Thorsten Herdan (Abteilungsleiter „Energiepolitik – Wärme und Effizienz“ im BMWi, 5.v.l.) mit den Gewinnern des Innovationswettbewerbs für energieeffiziente Produkte

© BMWi/Andreas Mertens

The winners of the innovation competition for energy-efficient products were selected at today’s NRTI (National Top Runner Initiative) conference. The NRTI informs consumers about ways to save electricity and helps dealers to advise their customers about the energy efficiency of products.

Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, said: “We need new, innovative ideas for energy-efficient products and the business models to bring these products to market. We have a situation where, despite major improvements in appliance efficiency, we have seen virtually no fall in the volume of electricity consumed by private households in Germany. The NRTI’s innovation competition starts with product development and covers the entire value chain of production, sales, purchase and use.”

In the competition, competitors were invited over the last few months to develop and submit creative and interesting ideas to tackle 24 challenges. In total, almost 400 proposals were received, covering the areas of smart meters, information and communication technology, lighting, washing machines and heating/cooling/ventilating. The NRTI conference gave an expert audience of environmental and consumer associations, manufacturers, dealers and researchers the possibility to vote on the ideas with the greatest potential for innovation. The following ideas emerged as the favourites:

1st place:
Jonas Scheumann works on ideas to improve the energy efficiency of stratified and buffer tanks. If there is enough energy, it is stored in the form of heat and, when required, used more efficiently via a novel heat extraction system.

2nd place:
Felix Zahn has come up with the idea of a self-learning router. The router recognises when consumers need a certain amount of capacity and Wi-Fi, and thus saves electricity.

3rd place:
Renate Hirsch is helping people make more efficient use of their dwelling space. People who use their homes as home offices can share them with other workers to save energy.

Since 2016, the Federal Government’s National Top Runner Initiative (NTRI) has been implementing a series of measures to improve the market penetration of energy-efficient products and boost the efficient use of appliances. The initiative is backed by an alliance of associations and organisations.

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