Effective energy and environmental consultancy services from Entro

In 1990 energy efficiency in buildings was an entirely new concept, but the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) launched a programme called “Emil” and granted funding to companies that wanted to implement measures targeted at boosting energy efficiency in buildings. This was what our founders Finn Johnsen and Sverre Gjervan had in mind when they chose to establish a new company called Enøk Trondheim. They offered businesses an energy efficiency analysis of their buildings.

The Entro story

The first buildings that were analysed for energy efficiency belonged to Riis Glass & Metall, the next belonged to the car dealership Wist Bil. They were promised a guaranteed savings in terms of their energy consumption of 30% – and achieved over 40%. The measures that were implemented included extra insulation and using a timer to regulate heat settings. With the high energy prices at the time, the savings were substantial. Enøk Trondheim moved into offices on the premises of Riis Glass & Metall and brought in new customers such as Rishaug Maskin, Forenede Forsikring and Møller Bil.

Monopoly ends

The Norwegian electricity market was opened for free competition in 1991. Power suppliers competed not only on price per kWh, but also made offers, guarantees and conditions that were barely understandable – even for engineers. Awareness was low and potential savings were enormous. Enøk Trondheim became the first consulting firm that helped customers make the right choices in the new electricity market.

Customers who saved large sums based on sound advice included Norwegian State Railways (NSB), the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) and Forenede Forsikring. The NSB facility at Marienborg cut its electricity bill by NOK 1.5 million and NRK saved over NOK 4 million. The Trondheim Torg shopping centre, owned by Forende Forsikring, saved NOK 500,000 a year just by reducing the number of electricity metres. At that time, as now, good advice was invaluable.

Confusing electricity prices

For most companies, there were a number of challenges related to being an electricity customer. There were different rates for firm power, spot power and district heating, and it was hard to know what was the best deal. Energy bills were complicated and many wanted help to distribute energy costs fairly between different tenants.

Enøk Trondheim now consisted of the three founders Finn Johnsen, Sverre Gjervan and Arild Herford. It was Arild Herford who developed the analysis software that provided a better overview and improved control. Customers could control the programs themselves, which motivated them to save even more. In 1992, Jarle Karlsen added to the team as the fourth founder in Enøk Trondheim.

From there, new customers came on board quickly. Gjensidige took over Forenede Forsikring and gave responsibility for energy purchasing and management to the consultants in Trondheim. So it remains, although Gjensidige turned into Vital which then became part of DNB. NSB, Nora Eiendom (later KLP) and Storebrand were also important customers.

Massive savings

A number of companies, municipalities and institutions quickly learned how to save significant sums on expensive electricity. They learned to seal roofs and walls and to lower indoor temperatures when premises were unoccupied. It was equally important not to turn on all the machines or heaters simultaneously. There were not many who knew that businesses pay for their electricity according to how much they use during peak consumption times. It is what is known as the “demand rate”. Companies pay for the capacity they need to have available. Enøk Trondheim helped customers to distribute their power usage so that power peaks were lower, which in turn lowered their electricity bills.

Enøk Trondheim becomes Entro

The whole idea was to make a useful contribution and limit the unnecessary use of energy for our customers. Enøk Trondheim was not as focused on growing the company. However, the number of new customers kept rising – all across the country. Since the name Enøk Trondheim felt too local for a national company, it was effectively shortened to Entro Energi.

Entro Energi in cooperation with Tor Lindholt established Entro Nova in 1997. Lindholt was former Head of International at Selmer Furuholmen and Project Manager for the expansion of Aker Brygge in Oslo. Entro Energi and Entro Nova developed a close collaboration, which made it easier to serve customers in Oslo. The two companies fusioned in 2009 to become today’s Entro AS.

Over 9,000 buildings

Today, one quarter of Norway’s 100 biggest enterprises are customers of Entro. Entro’s customers include public and private building owners, property management companies and industrial companies, as well as both large and small municipalities. Entro serves more than 300 customers, more than 9,000 buildings and 30 million square metres of heated building space. We control energy invoices totalling approximately NOK 600 million on behalf of our customers, and through our systems, we monitor an energy consumption equivalent to 5.7 terawatt hours, worth NOK 4 billion.

Entro’s customers are not necessarily more concerned with energy or more environmentally conscious than others. But they see that saving energy means saving costs and energy-efficient buildings with a good environmental profile, strengthen their position in the rental market. Good environmental work also boosts a company’s reputation.

Energy, waste and the environment

Entro’s service portfolio currently includes technical and financial consulting related to energy, waste and the environment, and we have developed software that facilitates and supports these tasks. Entro is currently the dominant and largest player within energy consultancy related to the operation of buildings. We work within the entire value chain (services and consulting) and we have our own tried and tested software solutions.

Recently, we have signed a number of large customers in Sweden and Denmark. Many are looking to benefit from our knowledge of energy use in buildings and industry. As such, we are open to making partnerships that will enable us to spread our knowledge outside Norway. For more information contact Managing Director / CEO Børge Nilssen  on +47 917 30 000.