The founding team of Solation (from right): COO Max Zeuke, CIO Tim Howaldt and CEO Sebastian Hugl
© Solation

Solation makes tenant electricity easy

The concept of tenant electricity is about supplying the electricity generated on the roof of an apartment building or in its immediate vicinity directly to the building's tenants. In this way, locally generated electricity from renewable sources is to be used directly on site, which is not only intended to decentralize the electricity grid. Tenant electricity is also intended as an incentive for landlords to install solar systems on the roofs of their buildings. However, high administrative hurdles make this difficult. The startup Solation has developed solutions for this - and also combines tenant electricity with social commitment. In this interview, CEO and co-founder Sebastian Hugl reveals more about his company.

Munich Startup: What does your startup Solation do? What problem do you solve?

Sebastian Hugl, Solation: We have set ourselves the goal of working hand in hand with regional tradespeople to make green energy possible for everyone and to take the complexity out of the electricity and energy sector. In addition to a transparent and fair PV planning process for homeowners, we also offer a patented tenant electricity solution for owners of rental properties. 53 percent of all Germans live in rented accommodation and do not have access to self-generated solar power. Solation enables landlords to sell electricity profitably to tenants with an innovative solution – without the complications of acting as an energy supplier.

Donate surplus electricity to social or public institutions

This innovative approach also makes it possible for the first time to donate surplus electricity to social or public institutions. In this way, we want to make a contribution to the efficient and sustainable distribution of surplus electricity in Germany. It is particularly important to us to offer transparent product information, open and non-binding advice without sales pressure and structured, digitalized project planning for our customers. We also attach great importance to a fair and equitable working environment for our employees and our partner companies.

Munich Startup: But it’s already been around for a long time!

Sebastian Hugl: Solation’s approach to tenant electricity solutions is indeed unique and patented. Solation also addresses a widespread problem in the industry: a lack of transparency. We want to create new standards in an often opaque industry through easy-to-understand and fair processes, thus giving everyone access to green energy.

Munich Startup: What is your founding story?

Sebastian Hugl: I’ll try to keep it short: I have already founded two companies. My last startup gave me a lot of knowledge in the field of patents and I wanted to use this knowledge to do something meaningful. Together with my friends Max and Tim, I realized that there was still a lack of meaningful solutions, especially in the energy sector, and the three of us founded Solation together. With our patented tenant electricity solution, we want to do something good for people who can’t afford their own home but still want to live sustainably. At the same time, we have created a company that operates on an equal footing with its partner tradesmen and its own employees. Our motivation was to create a business model that puts people at the center and enables green and fair energy for everyone.

Solation: “The market is overregulated and the grid operators have no interest in a decentralized power supply”

Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?

Sebastian Hugl: We are still at the very beginning and face many entrepreneurial challenges. Market regulation and the slowness of grid operators are two of them. The market is over-regulated and the grid operators have no interest in a decentralized power supply. In addition, the German market and German customers are unfortunately not particularly open to innovation and alternative and sustainable concepts are not being promoted enough in politics either. We hope that our work can raise awareness and thus have a positive impact on the expansion of green energy supply in Germany.

Munich Startup: How is business going?

Sebastian Hugl: Although the macroeconomic situation is difficult, we are doing very well. We currently employ twelve people, generate a seven-figure turnover and are still privately owned.

Munich Startup: You recently moved your headquarters to Munich. What convinced you about the startup location?

Sebastian Hugl: Even if we disagree in the founding team, as a Munich native I am of the opinion that Munich is simply the nicest place to be – at best nicer than Kissing, where my co-founder Max comes from. The decision to move from Kissing to Munich was of course also influenced by the availability of qualified talent. We are planning to continue growing and this will make it easier to fill our vacancies in the best possible way.

Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?

Sebastian Hugl: We are not aiming for a quick exit with Solation. Our aim is to operate in an ecologically and economically sustainable way and to build a business model that is successful in the long term and therefore does good. What we don’t want is extreme growth at the expense of our employees or our partner craft businesses.

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