The first bidding round for the new STEP up! programme for funding to promote electricity savings was launched on 1 June 2016. It forms part of the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency and introduces a new, market-based approach. It offers incentives to companies to invest in technology to save electricity and is open to bids from companies in all sectors, including energy service companies and municipal utilities. Auctioning funding for electricity efficiency measures creates the opportunity to activate the efficiency potential of the market.
State Secretary Baake said: "The new bidding model for is based on a competitive approach. Projects from different sectors and based on different technologies will compete for government funding. This will ensure that funding is used efficiently and permit the greatest possible flexibility in the design of power-efficient projects."
The funding will go to the efficiency measures which offer the greatest savings per euro of funding, i.e. attain the best cost-benefit ratio (in cents/kWh). In this way, it is possible to quantify the electricity savings and to use governing funding efficiently. STEP up! is open to all technologies. The funding can go both to projects run by individual companies and to group projects in which companies and private investors pool their investments in electricity efficiency.
A total of €300m will be available for the programme up to 2018. Two bidding rounds are scheduled for each year. The first bidding round runs from 1 June to 31 August 2016.