Dalkia, the European leader in energy services, was born in 1998 from the merging of two Générale des Eaux subsidiaries - Compagnie Générale de Chauffe and Esys Montenay.
Dalkia opened up its capital to the French electricity provider Electricité de France (EDF) after the agreement between Vivendi Environnement and EDF in 2000; it now represents the Energy Services Divison of Veolia Environnement.
First performance-based contract signed
During a cold winter evening in northern France, the heating systems at the Villiers-Saint-Denis Hospital broke down. Léon Dewailly, founder of Chauffage Service, stepped in immediately. The repairs were performed so quickly that the hospital's manager asked for a facility operation and maintenance contract that stipulated a guaranteed temperature. The hospital is still a Dalkia customer today.
One of the main trends to emerge from the reconstruction of Europe was residential complexes, with their own district heating systems. Chauffage Service's fortunes expanded along with this boom.
Created in 1860 as a fuel trading company, Montenay signed its first heating plant management contract, for municipal buildings in the city of Tours.
Growth and international expansion
The decade was shaped by consolidation—Chauffage Service merged with Compagnie Générale de Chauffe (CGC), an HVAC engineering company, and CGC expanded into the United Kingdom and Belgium.
The energy crisis challenge
The energy crisis in Europe spurred new financial concerns. Montenay and Compagnie Générale de Chauffe, which had both become part of Groupe Générale des Eaux, responded to the challenge by developing geothermal energy and energy recovery, while continuing to build heating networks and constantly innovating with upgraded plants, energy transmission systems and delivery stations.
Strong growth in Europe
In the 1990s, Compagnie Générale de Chauffe expanded into Central and Eastern Europe. During this period, Compagnie Générale des Eaux brought CGC and Esys Montenay together to form a single Energy Services Division.
There was also growing public awareness of major global environmental challenges, such as scarce, expensive energy and the greenhouse effect. In response, the Energy Services Division began focusing on cogeneration and renewable energies. New solutions were developed, such as industrial services, multi-services and multitechnical services.
An international group
The Energy Service Cluster was named Dalkia in 1998. An agreement signed in 2000 allowed Dalkia to take over the companies in the EDF Services Cluster (Citélum, etc.): the company moved into a new class of international markets and a few years later became the European leader in Energy Services. Its world-scale development is illustrated by the integration of Pannonpower in Hungary, which owns the largest biomass plant in Europe, Thermal North America, Inc. (TNAI) in the United States, and large contracts in China and in Brazil.