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 as to industrial companies and municipalities. The German Government has in fact set out clear energy efficiency targets. By 2050, Germany is to cut its primary energy consumption by 50% compared to 2008.
In the spotlight: municipalities, 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 municipalities, businesses, or consumers. It sees energy efficiency as a challenge to be mastered by society as a whole.
This is how it works: supplying information – providing support – demanding action
In order to improve their energy performance, citizens, companies and municipalities 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 area of focus is on promoting targeted investment in energy efficiency and on doing so in innovative ways. The scope of the CO2 Building Modernisation Programme (KfW funding for energy-efficient construction and retrofitting) has been widened and its funding envelope increased. The NAPE also includes various funding programmes to improve energy efficiency in companies. The funding programmes for companies have been packaged and updated in the funding package for processes and facilities entitled “Federal funding for energy efficiency in commerce”, which envisages not only the customary funding in the form of grants, but also auctions for funding for energy efficiency measures.
Improving on what is already a good approach: updating the NAPE
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 update the NAPE, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy launched a public consultation on the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency, which commenced in summer 2016. The Paper set 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. The Ministry presented the evaluation report on the consultation process in May 2017.