Alongside renewables development, improving energy efficiency is also crucial in order to make the energy transition a success. This applies to private households just as much to industrial companies and local authorities. The German Government has in fact set out clear energy efficiency targets. By 2020, Germany is to cut its primary energy consumption by 20% compared to 2008. During the same period, greenhouse gas emissions are to be cut by 40% compared to 1990.
In order to achieve these ambitious targets – part of Germany’s energy concept – existing potential for raising energy efficiency will have to be exploited even more. In order to explore how this might be done, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy launched a public consultation on the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency, which commenced on 12 August 2016. The Paper sets out key questions and points for discussion concerning most important fields of action and the primary challenges that are faced when attempting to reduce energy consumption in the long term.
This is how it works: Supplying information – providing support – demanding action
In order to improve their energy performance, citizens, companies and local authorities need to know where there is scope for doing so. The first area of focus within the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency is therefore on providing information and advice on energy efficiency.
The second is on promoting targeted investment in energy efficiency and on doing so in innovative ways. The scope of the CO2 Building Modernisation Programme (KfW programmes for energy-efficient construction and retrofitting) has been widened and its funding envelope increased. This includes the establishment of a programme designed to prevent and/or use waste heat and the introduction of an auctioning system for energy-efficiency measures. The latter programme is about promoting investments whereby the lowest level of funding leads to the highest possible savings in electricity consumption.
A major principle behind the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency is that of ‘demanding action’: it is now mandatory for large companies to conduct energy audits. Similarly, new standards apply for new appliances and newly constructed buildings. Furthermore, companies are called upon to become actively involved in one of up to 500 energy-efficiency networks and use these to define and reach joint efficiency targets.
Most of the measures requiring immediate action that have been set out in the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency have already been successfully implemented. For more information about the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency, the immediate action taken under the plan, and long-term measures, please click
In the spotlight: local authorities, businesses, consumers
The German government’s National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency seeks to encourage all parts of society to use energy more efficiently – whether local authorities, businesses, or consumers. It sees energy efficiency as a challenge to be mastered by society as a whole. Additional information for