Going green in Armenia

By Nick Thompson

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Founded in 2016, OHM Energy is a technical company with green credentials, helping its customers find quality renewable energy solutions across Armenia. With support from the EBRD and the EU, the business recently underwent a rebrand, with the implementation of a new website and marketing strategy to help it grow.

OHM Energy’s co-founders, Sevak Gevorgyan (CEO), Hrant Gnuni (CFO) and Gevorg Hakhverdyan (CCO), met in their student years in 2004 when they were just becoming acquainted with the nuances of the energy sector and beginning to realise how much work there was to do in the sphere.

As post-graduates, confronted with the realities of climate change, they continued conducting laboratory research and writing scientific articles, mainly focusing on the renewable energy sector, and became specialists in the field. Fast-forward to 2016 and it was time to bring their practical scientific experience to the world of business through the establishment of OHM Energy.

Among other things, the company implements solar power station installations, energy efficiency measurements and other electrical projects throughout the country. During a challenging 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, the company nevertheless managed to build the largest solar power plant in Armenia, with a capacity of 6 MW.

Identity, influence and messaging

In its bid to become a leader in the local energy market and persuade prospective customers of the merits of renewables, OHM Energy’s co-founders reached out to the EBRD for support. Having identified what was required to reach those goals, we facilitated a tailored marketing plan and sales strategy to solidify the company’s commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles.

The cornerstone of the project was to increase the accessibility of relatable and succinct information about solar energy and energy saving for the general population through the new website. This was an unmitigated success and, in Gevorg’s words, led to “a big increase in customer engagement, and consequently the growth and development of our business”.

Building on the newly developed marketing strategy, the company also invested in digital technologies including implementing automated systems for customer service and improving the company's workflow.

The company name refers to the German physicist Georg Ohm, who discovered the fundamental law later named after him, where the ‘ohm’ is the standard unit of electrical resistance. The logo uses the omega symbol ‘Ω’, which often denotes the end of something –­ in this case, of old energy systems. Visually, although unintentionally, it also looks like a depiction of the sun meeting a solar panel. The branding reflects the company’s commitment to solar energy and communicates the virtues of solar over conventional energy systems.

Green growth

Armenia now allows excess electricity generated from solar panels to be sold to its electricity grid, and along with the EBRD’s Green Economy Financing Facility, which helps Armenian businesses invest in high-performing technologies, there is plenty of potential to scale up the renewable energy programme in the country.

Since the EBRD’s intervention, OHM Energy has become one of the top five companies in its field. It has seen a dramatic increase in sales and turnover and its operations have profited greatly from tax and other benefits promoted by government energy efficiency measures, resulting in higher demand for its products locally.

The company also acquired exclusive rights to represent the leading German solar panel manufacturer AE SOLAR in Armenia, which will help it stay competitive and achieve its green energy goals in Armenia and beyond.

“We have a number of developing programmes and envisage becoming an international Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor,” says Gevorg. “We already have several agreements in Georgia and are starting to cooperate with a number of international companies.”

And that is not all: the company also wants to expand into the distribution of solar pumps in Armenia, to popularise the use of electric cars, and to move into the construction of smart houses.

OHM Energy’s overarching vision is “to ensure progress that will guarantee the sustainable development of present and future generations by harmonising and balancing environmental issues”.

In an increasingly crowded market, with government incentives and competition fuelling innovation and decreasing the costs to become more sustainable, there has been a sea change in people’s attitudes towards green technologies, and companies which are driving our shift to renewables, like OHM Energy, are essential in ensuring that a brighter future starts with today.

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