by almost 1,800 interested children and parents (previous year: 400). Annual visitor numbers were around the 5,000 mark in earlier years (without COVID-19 pandemic restrictions).

Enhancing awareness

The Group considers the raising of an awareness for a sensible and considerate treatment of energy resources and the value of a sustainable circular economy to be one of its most important responsibilities in the area of social affairs. Energy AG is a supporter of initiatives run by youth organisations in the area of sustainability, energy and environment. For many years, Upper Austria’s scouts, the Pfadfinder, have been implementing environmental projects with the support of the Energie AG Group and the Province of Upper Austria. The yearly project contest “UmWeltdenker”, for example, elicits creative ideas in this area and implements the best of them.

The “Energie AG at School” education programme (Energie AG macht Schule) offers kindergartens and schools classroom handouts on the topics of energy, sustainability and digitalisation.

Energie AG takes initiative in strengthening the media competency of children and adolescents in connection with digitalisation and, by means of school materials and the website, familiarises them with a sensible and responsible use of new technologies and digital media. The platform is complemented by interactive quizzes, videos and instructions for practical exercises and experiments.

In addition, the Group has a selection of short books for the youngest programme participants, which cover topics relating to energy and sustainability. The eight books published so far can be ordered by private persons, schools and kindergartens free of charge. Approximately 390,000 copies of these short books are already in circulation (previous year: 380,000). This is supplemented with a workshop for kindergartens, which introduced children from the age of four to sustainability issues in a playful way.

Energie AG accompanies an educational programme for Czech primary and junior secondary school pupils, which aims to protect our natural environment and water resources and began in 2014. The Group promotes awareness of how to properly dispose of rubbish by providing customised classroom materials for primary schools and creative projects for older pupils.

The Czech Republic Segment honoured the occasion of the World Water Day 2022 by publishing the card game “Serenato”, which aims at explaining the processes involved in the treatment of waste water in sewage treatment plants.

Respect for the environment and a commitment to a green and efficient business model are guiding principles that underpin Energie AG’s ethos. The Energie AG Group has supported the Energy Globe environmental award for some 23 years. Since 1999, over 30,000 projects for environmental protection and climate change mitigation have been submitted in the areas of earth, water, fire, air, and youth.

Federation, association and organisation memberships

Energie AG is a member of associations and representative groups related to its operational activities, both in Austria and abroad. The Company’s employees also play a role in various bodies, committees and working groups within these organisations. All Energie AG’s employees can reap the benefits from these memberships in the form of newsletters, events, webinars, as well as access to online portals, publications, studies, models, analytical findings and more. The following memberships are particularly noteworthy:

Science and research have traditionally been accorded high value at Energie AG. One area in which this is evident is the long-standing partnership with the Energy Institute (Energieinstitut) at Johannes Kepler University (JKU) in Linz. As a founding member, Energie AG Group actively participates in shaping and further improving the institute and draws on its high level of expertise in energy-related areas and its interdisciplinary team. Energie AG commissions studies from the institute on a consistent basis and works together closely with it on research projects. Noteworthy example projects include those concerned with the use of sustainable heat sources (e.g. industrial exhaust heat) and their distribution within district heating networks (“HeatHighway”, “Gmunden HT-Link”) or the possibilities of future energy storage systems on hydrogen basis (“Underground Sun Storage 2030”).

Energie AG has been a member of the Energy Centre České Budějovice, an energy information centre in České Budějovice supported by the Province of Upper Austria and the Region of South Bohemia, since 1998. The centre’s priority areas are offering support for the implementation of energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energies. Since 2002, Energie AG has also been a member of the Fachgruppe Energie (Energy Working Group), which seeks to establish a cross-border cooperation in the energy sector between Upper Austria and South Bohemia. The working group supports cross-border projects and provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience.

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