The German government and business organizations aim to set up 500 energy efficiency networks throughout the country by 2020. Each network consists of five to 15 companies and facilitates the exchange of ideas and experiences with the aim of permanently increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy costs.
September saw the inauguration of the 200th such network – this time between five car dealerships in Bavaria. The garage owners aim to optimize their energy-intensive compressed air processes and improve the energy consumption of their showrooms by reviewing the lighting and heating systems. “Energy is a considerable cost factor for the company. We want to use it more efficiently to secure our economic and ecological future,” says Jürgen Koppenhöfer, managing director of AutohausEwald GmbH.
More than 1,800 companies and 22 industry organizations now participate in the Energy Efficiency Network Initiative (IEN).
“The companies have recognised that everyone benefits from energy efficiency,” notes Peter Altmaier, federal minister for economic affairs and energy.
A study shows the networks have led to marked improvements, on average achieving 105% of their savings goals to date.
“The companies are achieving more together than they set out to,” says Altmaier. “In doing so, they send an important signal and show that a voluntary instrument in the business sector can make a significant contribution to achieving the energy and climate goals of the federal government.”
Svenja Schulze, federal minister for the environment, emphasizes the value of exchange between sectors and companies in networks. “In practice we see that companies that take part actively in energy efficiency networks can save on average 5,000 tons of CO2 per year. Setting specific targets and monitoring implemented measures consistently are substantial success factors for a network. And then everyone benefits: the climate and the companies.”