The big shortcoming of the topic of energy efficiency is that it is not visible. We cannot see and touch energy-efficient products and technologies and their successes. This makes it difficult for providers of energy efficiency products and services to demonstrate their success and effectiveness.
Energy efficiency is also so diverse and affects many different areas of heating, cooling and electricity use. This includes buildings with private households and commercial use, industrial production, mobility and, last but not least, energy production.
The German Business Initiative for Energy Efficiency eV (DENEFF) is a young association that wants to act as an independent and cross-industry mouthpiece for energy efficiency. The aim of this network of over 70 companies from a wide variety of sectors and sizes is to work towards an ambitious and effective energy efficiency policy.
Industry Monitor Energy Efficiency provides an overview of the energy efficiency industry in Germany
In order to be heard in public and towards, it is always helpful to provide numbers. To this end, DENEFF developed the first industry monitor for energy efficiency and presented it to the press today. In future, companies, politicians and the media will receive an annual overview of the importance of the energy efficiency industry in Germany. It also deals with current developments, such as drivers and obstacles for the further business development of companies in the field of energy efficiency. For this purpose, DENEFF has compiled annually recurring figures from the Energy Balances Working Group, figures from its own member companies and a qualitative assessment by recognized energy efficiency experts. The result is impressive and will develop into an annual indicator for the development of energy efficiency in Germany.
Based on a survey of 63 companies from different areas such as mechanical engineering, building energy consulting, building materials, banks and household appliances, DENEFF has determined impressive figures. In 2012, the energy efficiency industry in Germany generated a total turnover of 146 billion euros, a growth of 16 percent compared to the previous year. During the same period, the number of employees increased by 10 percent to 800,000 employees. The mood in the companies surveyed was rated as mostly good to very good.
Rising energy prices, new technologies and legal requirements provided important impetus for growth. The greatest challenges for companies lie in the poor availability of qualified specialists and in reliable legal framework conditions.
Carsten Müller, CEO of the German Energy Efficiency Initiative (DENEFF):
“The results of the industry monitor show that energy efficiency has long been part of the day-to-day business of many companies and has developed into an important economic factor for Germany as a job and growth engine. At the same time, there is still a lot of room for improvement. The expectations that energy efficiency companies have of politicians to create reliable framework conditions here are correspondingly high.”
Co-author of the study and executive director of DENEFF Martin Bornholdt:
“In addition to rising energy prices, the awareness of companies and consumers for climate protection and sustainability are important drivers for the energy efficiency market. For further development, 90% of the market participants surveyed consider binding, statutory efficiency requirements to be important, 84% name uniform standards for quality and qualifications and 81% want sufficient and, above all, stable funding.”
Reliable framework conditions and support for energy efficiency necessary
The energy efficiency industry is not independent of politics either, it is heavily influenced by politics in many areas. The long discussion with a negative end about tax incentives for energy-efficient building refurbishment is just one example. Other areas are the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV), CHP Directive, changing subsidies and the implementation of the EU Directive on energy efficiency are the other inglorious topics. The Federal Minister of Economics in particular made a negative impression in the implementation of the EU directive for energy efficiency, but that was not an issue today.
I could go into more detail (if you are interested in a separate post), there are some interesting statements in the industry monitor.
Energy consumption must be visible and present in order to be noticed
I can also highlight Dr. Kristina Bogner from Schneider Electric, who stressed that energy consumption must be made visible to companies in order for it to be noticed. Only energy that is visible is considered a company value. German industry actually works very effectively, but there is a lack of awareness due to the lack of visibility.
In the building sector, there is great uncertainty about renovations. Homeowners do not know whether renovations are worthwhile, what the legal requirements are and what is being funded. A lot of educational work is still needed in the industry, according to Walter Willach, CEO and founder of the building energy consultant network Energetrium. Politicians must also make understandable and reliable statements about funding programs and savings requirements, he said.