Our startups on the rise: Sonnenschmiede wins the greenstar award!

04.01.2023 Incubation, News

We are proud of the teams in our Social & Green Impact Incubation Program: After Papperlapapp Spielwelten ( Wellpappe Austria Award 2022 ) and cyclebee ( VCÖ Mobility Award 2022 ), with Sonnenschmiede a start-up from the Tech for Good segment has also won a renowned prize:, € 20,000 greenstar Award! We congratulate!

On 29 November 2022, the TOP-10 greenstarters were eagerly awaiting the announcement of the three winners. As early as April, the TOP-10 were able to assert themselves against numerous applicants and were included in the greenstart program, the start-up initiative of the climate and energy fund in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection (BMK). There, the companies received coaching and workshops for six months, but also access to networks and public relations as well as financial support. Now the Sonnenschmiede was able to convince the expert jury. The young company brings the title “greenstar 2022” to Styria and is happy about prize money of 20,000 euros. The three-member founding team is grateful for the great award. For co-founder Alexander Hojas, however, this is just the beginning: “In the next 5 years we want to lead 10,000 apartment buildings into the solar energy transition.” The current demand is high, the focus is now on building a team in order to be able to cope with the strong growth. The first systems are already being implemented, and around 100 more projects are being planned. With the Sonnenschmiede model, residents in multi-flat houses can finally invest sensibly in the energy transition and benefit multiple times from their own solar power.


Since 2017, it has been legally possible in Austria for apartment owner associations and apartment building owners to jointly purchase and operate a photovoltaic system. But so far only around 450 such systems have been installed. Because the project is still complex.
The parents of co-founder Alexander Hojas would like to have such a community power plant on the roof of their apartment building, but the plans almost failed. Hojas turned the anger about the bureaucratic, organizational and technical hurdles and the lack of offers on the market into positive energy and founded Sonnenschmiede together with Thomas Auer and Johannes Frühmann – the solution for photovoltaic systems on apartment buildings.


“We act as a general contractor to homeowners, homeowner associations and housing associations throughout Austria and offer them an all-round package. The facility remains 100% owned by the homeowners. Everyone in the house can draw the generated solar power from their own roof – voluntarily and at fair prices,” Johannes Frühmann explains the business model of Sonnenschmiede and emphasizes that the investments made for the owners usually double or triple over the life of the system. With the current electricity prices, we are talking more about a six-fold increase. Climate protection meets sensible investment here. Each project starts with the initial analysis including initial consultation at a low fixed price. Here the Sonnenschmiede offers a well-founded technical and economic basis for the decision-making process in the house. Electricity storage or charging stations for e-cars can also be taken into account on request. Once the order has been placed, Sonnenschmiede takes care of all the implementation steps: legal approvals, detailed planning, grid connection and assembly – together with regional partners on site. During ongoing system operation, Sonnenschmiede takes care of professional maintenance, the administration of electricity customers and fair billing of solar power. 

“With a community system in an apartment building, there are no grid fees – that’s a big financial lever,” says co-founder Thomas Auer. “We recommend the system owners to offer tenants the electricity well below the current market price. As a result, the residents also benefit from cheap and calculable electricity costs and have an additional incentive to purchase solar power.” Rapid growth planned. By 2027, the entrepreneurs want to have put 10,000 photovoltaic systems into operation and thus save around 32,000,000 tons of CO2 per year. In view of the five million residents of apartment buildings and 400,000 roof areas that have not yet been used, this seems quite realistic. “We already have significantly more inquiries than we would have dreamed of a year ago,”

Further information:
Sonnenschmiede GmbH | Greith 25, 8103 Rein | office@sonnen-schmiede.at
FN 573953 z | LG for ZRS Graz | ATU77860316 | IBAN AT26 2081 5000 4410 4404

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