The 2013/04/29 at 08:33
With Michel Vanhaesbroucke, Manager
Tell us about the GDF SUEZ group…
GDF SUEZ is a CAC 40 company in which the State holds 34 % of capital. In France, we are the leader in gas, but we are also a very important electricity player: we are the number two electricity supplier, the number one producer of electricity from wind energy, and the number two producer of hydraulic energy. Not forgetting that GDF SUEZ is, on the world scale, the number one independent electricity producer.
What are the current market trends?
Globally, it can be said that uncertainty reigns. Gas prices vary a great deal depending on the state of petrol, the dollar, the market price. We think that one of our main missions is to protect the client from all these evolutions. This is why we make fixed-price offers applicable over a number of years or, on the contrary, indexed-price offers if the client so wishes.
What characterises your energy offer for SMEs and SMIs?
Simplicity, security and adaptability are the three keywords to bear in mind. The head of an SME is not and should not be expected to be an energy specialist even if energy has an impact on his level of profits. We operate in such a way that the company head doesn’t have to think about this but can concentrate instead on the company’s turnover and profitability. In addition, the shifting nature of the markets on which we are evolving is such that security is at the heart of our commitment: security of supply and prices and a guarantee of supply in all circumstances. Finally, we have the means to adapt our offer entirely to our client’s sector of activity. Energy is not used the same way to heat a swimming pool, a hotel or offices: this is why we are organised into different sectors of activity. Every client therefore has specific contacts who are perfectly familiar with his or her metier, for sales as well as for the management of post-contract relationships.
What is the strength of your offer compared to that of your competitors?
We are convinced that it is necessary to be present on all market parameters: pricing of course, but also commitment to consumption savings. A client who signs a “WinPact” with us, our energy performance model contract, wins on both fronts because we guarantee gas prices for a certain number of years and at the same time, savings on the quantities consumed. If our energy efficiency promise is not kept, we commit to not invoicing the client for part of the consumption. With us, there is no longer any need to choose between competitiveness and the environment because we avoid consuming the cheapest energy.
How do you commit to sustainable development initiatives?
We consider that it is our responsibility to be an energy transition player for enterprises as well as householders and local authorities. The world is currently living through the 3rd energy revolution. After the ones in 1946 (post-war reconstruction) and 1973 (nuclear to respond to the first petrol shock), where the objective was to produce better to produce more, today we must consume better to consume less. This is also a matter of greener consumption, with a diversified energy mix. GDF SUEZ is party to this movement, with hydraulic, wind and also biogas sources. We make energy offers whose traceability is guaranteed, such as our 100 % renewable AlpEnergie electricity. We are obviously in a position to provide certificates of origin to our clients who can thus demonstrate their own environmental commitment.
What are your development prospects?
Clients will always find a listening ear with us, whether for a new gas site or an energy efficiency project. But beyond this, we also are keen to be competitive in electricity, a domain in which we are progressing strongly: we have multiplied our sales volume by four in the last two decades! We are going to continue on this path, on the SME-SMI market in particular.