Increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in industry and trade offers enormous potential for the energy transition. The mandatory energy audits in Section 8 of the Law on Energy Services and Other Energy Efficiency Measures (EDL-G) are an effective tool here, since the law addresses in particular companies that have not yet dealt with energy efficiency potential in a systematic manner. Although the potential of these companies is lower than in traditional, energy-intensive industries, the fact that there are so many of them – approx. 70,000 face obligatory audits – creates considerable potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
One evaluation of the mandatory audits from 2015 showed that only a fraction of the existing energy savings potential had been put to use. There are many reasons for this, but they fall into four main categories: “poor communication”, “lack of understanding of economic efficiency”, “unwillingness to pay” and “inadequate audit quality”.
In 2019, non-SMEs (i.e., companies that do not count as small or medium enterprises) in Germany were again obliged to carry out energy audits. The proposed measures that emerged from these audits offer a great opportunity for the energy transition and climate protection in Germany, as well as faster achievement of the federal government's energy and climate policy goals.
The amendment to the EDL-G passed by the Bundestag on 27 June 2019 is intended to further develop and improve the mandatory energy audit. The changes include, among other things, the binding inclusion of profitability calculations in the energy audit report and the introduction of mandatory training for energy auditors. In addition, companies are now obliged to report compliance with their energy audit obligations to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) along with key data from the energy audit report.
adelphi implemented the following project goals with PwC and the German Energy Agency (dena):
- Leading a stakeholder workshop with and for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to develop joint communication strategy.
- The development of a management overview, which in the future will serve as evidence of the execution of the audit for BAFA as well as a decision-making aid for management after the energy audit.
- The management overview included a database with energy efficiency measures and best practice examples. This provides companies with industry-specific models and ideas for action with specific savings potentials tailored to their energy consumption.
- Announcement of the changes to the energy audit obligation through ten web seminars.
- A short study that turned the suggested actions for increasing energy efficiency into concrete measures.