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In focus - Energy Efficiency

What pertains to companies?

Introduction

Source: mauritius images/Clynt Garnham Germany/Alamy

© mauritius images/Clynt Garnham Germany/Alamy

Energy efficiency investments pay off for companies in many different ways. First, businesses can lower their energy bills and hone their competitive edge. However, they also reduce CO2 emissions, combat climate change and put their business model on a strong, sustainable foundation that is better equipped for the future. You can learn about the NAPE policies that target industry players below.

The CO2 Building Modernisation Programme, under which funding is provided for the KfW programmes for energy-efficient construction and retrofitting, has been a great success. Over 4.6 million homes have been built or modernised to be energy-efficient since 2006, representing nearly €283 billion in total investment. As such, the programme has played an pivotal role in making thousands of buildings more energy-efficient well beyond the legal requirements. Now the duration of the programme has been extended until 2018 and €2 billion added to its previous financial envelope.

Funding takes the form of grants or low-interest loans that may be combined with loan-repayment grants. As a rule, financial incentives rise with the level of energy efficiency achieved.

  • Residential buildings: The “energy-efficient construction” and “energy-efficient retrofitting” programmes for residential buildings each come in two varieties, with funding available in the form of a loan or grant. The loans provided for KfW Efficiency Houses under the programme can now be as high as 100,000 euros, up from the previous 75,000. Similarly, the loan repayment and investment grants available under the ‘energy-efficient retrofitting’ programme have also been increased and a new repayment grant introduced for one-off measures to improve a building’s energy performance. As of April 2016, there has been a new KfW standard, the KfW Efficiency House 40 Plus, for which funding is now available under the “energy-efficient construction” programme. Funding for the KfW Efficiency House 70 is no longer available.
    Under the ‘energy-efficient construction and retrofitting – construction supervision’ programme, grants are also available for construction expertise and supervision services. This programme has now been expanded to cover one-off measures and the construction of new buildings.
  • Municipal and social service buildings: The programmes entitled ‘Investment loans for municipalities’ (IKK) and ‘Investment loans for municipal and social enterprises’ are designed to promote energy-efficient retrofitting and construction where community and local government buildings are concerned. Whilst the funding for retrofitting has been available for quite some time, funding for the construction of new buildings has only been available since October 2015.
  • Commercial buildings: In July 2015, the ‘KfW energy-efficiency programme for energy efficient construction and retrofitting’ was expanded to include commercial buildings. This leg of the programme has also been very successful, with more than 2,000 low-interest loans for energy-efficient retrofitting and construction approved since the start of the programme and an overall investment volume of some €7.6 billion. Altogether, it is fair to say that the individual programmes under the CO2 Building Modernisation Programme are a key driver of the energy transition.

Further information

  • 01/04/2016 - Press release - Energy Efficiency

    Press release: Changes to the KfW programme for energy-efficient construction as of 1 April 2016

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In April 2015, a new edition of the Market Incentive Programme (MAP) came into force. This new programme marks another important step towards implementing the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency. With new elements such as output-based support for solar thermal power and with more rigorous efficiency criteria, the MAP has set new benchmarks for the heating industry. The Market Incentive Programme has an annual volume of more than €300 million, making it the most important instrument designed to promote the use of renewables in the heating market.

Under the MAP, funding is provided for private consumers who decide to get on board the energy transition and have their heating system retrofitted to run on renewables. Funding is provided for the installation of solar thermal installations (with a collector area of up to 40 square meters), biomass-based heating systems (with a nominal heating capacity of up to 100 kW), and heat pumps (with a nominal heating capacity of up to 100 kW) and comes in the form of an investment grant which is paid out by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (in German). The funding programme places a special focus on setting up new installations in existing buildings. In the case of new buildings, in contrast, funding is only available for certain innovative types of installations. Persons who set up installations that exceed the capacities mentioned above can also receive funding, namely under the ‘KfW Renewable Energy Premium programme (271)’ (in German). This funding comes in the form of repayment grants for low-interest KfW loans.

New procedure for applying for funding from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control from 1 January 2018

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has revised the procedure for making applications to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, making it even clearer and easier to understand for those applying for funding, and harmonising all funding areas. From 1 January 2018, all applications for funding under the Market Incentive Programme need to be made before work on the heating system starts, i.e. before a contract with the heating technician is made. However, this does not apply to planning services. These can be ordered and provided prior to the application. As soon as the new heating system is operational, applicants can submit the required documents to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, which will then pay out the funding amount.
All applicants who start using their heating system in 2017 have nine months to submit their application for funding from the time the system starts operating.
For more information on the new application procedure and the rules that apply during the transition period, please call the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control at +49 (0)6196 908 2156 or +49 (0)6196 908 2721 (MAP division).

You can also find additional information about the Market Incentive Programme (MAP) on this website (in German) and in our FAQ section.

If you want to find out more about how you can apply for KfW funding, please go to www.kfw.de (in German) or call the KfW Infocenter on freephone +49 (0)800 5399002.

If you want to receive general information about funding under the Market Incentive Programme, please consult the website of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (in German) or call +49 (0)6196 908 1625.

On 1 January 2016, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy launched its new Energy Efficiency Incentive programme (APEE), under which funding will be provided for the modernisation of heating and ventilation systems in the home. It was introduced instead of previous efforts to provide tax breaks for the energy-efficient retrofitting of buildings. The aim of the APEE is to create a stimulus for innovation and investment in efficient and renewables-based heating systems in the home. Under the APEE, a total of 165 million Euro in funding will be available each year for a period of 3 years. This funding will be provided in the form of low-interest loans and grants.

The Energy Efficiency Incentive programme will build upon and strengthen the range of funding schemes that is already available. Home owners who would like to replace their heating system or install a ventilation system are eligible to apply for additional funding. For the very first time, support will also be provided for efficient combi-solutions.

The heating package will make funding available for the installation of particularly efficient heating systems, including measures to optimise the heating system as a whole (including radiators and pipes). This serves to promote a changeover to more efficient gas-based heating systems or heating systems based on renewables. The support provided for the installation of ventilation systems, combined with modernisation of the building envelope, will also help prevent damage occurring to buildings (such as mould) and for improving the indoor climate.

Persons wishing to install a heating system that runs on fossil fuels can apply for funding under the ventilation and heating package by using the same application procedure as under the KfW Energy-Efficient Modernisation programme. Funding is available either in the form of a grant or as a loan. Under the heating and ventilation package, grants, for example, will be raised from 10 % to 15 % of the investment costs. Funding for fuel cell heating systems is available under the heading Energy-efficient Construction and Retrofitting - Fuel Cell Grant. This scheme complements the existing funding programmes on energy-efficient construction and retrofitting (the Federal Government's CO2 Building Modernisation Programme). Private home owners have been able to apply for funding under the scheme since August 2016. In July 2017, the scheme was extended to non-residential buildings, meaning that the programme is now open not only to individuals, but also to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), contractors, charities and local authorities. In view of the high investment costs for fuel-cell heating systems compared with conventional heating appliances, we want to assist the market roll-out.

Further information on the specific terms that apply can be found at www.kfw.de. Alternatively, you can call the KfW Infocenter on freephone 0800 5399002.
Persons wishing to install a heating system that runs on renewable energy can apply for funding under the ventilation and heating package by using the same application procedure as under the Market Incentive Programme (MAP) for renewable energies in the heat market. Those applying for funding under the heating package are also eligible to apply for a further 20 % of the level of the funding amount that has previously been granted for heating-system replacements under the Market Incentive Programme, and for a further €600 for heating system optimisation. The legal framework for this is provided by the Guidelines Promoting the Accelerated Modernisation of Heating Systems Using Renewable Energies (in German) (PDF, 369KB). Further information on the specific terms that apply can be found at www.heizen-mit-erneuerbaren-energien.de (in German). Alternatively, you can call the hotline set up by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control at +49 (0)6196 9081625.

In order to promote investment, APEE will also include an extensive efficiency campaign.

Further information

  • 01/06/2016 - Press release - Energy Efficiency

    Press release: Competing to use electricity more efficiently: the first round of bids for the STEP up! funding programme

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On 1 June 2016, the German government launched a programme for ‘promoting electricity conservation within competitive auctioning schemes’ (‘STEP up!’). Under this programme, companies across all sectors are called upon to identify potential action they could take in order to bring down their electricity consumption and to submit these proposals in a competition for grants. The government has developed this new instrument to achieve maximum electricity conservation at the lowest possible cost. Funding will be granted for those measures that achieve the most in terms of electricity conservation per euro of funding.

‘STEP up’ is designed to encourage companies to identify areas where they can improve their energy efficiency and implement measures that take longer than three years to amortise in terms of electricity costs. Funding is available for any kind of investment that is proven to reduce a company’s electricity consumption, no matter if this means changing standard components or developing tailored systems solutions or whether action is taken on the company’s premises or at their customer’s premises. The competition is open to all companies, ranging from small and medium-sized family owned set-ups to large corporations. Companies can submit their proposals for internal action, but may as well choose to propose ‘collective projects’ whereby a large number of identical or similar measures will be conducted in private households or in businesses. All of this means that “STEP up” opens up new opportunities for companies to identify and implement action to improve their energy efficiency. “Step up!” entered its pilot phase on 1 June 2016. Up until the end of 2018, the German government will be providing a total of €300 million of funding under the programme. If the programme proves successful it is to be continued beyond 2018, perhaps even extended.

For more information about the programme and current edition of the competition, please go to www.stepup-energieeffizienz.de (in german) and www.machts-effizient.de (in german).

Further information

  • 01/06/2016 - Press release - Energy Efficiency

    Press release: Competing to use electricity more efficiently: the first round of bids for the STEP up! funding programme

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Energy savings contracting is traditionally the sole province of large corporations. That is about to change. Contracting allows entire energy retrofits to be performed by a specialised energy service provider and financed in instalments.

One example of energy savings contracting is a deep retrofit of an entire office building. A craft-based company (the contractor) draws up a retrofit plan and commits to a certain level of savings based on the plan. The building owner (the client) pays the contractor a monthly contracting instalment once the retrofit is complete. The instalments continue for an agreed period, such as ten years.

The funds for the retrofit are advanced by the craft enterprise, who borrows them from a bank. This is no problem for large corporations. They have enough collateral to obtain credit. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however, have always struggled to get loans for contracting work. Banks simply refused to assume the full risk for such a long-term loan.

This is where the guarantee banks come in. Guarantee banks are industry-operated banks that serve industry players. They grant deficiency guarantees for up to 80 per cent of the loan amount so SMEs can obtain financing even if they have no or insufficient standard bank collateral. The guarantee banks, for their part, receive counter-guarantees from the Federal Government and the federal states to reduce their own risk exposure.

The Federal Government is talking with the federal states about improving the terms for the deficiency guarantees already being provided by guarantee banks for contracting projects. This should significantly increase the number of loans extended by banks.

In addition, the Federal Government has issued the "Project developers for energy savings contracting" funding guideline in order to educate SMEs and local authorities about this new method of financing retrofits.

KfW maintains low-interest financing programmes for improving the energy efficiency of production processes and equipment. In the future, the value of its support will depend solely on the amount of energy saved. Put simply: the more energy a company can save with energy-efficient production processes and equipment, the less it will pay in interest on loans from KfW. It will also be much simpler to prove to KfW how much energy the efficiency measures will save.

The KfW energy efficiency programmes for “production facilities and processes” was revised to become more attractive and to have a greater scope, and relaunched on 1 August 2015. What were formerly separate programmes for energy-efficient retrofitting and energy-efficient construction of commercial buildings have been bundled together into a new Building Modernisation Programme, which has also become more attractive.

The focus of the funding guidelines (in German) (PDF, 175KB) that entered into force on 1 May 2016 and were amended as of 1 September 2017 is on investments in modernisation, expansion and construction work to ensure that facilities do not generate (as much) waste heat or that any waste heat generate is used efficiently either by the company itself or by a third party. By 2020, these kinds of measures are to help eliminate at least one million tonnes of carbon emissions. A total of 600 million Euro of funding is available for this purpose. For this purpose, the former “proactive use of waste heat” leg of the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (NAPE) has been turned into a fully-fledged initiative for avoiding and using waste heat.

As of 1 September 2017 companies wishing to upgrade their facilities in this way have had the choice between a KfW loan complete with a repayment grant and a direct KfW grant (without a loan), which becomes payable as soon as the relevant work has been successfully completed. For more information, please contact the KfW information centre at 0800-5399001 (free of charge).

On 1 August 2016, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy launched its programme for funding heating optimisation via highly efficient pumps and hydraulic balancing (in German) (PDF, 367KB). The programme provides funding for measures that require only a small investment to be made and creates incentives for consumers to improve their existing heating systems. Advantages: This means that consumers will be able to reduce their energy and heating costs, receive a government grant of up to 30 per cent of their investment, and also make a contribution to Germany’s energy transition.

The programme provides funding for the installation of highly-efficient heating and hot water circulation pumps, the use of hydraulic balancing and other measures that require only a small investment to be made such as buying pre-adjustable thermostatic valves and having these valves installed by a professional. In 2017, €360 million will be available under the programme; and between 2018 and the end of 2020, €470 million will be available each year.

One key characteristic of the programme is that it provides funding for measures that can be implemented easily and without major changes having to be made to the building whilst at the same time having the potential to make the heating system run much more efficiently. Pumps and thermostatic valves can be replaced within hours, and in smaller buildings, the process of hydraulic balancing can be completed within one day. So the measures can even be implemented during cold weather.
Applications for funding need to be submitted to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control. You only need to complete two steps to receive funding. Step 1: Go to the website of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control for registration (in German); step 2: Have the work completed and submit the required data via the online portal operated by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (in German).

For more information about the programme, go to www.bafa.de (in German) and www.machts-effizient.de (in German), or call 0800 0115 000 to use the free hotline operated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Under the new energy-savings meter pilot programme, companies providing their customers with the metering infrastructure, data tools, and additional services they need to save energy are eligible to receive up to €1 million in funding per project. By launching this new programme, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is seeking to further promote the use of smart home, smart building and smart production applications and other smart systems that help users reduce their energy consumption.

By connecting existing devices or systems to the internet, users can receive customised advice and services that help them save energy. This is to help users make informed decisions and identify

  • how much electricity is consumed by a particular device in their home,
  • which devices or systems use the most electricity and therefore drive up costs,
  • the most effective way to bring down their energy consumption.

So energy-saving meters show users where they use the highest amounts of energy and which measures are the most effective to improve energy efficiency and therefore to save energy and money. Energy-saving meters help users become more aware of how much energy they are actually using and take steps to reduce their energy consumption.

Under the programme, funding is available for companies that are trying out, enhancing and marketing digital solutions for reducing electricity, gas, heat and cooling consumption by providing these solutions to final consumers. This is being done as part of a number of pilot projects that cover different sectors and a wide range of different users.

The funding guidelines governing the energy-savings meter pilot programme were published on 20 May 2016 and entered into force the next day. Applications for funding can be submitted via the website of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (in german).

Further information can be found here (in german).

The Federal Government wants to help companies independently set energy efficiency targets for themselves. This is why it has teamed up with business associations and organisations to form the Energy Efficiency Networks Initiative, which currently has 21 members. The joint project is designed to encourage companies throughout Germany to form voluntary energy efficiency networks. Within these networks and with the support of an energy advisor, companies can then discuss potential energy efficiency measures to be taken, and commit themselves to specific targets.

In late 2014, the Federal Government and the private sector agreed to initiate 500 energy efficiency networks by 2020 and formed an alliance to this effect. The alliance has put in place some key infrastructure supporting these partnerships, such as informational and organisational structures, guidelines on how the networks are supposed to work, and an office supporting the organisations involved. Furthermore, the benefits of the work have been communicated to a large audience. By December 2016, more than 1,000 companies had joined one of the 100 networks that have so far been formed under the initiative. And they have found that they’ve made the right decision. Being part of a network makes it possible for them to gain a better understanding of the areas in which they could increase their energy performance, and of how this can be done. The companies that have become part of a network have been achieving this at a much higher speed than the industrial average. The work done within the networks has the advantage of making the workforce and management passionate about energy efficiency.

Over the course of 2017, this new movement is to gain further traction, with continuous growth in the number of new networks being formed. The Federal Government and the private sector will be working together to achieve this. For more information about this initiative, please go to www.effizienznetzwerke.org.

Our goal is clear: we want to reduce energy consumption 50 per cent by 2050 as part of the energy transition. To reach this goal, we will have to conserve energy in every sector of the economy. The current crop of climate and energy policy tools and measures are generally not industry-specific, however. We can boost energy savings further by focusing more on taking industry-specific action. After all, the more closely energy efficiency programmes are tailored to an industry, the more effective they will be.

Building on the industry-specific climate protection and energy conservation campaign launched by DEHOGA, the German hotel and restaurant association, the Federal Government intends to support the development of other industry-specific efficiency campaigns.

The EU energy label helps consumers choose devices that are particularly energy-efficient. They are a familiar sight in every modern-day appliances store: energy labels that feature prominently on fridges, TVs and other electrical devices. The colour-coded scale which runs from A (very high efficiency) to G (very low efficiency) provides consumers with information about how much energy a particular device uses. However, some product categories already have devices in efficiency class A+++. And it will be very difficult to mark out further improvements in efficiency by continuing along the same pattern.

In November 2015, the EU Member States decided to eliminate the A+ to A+++ efficiency classes, which had often been confusing to consumers, and return to the more effective A to G scale. The Federal Government had continually lobbied for this change to be made as the revised label will help consumers to better detect the differences in efficiency between several appliances and choose the most efficient one. In order to ensure that the label will not once again lose its effectiveness and to take account of further improvements in energy efficiency, the top categories – usually class A, and for product groups that show rapid technological development classes A and B – will be left empty. The EU regulation on the subject sets out clear procedures and deadlines for transitioning to the revised A to G label.

From 2019, all labelled products will be listed in a product database, which will make it possible for consumers to compare different products in terms of efficiency and make it easier for market surveillance authorities to monitor whether products carrying the label comply with the requirements.

Following the political decision on the new energy label of 21 March 2017 and the decisions made by the European Parliament and the Council in June of the same year, the Energy Labelling Regulation entered into force on 1 August 2017.

German Energy Agency brochure: The EU energy efficiency label – helping consumers make informed decisions (in German)

The range of energy-efficient and high-quality washing machines, ovens and TVs is growing fast. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy’s National Top Runner Initiative seeks to further boost the roll-out of energy-efficient and high-quality products and encourage consumers to factor in energy efficiency when making a purchasing decision. This means that everyone needs to pull their weight: consumers, retailers and producers.

Consumers are given targeted information on energy-efficient products and how these products can be used to save energy. This is to make consumers more aware of the issue of energy efficiency and raise demand for energy-efficient products. Retailers can also do their bit and provide adequate information to their customers as they decide what product they want to buy and convince them of the benefits that buying an energy-efficient product would have. The Initiative helps retailers do that by providing them with information and expertise and by organising networking activities. Manufacturers also need to do their bit. They need to continuously develop and enhance technology and provide fresh ideas that will help improve energy efficiency. This is crucial as even though a product may seem extremely efficient today, it may be considered a big energy guzzler tomorrow.

So the National Top Runner Initiative focuses its activities on three key parts of the value chain: the production, selling and buying / using of the products. In order for these different activities to be well-coordinated, the National Top Runner Initiative is providing information and promoting dialogue.

  • Among its offers is, for example, a product search function (in German) that individuals can use to obtain information about energy-efficient products. The Initiative is planning to launch an information campaign, providing information about different product groups and about the revision of the EU energy label.
  • The Initiative is providing access to a network (in German), where retailers can engage in dialogue on sales activities, and customer information, and can work together on designing workshops for retailers (in German).
  • The initiative is providing support for producers who are developing innovative products, for example via the open innovation platform (in German).

Representatives of all the important stakeholder groups have signalled their support for the NTRI objectives. These groups include the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI), Bitkom, the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF), the German Retail Trade Association (HDE), the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV) and Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (Friends of the Earth Germany). The organisations have issued a joint statement in which they pledge to drive forward the development and sale of energy-efficient products and the energy-efficient use of these products. This new initiative helps to considerably improve energy efficiency, reduce energy demand and therefore make a key contribution to implementing the energy transition. So energy efficiency really does pays off!

The National Top Runner Initiative was launched on 1 January 2016 and is being continuously being developed by working with consumers, retailers and producers. The launch event was held on 14 June 2016 at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Further information can be found here (in German).

If we want to lower Germany's energy consumption 20 per cent by 2020, everyone will have to contribute. First, though, we all have to know how much energy we consume. Most large enterprises are already performing energy audits at their own initiative. In these audits, they systematically investigate how much energy they consume and where they could save energy. Once they have this detailed information, they can invest in selected efficiency efforts and thus lower their energy expenses and sharpen their competitive edge.

Since 22 April 2015, large companies have been under obligation to undergo energy audits at set intervals. This means that their energy consumption will be systematically analysed by an expert and reviewed as to how it can be improved.

Making the potential for energy conservation transparent in this way benefits the environment and also the companies themselves. Well-informed companies invest more in energy efficiency and thus boost their competitiveness.

So far, 3,343 experts have joined the register of energy auditors, which is available online. This list is kept up to date by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control. It has the names of persons who have the qualifications necessary to be able to conduct corporate energy audits.

In January 2016, the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control began to conduct some random checks. The new requirement for energy auditing is to help lower Germany’s carbon emissions by 3.4 million tonnes.

The SME Initiative for Energy Reforms and Climate Protection helps small and medium-sized enterprises contribute to Germany's energy reforms. It aims for them to save as much energy and operate as energy-efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, specialised SMEs rarely have the expertise needed to reach this goal on their own.

This is where the SME Initiative comes in. It has been offering concrete assistance in the form of communication, information, training and local contacts since 2012. A service centre provides phone and e-mail information about funding programmes and effective ways to boost energy efficiency.

The initiative has been so successful that it will be continued and improved past 2015. Specifically, the Federal Government plans to intensify dialogue between policymakers and SMEs, optimise information and advisory services and promote long-term experience-sharing.

The initiative's service centre answers questions from retailers, wholesalers, craftspeople and manufacturers about implementing the energy reforms in a business setting:

Phone: 0800 934 23 75 (toll-free)

E-mail: service@mittelstand-energiewende.de.

If small and mid-market enterprises (SMEs) use energy sparingly, they can not only make a significant contribution to the energy reforms and climate protection, but also strengthen their competitive edge. First, though, they have to know how and where to save energy intelligently and, above all, cost-effectively. The SME Energy Consulting programme can help: it puts SMEs in touch with independent experts who can accurately measure the energy consumption of a company's buildings, equipment and processes. They also suggest cost-effective ways to save energy. The programme subsidises up to 80 per cent of the consulting costs.

On 1 January 2015, several key improvements were instituted. First, consultations have been opened to all SMEs regardless of energy consumption. Second, funding is no longer restricted to the consultation. It includes the development of a heat recovery solution – such as power generation using hot exhaust gases – and support for its implementation. The maximum amount of funding was increased to €8,000. For small companies whose energy bills come to less than €10,000 the maximum amount of funding was once again raised as of 1 January 2016. It is now €1,200.

This has transformed the SME Energy Consulting programme into a full-service package and made it easier for companies to institute energy-saving measures.

Administration of the programme (in German) passed from KfW to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control on 1 January 2015. The guidelines for funding energy audits in SMEs are now valid until 31 December 2019. They are available for download here (only in German, PDF: 137 KB).

More than 70 per cent of the heating systems currently used in Germany are less than efficient. On average, they were installed 17.6 years ago. And 36 per cent of Germany’s heating systems are more than 20 years old. At the current rate of a little more than 3 per cent per year, it would take approx. 25 years to renew all of the systems installed in Germany.

We want to speed up this process. This is why the German government introduced an efficiency label for existing heating systems in 2016. The efficiency label is free of charge and wants to educate consumers about their boiler’s energy performance, making it more likely that they will swap their old boiler for a more efficient one. But our efforts do not stop here. Consumers are also given information about energy audits and about the funding available from KfW and the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control.

We expect that the replacement rate for heating systems will rise by approx. 20 percentage points per year as a result of the new efficiency label. As from 2016, heating installers, chimney sweeps and selected energy consultants have had permission to attach these labels to old boilers. Since 1 January 2017, district chimney sweeps have been under obligation to label all devices that have not yet been labelled. Altogether, some 13 million boilers will have a label attached over the next eight years.

The aim of this programme is to encourage investments in highly-efficient horizontal technologies that can be used across different sectors and to promote the uptake of these technologies. Replacing standard technologies with new and more efficient ones can help us conserve substantial amounts of energy.

The programme is designed to bring down Germany’s carbon emissions by at least 0.9 tonnes by 2020. After funding for the original version of the programme expired at the end of 2015, a revised version of it was introduced on 11 May 2016. The scope of the revised programme has been expanded to include large companies and investments in new equipment rather than only investments to replace existing equipment. A new focus has been placed on industrial pumps, alongside action to promote the in-house use of waste heat. A maximum of €30,000 is available for individual measures per project. This figure rises to a maximum of €150,000 for measures to improve entire systems. The latter are eligible for funding if proof is furnished that these measures will increase the system’s energy performance by at least 25% and if an energy conservation plan to this effect is submitted. Under the new programme, funding is no longer available for switching conventional lighting systems to LED lighting. As under the old programme, applications for funding can be made to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control.

Further information