Increases in the cost of energy are hitting businesses and households hard and unfortunately no improvements are predicted in the short term. To try to help employees, Andrea Beri, CEO of ITA Spa, recently decided to pay the company’s workers an “energy bonus”: a one-off addition to their wages to cover the rises in energy bills (from 250 to 400 euros).
The company has been investing in technologies to improve energy efficiency for some time. Steelgroup, the holding company to which ITA Spa also belongs, has equipped several production sites with cogeneration plants at the technological state of the art and is able to produce electricity in-house. To give an idea of the impact of these projects, every year the ITA Spa location at Calolziocorte consumes about 60 GWh of electricity and produces about 25 GWh of this itself. The surplus energy produced is returned to the grid and thus sold, and the revenue generated, net of costs, can thus be transferred, as in this case, to the 128 workers in the form of an “energy bonus”.
The “energy bonus” is not just an ITA Spa project. A few days ago CB Trafilati Acciai, another Steelgroup company owned by the Beri family, based in the Veneto Region, also introduced the same scheme for its employees.
In the case of CB Trafilati Acciai the process is carried out using a latest-generation generator, which does not only produce energy but also recovers the heat produced, as well as using heat exchangers to cool some sectors of the production plants. For a plant like that of CB Trafilati Acciai, in-house energy product accounts for about 30% of the company’s total consumption. Installation of another trigeneration plant (the precise term for the type of plant described above), the “twin” of the one already in operation, will be completed during 2022, and probably by the end of the next quarter. All this also has a positive impact from the point of view of protecting the environment in terms of tonnes of CO2 not emitted into the atmosphere.
Far Spa of Feltre will also be giving every one of its 47 employees a bonus of about 250 euros to help them meet soaring energy bills. The company, owned by Steelgroup Italy Holding and located in the Villapaiera industrial area, is a specialist producer of tempered microalloyed steel wires.
Thanks to plants at the technological state of the art and high quality standards applied to the process and final controls, FAR – the company explains to us – is a reliable international supplier to the top producers of springs, elastic components and safety-critical formed parts for use in the medical, automotive, aviation and defence sectors.
As for the other group companies, the resources fielded by FAR to assist employees with their energy bills derive from the in-house production of energy using a cogenerator.
“We are living in a time of strong economic tensions that also have great social impact,“ Andrea Beri declared. “Our companies’ in-house energy production system is yielding benefits for us, and so I have decided to share these advantages with my employees in the form of an “energy bonus”. I am well aware that a one-off payment will not solve the problem, but I hope that this small contribution will relieve households’ economic hardship. Unfortunately, I am afraid that electricity and gas prices are not going to fall in the short term. We will monitor events and be ready to play our part, as always.”
And while in terms of the Holding company, the three businesses headed by Andrea Beri – ITA, CB and FAR – have all signed up to the initiative, Metallurgica Alta Brianza, the fourth member of the Steelgroup group, has also decided to make a real contribution in this situation of great difficulty and uncertainty, by awarding a 400 euro bonus to all its 70 employees.
“The company is performing very well,” comments MAB general manager Guido Baggioli, “and we’re very pleased with our results, so since this is a critically hard time for families, we decided to step in.” What’s more, given the company’s excellent results, in their April pay packets employees will also receive the maximum productivity and profitability bonus payable under our in-house contract. Businesses like ours still have a family character and our relationship with our staff is very close, so we’ve decided to take real action to support them.”