After conquering more than 2 billion reais in annual sales in the free energy market, where most of the large companies in the country are located, the Pernambuco-based Elétron Energy has its eye on the individual consumer in search of savings on the electricity bill.
What Elétron Energy does
Elétron was founded in 2012, in Recife, by businessman André Cavalcanti, then a partner in a company focused on renewable energy generation projects.
Elétron gained relevance in the Brazilian energy market with the operation of 80 solar power plants and three small hydroelectric plants spread in states in the North, Northeast and Midwest regions.
The energy coming from these plants is added to the energy acquired from other generators operating in the free market, a kind of contract exchange for the supply of energy.
Currently, according to Brazilian legislation, only consumers of at least 500 kilowatts - something like a monthly expenditure of 140,000 reais - can be in the free market.
For the time being, Elétron supplies 600 companies in the free energy market.
When Elétron buys Juntos
The bet on the individual consumer gains strength at Elétron as a result of two moments in the company:
- In February 2019, the Alothon fund, with offices in New York and São Paulo, and with investors with experience in Brazil's capital markets, buys a majority stake in Elétron for more than 100 million reais.
- In December 2021, capitalized, Elétron buys the Minas Gerais startup Enercred, now renamed Juntos Energia.
Juntos's business is to bring energy produced in solar and wind power plants to homes and small businesses.
The advantage of the model is economy: in the company's calculations, clients save up to 20% on their electricity bill compared to spending with traditional sources, supplied by energy concessionaires.
"All this without the need for installing photovoltaic plates on the roof of the house or fees for joining the model," says José Otávio Bustamante, an electrical engineer with ten years of experience in renewable energy and one of the founders of Juntos. He is joined by co-founder Rodrigo Protázio.
The project was born from the academic work of an edx.org platform course created by Harvard and MIT universities, in the United States.
At the end of the course, 400 prototypes were submitted, and the hybrid solar panel model created by José Otávio ended up among the 20 selected to be further prototyped at the Prototype Camp at MIT's Sloan School of Management.
It was through the exchange with other specialists in energy generation that the entrepreneur decided to create a project based on the company's current business model, focusing on the energy sharing service.
How it is possible to save 20% on the electricity bill
The electricity supplied by Juntos ends up being more affordable for the final consumer due to the series of tax incentives for renewable energies in practice today in Brazil.
The electricity passes through the transmission towers and poles of the concessionaire itself.
In addition, the bill for the Juntos startup's service comes in a monthly subscription model, similar to a traditional electricity bill.
The bill can be viewed in Juntos' own app, with a UX designed to provide the basic information about the energy chain to even the most layman on the subject.
"We are the first Brazilian company to connect power plants to the utility networks through a subscription model," says Bustamante.
Juntos' business model became possible after two resolutions from Aneel, the sector's regulatory agency, and law 14.300, sanctioned this year, allowed the connection of solar and wind power generation farms to the final consumer using the distribution structure of the utilities themselves.
Who can be a client
The company currently has more than 20,000 customers, with more than 90% living in apartments or houses, with bills over R$200.
Juntos' target public today are individual consumers or small and medium-sized companies with bills of more than R$ 200 per month.
Recently the demand for the service from small and medium-sized companies has grown, representing 80% of new purchases, says Bustamante.
"Among them are stores such as bakeries, pharmacies, bars, butchers, restaurants, and gyms, as well as offices and small factories," he says.
Where the company is going
For this it hired the executives Cleber Paradela, former global creative marketing director of DiDi Chuxing, Chinese giant that controls the application 99 in Brazil, and Leandro Caldas Melito, sales executive with more than 25 years of experience in retail for individuals and companies in companies such as Claro, Telefônica, and Vivo.
The company operates in Minas Gerais and will soon offer power portability also in:
- São Paulo
- Rio de Janeiro
- Mato Grosso
For this it is making a series of partnerships and acquisitions of mini and micro plants, offering not only solar energy, but also wind, hydroelectric and biomass, generated from waste and organic matter, thus maintaining the exclusivity of having in its operation only renewable energy generation sources, says João Henrique Perez Santos, CFO of Elétron Energy.
By the end of 2025, Juntos' goal is to reach 1 million clients in Brazil. To get there, the partners count on the national expansion of the business.