No energy transition without energy efficiency

Improving energy efficiency is key to a successful energy transition. The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NAPE) contains important instruments and measures

to save energy in industry, trade, households, transportation and in other sectors. dena is working on other strategies as well, for instance as part of the Energy Efficiency Platform.

Statistics & facts

13.306 PJ
was the final energy consumption
in the Federal Republic of Germany
appr 14000
certified energy consultants
listed in dena’s database of energy efficiency experts
12 %
market share held by German companies
of the global energy efficiency market in 2013
billions of euros.
According to NAPE, efficiency measures can contribute to a reduction in energy costs by 2020

No energy transition without energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency

The energy transition calls for innovation and a fresh mindset. Our current level of energy consumption must be halved as quickly as possible. And it is imperative to satisfy this demand using regenerative energy sources that protect our climate and environment. The energy transition will be more successful if we use electricity, heat and fuel efficiently.

If we are serious about largely abandoning fossil fuels and halting the rise in environmental costs, we must start investing today – for instance in regenerative energy sources, energy-efficient products and systems, and in energy-efficient building and refurbishment . Besides achieving the objectives defined in the energy transition itself, an energy-efficient approach has other benefits as well: if buildings use less heating and cars less fuel, consumers, companies and public institutions can all cut energy costs and reduce 2 CO2 emissions.

The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NAPE) and its core objectives

The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NAPE) defines current instruments and measures to achieve these objectives. In addition to proven instruments like funding programmes or information campaigns, NAPE consciously includes ideas for new and innovative solutions. The industrial and business sectors, private households, the transport sector and other areas are all of equal importance. The Action Plan has three main objectives: To increase energy efficiency in buildings. To establish energy efficiency as a profitable investment and a business model. To increase a sense of personal responsibility for energy efficiency.

Although Germany has made some progress in energy efficiency over recent years, the development in primary energy consumption shows that there is significant potential for further savings in all areas. Currently, energy consumption is only stagnating. So increased efforts will be needed to achieve the objectives.

Energy efficiency made in Germany

In addition, Germany is poor in natural resources, so the economic potential of energy-efficient solutions is a significant factor. This is because energy efficiency does more than just lower energy costs, it also reduces the capital outflow to countries that export fossil energies. The bottom line is more money available for investments in Germany. In turn, this strengthens the position of German companies as providers of pioneering products, systems and services for “energy efficiency made in Germany”. Energy efficiency is therefore more than a supporting pillar of the energy transition, it also possesses immense significance for the competitiveness of the German economy on international markets.

Society is also responsible for achieving the efficiency objectives.

Not only is the energy transition a question of technology, know-how and capital. The commitment of the general public also plays an essential role. We are all responsible for the success of this project, whether as politicians, businesspeople or private individuals. The success of the energy transition is decided as much by the construction of new electricity lines, gas power stations, electricity storage units and off-shore wind farms as it is in cellar boiler rooms, electronics shops and car dealerships. To ensure a successful energy transition, it is imperative to develop convincing new ideas and strategies and to appeal to all of the actors within the energy transition. Seeking to develop and establish these ideas on the efficiency market, dena initiates networks, centres of expertise and motivational campaigns, that advocate greater energy efficiency.

The Energy Efficiency Platform as an example: how dena provides support

Lively communication, individual consulting and a forward-looking debate are all needed to make the necessary information available at all of these points. dena is the right partner here. For instance, dena developed the so-called Service for Experts to provide architects, engineers, energy consultants and trades firms with a central repository containing all of the available information on energy-efficient building and refurbishment, as well as helpful tools for everyday tasks and tips for dealing with clients, therefore providing experts with the easiest possible access to all of the relevant information. After all, energy-efficient buildings will automatically become more successful if the experts provide outstanding services.

dena also runs the campaign office, ensuring scientific and organisational support for the Energy Efficiency Platform. The initiative was created by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The aim is to exploit the expertise of the many different stakeholders as a contribution to achieving the national and European energy efficiency objectives. Business, consumer and environmental associations, trade unions, energy agencies and national and state ministries are represented on the platform.

Our projects

Aufbau Kompetenzzentrum KEDi

Aufbau und Betrieb eines Kompetenzzentrums zur Steigerung der Energieeffizienz durch Digitalisierung in Industrie und Gebäuden. Die neue Institution wird zentrale, bundesweit agierende Anlaufstelle für Unternehmen und Gebäudewirtschaft. Das Ziel: Potenziale der Digitalisierung in diesen Sektoren zu heben, um so zur Klimaneutralität beizutragen.


  • Projektdauer: 2022 bis mindestens 2027
  • Projektziele: Steigerung der Energieeffizienz durch Digitalisierung in Industrie und Gebäuden
  • Zielgruppen: Marktakteurinnen und -akteure in Unternehmen (insbesondere KMU), Gebäudewirtschaft, Forschung, Dienstleistende, Politik
  • Bis zu 30 Prozent geschätztes Einsparpotenzial Endenergie durch Digitalisierung im Gebäude- und Industriesektor

Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD)

The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue is the leading international conference on energy transition, held and hosted by the German Federal Government and orga-nized jointly with the Federal Association of Renewable Energy (BEE), the Federal Association of the Solar Industry (BSW-Solar), the German Energy Agency (dena) and eclareon.


  • Project term: 2015
  • Project objective: As a high-ranking conference, the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue strengthens the international exchange of experience on the sustainable transformation of energy systems.
  • Project partners: the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar), Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE), eclareon GmbH

Build Up Skills II – QUALITRAIN

The EU Project Qualitrain focuses on strengthening basic and advanced vocational training levels among the construction workforce in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.


  • Project start: 2013
  • Project duration: 32 months
  • Project partners: ZDH, FBH, HPI, BIBB, ZWH, ZdB
  • Funded by: European Commission as part of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme


Beim EU-Projekt COHERENO stand die Sanierung von Einfamilienhäusern aus einer Hand im Fokus. Dafür wurde die Zusammenarbeit aller am Bauprozess Beteiligten gefördert und neue Geschäftsmodelle auf dem Weg zum Niedrigstenergiehaus entwickelt und europaweit etabliert.


  • Projektbeginn: 2013
  • Projektdauer: 3 Jahre
  • Projektpartner: TU Delft, VITO, VCB, ÖGUT, PHP, Segel, Sintef, BPIE
  • gefördert durch: Europäische Kommission im Rahmen des Intelligent-Energy-Europe-Programms sowie BMWi
  • Project Information

dena Report on Buildings

Buildings offer vast potential for energy savings and energy efficiency. The dena Report on Buildings gives a comprehensive overview on the current energy efficiency of buildings in Germany, and compiles all of the important information in a clear form.


  • Published annually since 2012
  • The key facts on energy efficiency in buildings, 200 pages
  • Analyses, forecasts and scenarios are presented in clear charts and explained in bullet points
  • Range of topics: from residential and non-residential buildings to  owner and tenant structures  in  the context of political, economic and historical events

dena Study Integrated Energy Transition

The goal of the Study is to make the expertise and requirements of the industry available to successfully design the second phase of the energy transition.


  • Project launch: February 2017
  • Project term: June 2018
  • Over 60 partners
  • Focus: Energy systems, buildings, transport, industry

Digital Energy World

During the second phase of the energy transition, digitalisation will increasingly demand from all participants systematic action outside of defined structures, as well as needs-based solutions. This can only work if the actors think and act within a cross-sectoral framework. This approach will help develop new business ideas and marketable products.


  • Project start: January 2016
  • The partner network currently comprises 29 companies and associations from the energy industry, building industry, IT and metrology, as well as technology manufacturers and consultants.
  • The aims of the platform: to bring together and network the key figures within a cross-sectoral framework; to provide expert support in the digitalisation of the energy world; to play a key role in shaping the terms of digitalisation; and to create awareness and acceptance in the general public.


Durchführung Vor-Ort-Kontrollen (KfW)

Die KfW hat seit Anfang November 2013 die Vor-Ort-Kontrollen in ihren Programmen Energieeffizient Bauen und Sanieren ausgeweitet. Die Kontrollen werden von der dena koordiniert und dokumentiert. Hierfür hat die dena im Rahmen eines europaweiten Ausschreibungsverfahrens den Zuschlag erhalten.


  • Projektbeginn: 2013
  • Auftraggeber: KfW
  • sichert die Einhaltung hoher Qualitätsstandards bei Effizienzhäusern und Einzelmaßnahmen
  • mehr als 400 Vor-Ort-Kontrollen pro Jahr
  • Project Information

E-Fuels – The potential of electricity based fuels for low emission transport in the EU

Die Studie untersucht den zukünftigen Energiebedarf des europäischen Verkehrssektors sowie den dafür notwendigen Bedarf für den Ausbau erneuerbarer Energieerzeugungskapazität und die damit verbundenen Investitionen, die erforderlich sind, um die Klimaschutzziele von 95 Prozent bis 2050 im Verkehr zu erreichen.


  • Projektbeginn: Februar 2017
  • Projektziel: Analyse des europäischen Verkehrssektors und Identifizierung des erneuerbaren Strom- und E-Fuel Bedarfs, um die europäischen Klimaziele bis 2050 zu erreichen
  • Studienpartner: Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik GmbH (LBST)
  • Auftraggeber: Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA)
  • Project Information

Eco-Cities in China

dena plays a major role in Sino-German cooperation in the field of climate-friendly urban development. This cooperation centres on practical criteria relating to sustainable urban infrastructure, strategies and management instruments. Energy-efficiency technologies and services that have been tested in Germany are to be demonstrated, evaluated and further refined across 25 pilot cities in China.


  • Project start: 2015
  • 25 pilot cities in China
  • Countries involved: Germany and China
  • Partners: Wilo SE and Wacker AG