Susanne Rost

Susanne Rost

As a grants manager, Susanne focuses on the project management of SpinLab’s grants as well as supporting the ecosystem in acquiring funds. Prior to her work at SpinLab, she worked in administration at HHL as well as for a specialty promotional risk management firm, spent several years on expatriate assignments abroad and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in English & American Studies.

Recent posts by Susanne Rost

3 min read

Leipziger Stadtwerke: First German municipality to use AI for renewable energy planning.

By Susanne Rost on Feb 9, 2024 1:47:33 PM

In today's rapidly changing and digitized energy market, securing crucial innovations is essential for energy providers to gain a competitive advantage. Stadtwerke Leipzig, a leading energy distribution company and one of SpinLab’s strategic partners, embarked on a journey to secure such innovations. As the first municipal company in Germany, Leipziger Stadtwerke relies on an innovative AI-supported software solution for the planning of renewable energy installations for commercial and large customers. It was during the SpinLab accelerator program that Stadtwerke Leipzig encountered founder Christina Vogel from Elena International, who introduced them to elenova plan.

                                             elena international founders: Christina Vogel and Sabine Unseld

Transforming the energy landscape with AI

elenova plan represents a significant milestone in the creation of indicative offers in the renewable energy sector. This innovative tool enables energy providers to rapidly generate complex energy concepts for commercial and large-scale customers. By leveraging AI and behavioral models, elenova plan replaces the time-consuming processes previously carried out using self-developed Excel tools. Founder Vogel emphasizes, "elenova plan reduces the time required by energy providers and engineering firms to create offers for renewable energy projects and services from five hours to just five minutes." The underlying AI and behavioral models lead to more precise results, enabling the sales teams to efficiently advise clients in the housing, industrial, and municipal sectors.

For Stadtwerke Leipzig's sales team, elenova plan emerged as an ideal solution. Manuel Clauß, from the key account management team, explains that the company regularly advises large customers on efficiency measures and the integration of renewable energies. Previously, they relied on self-developed Excel tools, spending extensive hours crunching data to create appropriate offers. With elenova plan, the customer becomes an active participant, receiving a comprehensive analysis of their current energy situation, accurate projections, and visually compelling offers within minutes.

Tailored integration for Stadtwerke Leipzig

elenova plan's impact extended beyond its introduction in late 2021. Following a development and testing phase, the tool quickly garnered the interest of 30 energy companies, establishing itself as an indispensable platform within the industry. However, elenova plan is far from being an off-the-shelf product. Manuel Clauß and his colleagues collaborated closely with the founders, Christina Vogel and Dr. Sabine Unseld, to tailor the software to meet the specific requirements of Leipzig's Stadtwerke. They initially integrated solutions for heating, cooling, and photovoltaics. Conducting parallel tests comparing elenova plan to legacy systems, they optimized the back-end and aligned the user interface with Stadtwerke Leipzig's design principles.

SpinLab bridges the gap between innovators from the startup and corporate environment

The success of elenova plan integrated into Stadtwerke's operations underscores startup accelerators' vital role in fostering innovation. SpinLab, providing a nurturing environment, aids early-stage companies in refining ideas and scaling innovative solutions. Through SpinLab's corporate innovation services, established companies like Stadtwerke Leipzig gain a competitive edge by testing technologies and partnering with startups. This approach enhances efficiency and provides access to innovative solutions, allowing energy providers to thrive in an evolving landscape and promote sustainability and customer-centric solutions for rapidly changing needs.

This collaborative project is funded by EDIH Saxony. As part of the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) program of the European Union, EDIH Saxony provides comprehensive support to companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, in integrating digital technologies. By fostering research, development, and implementation of digital innovations, EDIH Saxony contributes to strengthening the regional economy and increasing digital transformation. 

Topics: Pilot Projects energy smart city Case Study partner