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

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

Effizienzhaus – Energieeffizienz und gute Architektur

Mit dem Bauherrenwettbewerb „Effizienzhaus – Energieeffizienz und gute Architektur“ boten die Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena), das Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung (BMVBS) und die KfW Förderbank energieeffizienten, architektonisch ansprechenden Wohngebäuden in Städten eine öffentliche Bühne. Der Wettbewerb zeigte die Vorteile dieser Gebäude bei Wirtschaftlichkeit und Komfort und regt zur Nachahmung an.


  • Projektlaufzeit:  2008-2009
  • Im Wettbewerb “Effizienzhaus“ wurden Preise und Auszeichnungen im Wert von 120.000 Euro in 6 Kategorien vergeben.
  • Insgesamt 580 Teilnehmer bundesweit
  • Partner: Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung (BMVBS) , KfW Förderbank, Yello Strom GmbH, Bundesverband Deutscher Fertigbau e.V.
  • Project Information

Energieeffiziente Industrie in China: Shaanxi Coal

Die dena berät die Shaanxi Coal and Chemical Industry Group, eins der größten chinesischen Kohle- und Chemieunternehmen, wie sie in industriellen Prozessen ihrer Werke Energie einsparen kann. Das Ziel ist es, Treibhausgase und Luftverschmutzung zu reduzieren sowie zur Schonung von Ressourcen beizutragen.


  • Hinweis: Dieses Projekt ist abgeschlossen
  • Projektbeginn: September 2017
  • Projektdauer: ca. ein Jahr
  • Projektziel: Steigerung der Energieeffizienz und Emissionsreduktion in chinesischen Unternehmen
  • Projektpartner: Shaanxi Coal and Chemical Industry Group
  • Project Information

Energy-Efficient Municipalities

Municipalities which consume less energy save money and promote climate protection. With its "Energy-Efficient Municipalities" project, dena aims to motivate local communities in Germany to introduce systematic energy and climate protection management. dena offers certification as a dena Energy-Efficient Municipality to cities and towns that have successfully introduced such a management system.


  • Project start: 2009
  • dena organises series of consulting events in numerous municipalities all across Germany
  • Three certified dena energy-efficient model municipalitities

Energy-Efficient Municipalities in Russia

dena has developed an energy and climate protection management system (ECM) with which municipalities can systematically and sustainably reduce their energy consumption. Following successful application in German and Chinese cities dena’s ECM will be implemented in Russian municipalities, taking into account specific local circumstances.


  • Project start date: July 2019
  • Providing support and advice for the implementation of dena’s energy and climate protection management (dena ECM) in two Russian pilot municipalities
  • Adaptation of dena’s ECM instruments to the specific characteristics of Russian municipalities
  • Series of consultations for municipalities from two selected Russian regions
  • Providing support for selected implementation measures in two Russian pilot municipalities

Energieeffiziente Kommunen Kasachstan

Mit Hilfe von Best-Practice-Beispielen soll die Kompetenz von Kommunen und Regionen in Kasachstan im Handlungsfeld Energieeffizienz gestärkt werden. Zudem unterstützt die dena eine Pilotkommune bei der Einführung eines Energie- und Klimaschutzmanagements.


  • Ziele: Kommunen bei der Entwicklung einer langfristig angelegten Kommunikationsstrategie für Energieeffizienz zu unterstützen, auf kommunaler Ebene die Entwicklung von Energiemanagement voranzutreiben und in ersten Pilotanwendungen umzusetzen.
  • Partner: Institut für Stromwirtschaft und Energieeffizienz, Ministerium für Investitionen und Entwicklung der Republik Kasachstan, Akimat der Region Karagandy, Stadt Shakhtinsk
  • Teilnehmer: Kommunen, lokale Energieberatungsunternehmen, Hersteller von Effizienztechnologien
  • Projektdauer: 2018 bis 2019
  • Gefördert durch das BMWi
  • Project Information

Energy-Efficient Street Lighting

The events of the roadshow inform municipalities across Germany of practical solutions, proven technologies, as well as sustainable planning and financing aspects on the topic of street lighting.


  • 9 million streetlights in Germany
  • 2.2 billion kWh of electricity could be saved through the modernisation of street lighting
  • 51 % of street lighting is due for modernisation
  • 400 million euros of energy costs could be saved by municipalities each year by modernising their streetlights
  • Project start: 2014
  • 30 collaboration and project partners
  • 15 regional events in three years

Energy-Efficient Building in China

dena has been developing and implementing energy-efficient construction projects in China since 2006. Advanced technology and experience gathered in Germany are adapted and transferred to the conditions in the respective region, using experts on the ground. The aim is to improve the market conditions for energy efficiency technologies, impart knowledge and establish concepts suitable for mass marketing of energy efficiency in China.


  • Project start: 2006
  • Since 2010, dena has launched 30 pilot projects
  • First efficient house standard introduced in Hebei in 2015
  • Partners: Construction ministries of both countries, the Center of Science and Technology of Construction (CSTC), the  Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS), and various provinces, specialist associations, and German and Chinese companies.

Energieeffizienz der Wärmeversorgung in der Industrie Kasachstans

Die dena unterstützt die Regierung Kasachstans bei der Umsetzung ihres Modernisierungs- und Industrialisierungsprogramms im Handlungsfeld Energieeffiziente Wärmeversorgung in der Industrie.


  • Projektstart: Januar 2018
  • Projektlaufzeit: 1,5 Jahre
  • Arbeitsinhalte: Erstellung einer Informations- und Motivationsbroschüre, Organisation einer Delegationsreise kasachischer Vertreter nach Deutschland und Durchführung einer Fachveranstaltung in Kasachstan
  • Gefördert durch das BMWi
  • Project Information

Energieeffizienz-Benchmarking in der Industrie

In dem Forschungsvorhaben „Weiterentwicklung des Energieeffizienz-Benchmarkings in der Industrie“ hat die dena Möglichkeiten zur Nutzung und Erweiterung bestehender Berichterstattungen für die Ermittlung industrieller Energieeffizienz-Benchmarks analysiert.


  • Auftraggeber: Umweltbundesamt
  • Projektlaufzeit: 09/2015 – 11/2017
  • Projektziel: Konzeption eines Energieeffizienz-Benchmarkings auf Basis bestehender Berichterstattungen im Rahmen energie- und klimapolitischer Instrumente
  • Project Information