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meet the women driving the energy transition in the world's most liveable city

Updated: Mar 21

Eight out of a total of twelve business area managers at Austria's biggest energy provider are female and together they ensure that Vienna remains one of the most livable cities.


Alma Kahler, Business Unit Manager Asset Development, Realization and Management

Alma Kahler is Head of the Asset Development, Realization and Management business unit at Wien Energie since May 2022. She holds a degree in economics and social sciences and has many years of project and management experience.


What contribution do you make (in your job) to ensure that Vienna remains one of the world's most livable cities in the future?

By expanding renewable energy, my employees and I are helping to achieve the 2040 climate goals, namely the decarbonization of Vienna, and to ensure the security of supply.

What excites you most about your job and what is particularly important to you in your work environment?

What I love about my job is making optimal decisions in challenging situations, implementing projects, leading employees in a productive working environment and allowing them to develop.

Wien Energie’s culture goal is focus, how do you manage to stay focused in your role?

If you’re passionate about what you do and manage to stay consistent, your focus is automatically high.


Linda Kirchberger, Business Unit Manager Asset Decarbonization & New Technologies


Linda Kirchberger has been the Head of Asset Decarbonization and New Technologies at Wien Energie since August 2022. As such, she is responsible for the decarbonized heat generation asset for sustainable district heating. In addition, all research and implementation initiatives related to renewable hydrogen are bundled in this business unit. She holds a degree in Applied Physics and started her management career in Mumbai, India. She enjoys spending her free time on the water in a rowboat or on a road bike exploring the world, as well as with friends and family.



What contribution do you make (in your job) to ensure that Vienna remains one of the world's most livable cities in the future?

Together with my team, I get to work with a lot of energy and motivation to make Vienna's energy future climate-neutral every single day. Through geothermal energy and large-scale heat pumps, we are decarbonizing Vienna's district heating step by step; through thedevelopment of the green hydrogen economy, we are converting our power plants, industry and mobility to green gases; and we are conducting targeted research into the solutions of the future, such as storage, the circular economy and green energy supply.

What excites you most about your job and what is particularly important to you in your work environment?

What excites me most about my job is that I can use, shape and implement synergies together with a motivated and forward-looking team of experts. It is important to me that we deal with each other in an open and trusting manner and that different opinions and diversity are seen and recognized as an enrichment.

Wien Energie’s culture goal is focus, how do you manage to stay focused in your role?

Through rowing, I have learned that the perfect rowing stroke can only be achieved by staying focused on the right sequence of movements. I try to remember this in my professional context as well and focus on the essentials.


Astrid Schober, Business Unit Manager IT Management


IT is also managed by women at Wien Energie. Astrid Schober has headed the IT team since 2017. With a degree in information management and several years of international experience in IT consulting for energy utilities, she is known far beyond Austria's borders for her expertise in IT strategy, IT architecture and blockchain.


What contribution do you make (in your job) to ensure that Vienna remains one of the world's most livable cities in the future?

IT supports the digitalization of essential processes at Wien Energie - from the customer interface to power plant operations. In this way, we contribute to increasing process quality and efficiency and help our customers to optimize their customer experience.

What excites you most about your job and what is particularly important to you in your work environment?

The range of tasks in IT is very diverse. For example, we provide support for big data, artificial intelligence and user experience, but we also provide tangible workplace equipment for Wien Energie employees. Close cooperation with the users in the departments and on the customer side is crucial for the development of customized solutions.

Wien Energie’s culture goal is focus, how do you manage to stay focused in your role?

Reduction to the essentials: Through stringent management of the IT budget, joint prioritization of projects according to benefit and appropriate allocation of resources, we make room for those projects that differentiate us from the competition. In our private lives, we enjoy occasional yoga sessions and mountain/ski tours to lonely peaks.


Annemarie Kouba, Business Unit Manager Customer Service


Annemarie Kouba has been with Wien Energie since 2001 and learned her business from scratch. She started as a personal customer service agent herself and has been Head of the customer service division since December 2021. Even before that, the experienced manager has held various management positions in customer service.



What contribution do you make (in your job) to ensure that Vienna remains one of the world's most livable cities in the future?

As Head of Customer Service, I make an active contribution to ensuring that Vienna remains a livable city in the future. We put all our energy into this every day and offer our customers the best possible service, even in difficult times. We also support our customers in the energy transition by providing energy advice and practical energy-saving tips.

We are particularly proud of our contribution to climate protection in the context of digitization, for example through the share of PDF bills, which we were able to increase to 30% last year, and the further development of our online services. Our customer portal "Meine Wien Energie" (My Wien Energy) not only helps our customers to resolve their issues quickly and easily but also saves a lot of paper. Last year, we achieved the strongest digital service performance with 230,000 online transactions.

We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that Vienna remains a good place to live in the future. That's why we have firmly anchored the topic of climate protection in our KS mission statement.


What excites you most about your job and what is particularly important to you in your working environment?

As head of customer service, my aim is not only to serve our customers, but also to inspire them. Even though we are currently facing challenges due to high demand, we are still committed to this goal and are working hard to achieve it.

It is particularly important to me that we treat each other with respect and appreciation, and that we communicate openly and constructively. My personal motto for achieving this goal is: clarity before harmony! I am convinced that we function best as a team when we pull together and share our ideas and experiences. Mistakes should not be seen as obstacles, but as opportunities for improvement, so that we can continue to develop.

I also want e to motivate and encourage my employees so that they can develop their skills and abilities in their jobs. A good balance between challenging and encouraging is crucial for me. Through shared goals and perspectives, I want to create a positive working environment in which we all give our best and support each other.

Wien Energie’s culture goal is focus, how do you manage to stay focused in your role?

The focus in the Customer Service business unit is to concentrate on core competencies in order to provide an outstanding customer experience. To do this, we have defined clear goals and created a common understanding within the team. We promote transparent and open communication and support each other to move successfully into the future.

We know that we have set our sights high - however, we will only achieve our goals if we all work together on the issues with a lot of trust and consistency and regularly give each other critical and constructive feedback and are also brave enough to make changes.

We, therefore, rely on an agile working environment, allow ourselves to be inspired by external influences and regularly introduce new ideas and measures to continuously improve our service.

We make sure we don't lose sight of our goals and adjust priorities as needed. We pay attention to a good balance between workload and relaxation in order to remain efficient in the long term.


Teresa Pachernegg, Business Unit Manager Sales and Marketing


Teresa Pachernegg has been Head of Sales and Marketing at Wien Energie since August 2022. In addition to her technical expertise, the environmental engineering graduate can draw on broad professional experience in marketing and sales, especially in B2C and B2B sales.

What contribution do you make (in your job) to ensure that Vienna remains one of the world's most livable cities in the future?

Together with my VM team, we develop and promote decarbonization concepts (e.g. citizen solar power plant, Raus aus Gas) with the aim of making climate protection and supply security sustainable for our customers.

What excites you most about your job and what is particularly important to you in your work environment?

My favourite part about my job is that my team and I can contribute significantly to making Vienna an even more livable and sustainable city. Open, honest and appreciative communication and team play at all levels are essential for successful cooperation and goal-oriented results.

Wien Energie’s culture goal is focus, how do you manage to stay focused in your role?

It is important for me to create a balance between the professional and the private. Finding the right balance between tension and relaxation and living clarity before harmony are other important aspects.


Michaela Deutsch, Business Unit Manager Energy Services


In July 2020, Michaela Deutsch took over the "Energy Services" business unit at Wien Energie. She studied energy management and has already been working for the company since 2015.



What contribution do you make (in your job) to ensure that Vienna remains one of the world's most livable cities in the future?

Together with my team, I am responsible for designing heating and cooling supply systems for individual properties, districts, neighbourhoods, and entire urban development areas. In our supply concepts, we make sure to use all the resources and infrastructure that is available at our location as efficiently as possible. On the one hand, this enables us to design highly sustainable and climate-friendly energy supply systems that are also affordable and make careful use of our resources. In addition to the conceptual design, we are also responsible for the planning, construction, regulation and control as well as the efficient operational management of all these systems. In this way, we ensure efficiency and sustainability over the entire service life of our heating and cooling supply systems. Only proper plant operation ensures efficiency and a long service life and thus also high plant availability, which subsequently leads to high supply security.

What excites you most about your job and what is particularly important to you in your working environment?

In addition to our core tasks mentioned above, we are also responsible for the implementation of "Out of Gas" - together with our colleagues from EW and VM, we are currently designing "Vienna's future natural gas-free space heating". This is a huge task, because the gas supply in Vienna has grown over 120 years - together we will make sure that it is replaced by sustainable, renewable systems in less than 20 years. This is a huge responsibility and an incredible opportunity for each and every one of us to contribute to climate protection in our city every day - everything we do has a direct impact on our city. That excites me every day. Doing all this with a strong highly competent and motivated team in which everyone brings the necessary enthusiasm for "our task", makes us particularly strong and carries you through the most stressful days!

Wien Energie’s culture goal is focus, how do you manage to stay focused in your role?

Focus is always a bit difficult for us, as our field of activity is very broad - but that is also a challenge - to limit oneself to the essentials, to let go of old habits and to also brave the gap. I manage to keep my focus to a certain extent by practicing composure, not letting every little complication become a problem, simply solving tasks one after the other and always trying to "fit in".


Astrid Salmhofer, former Business Unit Manager Communications Management and now CCO at Wiener Stadtwerke


In October 2017, Astrid Salmhofer took over communications management at Wien Energie and now transitioned to Wiener Stadtwerke as their CCO. The communications expert has had quite an impressive career path already, one of her roles being the spokesperson for former Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer and working as part of an international program of the US Department of State in Washington DC.


What contribution do you make (in your job) to ensure that Vienna remains one of the world's most livable cities in the future?

My team gets to talk about Wien Energie's diverse and climate-friendly projects, which contribute significantly to climate neutrality in the city, both internally and externally - what a privilege! With a lot of commitment and team spirit, I work day after day to showcase my colleague’s work, and they do incredible things for Wien Energie and this city! It is my priority that Wien Energie is perceived as a climate protection company and as a pacesetter and driver of this energy transition. After all, we play a significant role in ensuring that Vienna remains the most livable city for a very long time to come!

What excites you most about your job and what is particularly important to you in your working environment?

Team spirit, commitment and implementation are particularly important to me. Making a difference, shaping things and making the world and, in our case, the city of Vienna a little bit better with our climate projects, motivates me to get up every day! I enjoy coming into the office and getting to work with the best communications team - of which I am very proud.

Wien Energie’s culture goal is focus, how do you manage to stay focused in your role?

As a passionate mountain climber, I know that you have to manage your energy in order to get up to the top and come back healthy again. That means an absolute focus on physical and mental resources, and I try to do the same in my job. Working in communication often means that you are exposed to many topics and ad-hoc situations at the same time. That’s why it is so important to prioritize and maintain an overview - it’s a challenge every day.


Lisa Groß is now the Business Unit Manager Communications Management at Wien Energie.

Katharina Polomini, Business Unit Manager Human Resources and Organizational Management



Katharina Polomini has been in charge of Human Resources and Organizational Management at Wien Energie since November 2019. Thus, she is responsible, among other things, for the entire strategic personnel management and employee* support as well as for change, project and process management. Katharina Polomini graduated in business administration.

Working at Wien Energie provides a career with a meaningful purpose and an opportunity to contribute to a greener future.


They are a proud employer of green jobs, jobs that avoid environmental damage and preserve natural resources. Apply now to be part of the journey towards CO2- neutral.


about Wien Energie


Wien Energie is Austria’s largest energy provider and is a subsidiary of the municipal utility company Wiener Stadtwerke. They supply over two million people with environmentally friendly electrical power, cooling, heating, electromobility and telecommunications in the capital of Vienna. Committed to producing energy in a sustainable manner, Wien Energie maintains a balance between environmental, social and commercial interests within their company.


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