EEA 2021: dena recognises six projects

Achievements of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) separately acknowledged with two prizes

Berlin, 9 November 2021. The winners of the 15th Energy Efficiency Award have been announced. At its annual Energy Transition Congress in Berlin, Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the Germany Energy Agency – rewarded five projects and one concept with the international Energy Efficiency Award. The prizes were presented by Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Dr. Philipp Tilleßen, Director Product Management at KfW and Andreas Kuhlmann, Chief Executive of dena.

Andreas Kuhlmann commented on the award ceremony: “The projects that won the Energy Efficiency Award show that energy-efficient solutions pay off. They can reduce the costs of individual companies and also allow the energy transition in the overall system to be implemented more cost-efficiently, because when absolute energy consumption decreases, we will reach the expansion targets for renewable energy sources more quickly. Furthermore, energy imports can be reduced and the reliability of supply improved.”

Thomas Bareiß added: “Companies that invest intelligently in energy efficiency and trust in technical innovations obtain competitive advantages and make an important contribution to climate protection.”

In order to improve the comparability of the projects and increase the chance of winning, two prizes were awarded in two of the total of four categories: one to small and medium-sized enterprises, the other to larger companies. The award is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and supported by the Premium Partner KfW.

The award winners, who were selected by a jury of experts with representatives from politics, science, business and the media, are as follows:

In the category “Think big! Complex energy transition projects”

  1. As an SME: Brauerei Aying Franz Inselkammer KG and IGS GbR - Ingenieurbüro für Energie und Umwelttechnik for efficient bottle cleaning through the use of a high-temperature heat pump combined with a CHP plant. Using the measures, an energy saving of more than 1 GWh/a was achieved in the bottle cleaning process, a reduction of 87 per cent.
  2. As an industrial enterprise: Evonik Operations GmbH and Energiedienst AG jointly for regional climate-neutral heat supply and electricity production using industrial waste heat in Rheinfelden. Through this measure, the city can save approximately 7,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

In the category “From clever to digital! The broad spectrum of energy efficiency”

  1. As an SME: Albert Rechtenbacher GmbH and SIMAKA Energie und Umwelttechnik GmbH for the development and installation of a smart heat pumping system for exhaust air treatment. Through the measures, approximately 95 per cent of energy is saved in the exhaust air purification process and approximately 80 per cent in other processes.
  2. As an industrial enterprise: Essity Operations Neuss GmbH for the energy optimisation of pulpers in paper production with the support of trainees within the company (“energy scouts”). Without additional investments, power consumption was reduced by almost 1,800,000 kWh/a.

In the category “Achieving more together! Energy services as an enabler of the energy transition” E1 Energiemanagement GmbH was recognised for successful energy-saving contracting in the local community of Meißenheim in the district of Ortenau, encompassing several buildings and street lighting. The energy saved due to the project amounts to approximately 60 per cent.

The audience award, chosen by the participants in the award ceremony in a live pitch, went to Mondas GmbH jointly with badenova WÄRMEPLUS GmbH & Co. KG for the use of industrial waste heat in a local heating network. This initiative is based on constructive cooperation between industrial enterprises, energy service providers and consumers. The main customer is the new football stadium of SC Freiburg. A saving of 1,200 tonnes of CO2 per year is forecast.

Energy Efficiency Award 2021

In total, approximately 130 entries were submitted for the Energy Efficiency Award this year. There were four competition categories to choose from: three for completed energy efficiency projects with measurable results and one category for new, innovative concepts. At its meeting at the end of September, the jury assessed the submitted competition entries based on the criteria of energy saving, climate protection relevance, economic efficiency and degree of innovation and transferability.

All information on the competition, the award recipients and nominated projects can be found You can find further information on the dena Energy Transition Congress at