Making it easy for municipalities to save energy

Energy efficiency und climate protection are municipal tasks in two ways: first, they are the owners of properties that need to be supplied with electricity and hot water. Secondly, 

they must set an example in the energy transition. Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena), German Energy Agency has a number of tools that help increase municipal energy efficiency. Find out more here.

Facts and figures

billions of euros
is the annual public sector expenditure on energy.
billions euros
is what Germany’s municipalities spend each year to provide their properties with electricity and heating.
public buildings
exist in Germany
15 %
of the final energy consumption and energy costs
could be saved by the introduction of free and inexpensive measures.
Public sector/municipalities

Immense savings potential in municipalities

dena helps community institutions to exploit the untapped energy-saving potential in their properties.

Each year, the roughly 186,000 public buildings in Germany incur around 6 billion euros in energy costs. Germany’s municipalities even spend approximately €3.8 bn simply providing their properties with electricity and heating. So it’s hardly surprising that energy efficiency has become a key issue in the public sector as well. What’s more, the energy transition is a task for society as a whole, in which the Federal Government, state governments and municipalities can and must lead by example in the issue of climate protection.

But often they are lacking the resources and expertise to unlock the energy-saving potential in public buildings, although the introduction of free and inexpensive measures could lead to a 10 to 15-percent reduction in total energy costs. dena advises the Federal Government, states and municipalities on how to achieve the ambitious public sector efficiency targets – for instance in the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency – and hence contribute to a successful energy transition.

Consultations for municipalities

For instance, an easily applicable energy and climate protection management system as developed by dena would help cut energy consumption and the cost of running public buildings. dena cooperates with regional partners to reach broad cross-sections of German municipalities and to motivate them to save energy. Cities, government districts and local communities that successfully apply the system are publicly recognised as dena Energy-Efficient Municipalities. Additional information on municipal energy and climate protection management is found on the website at

Long-term refurbishment roadmap

dena develops long-term refurbishment strategies for public sector organisations managing large property portfolios. These refurbishment roadmaps outline how energy-efficient refurbishment of the entire building portfolio can be achieved in the long term. dena The Institute for Federal Real Estate and the Brandenburgischer Landesbetrieb für Liegenschaften und Bauen (Brandenburg Real Estate and Construction Management) have already used this service.

Networked competence

The Centre of Expertise for Contracting for Buildings also offers information and practical assistance for any parties looking to assign the task of improving the efficiency of their building to a service provider, or so-called contractor.


Projects on the topic

Federal-state dialogue event: Contracting

Energy contracting is an effective instrument for increasing energy efficiency in buildings. Contracting reduces energy costs, ensures low energy consumption and cuts CO2 emissions, This makes it an important instrument for the success of the energy transition. In order to tap into contracting potential all over Germany, dena operates the Centre of Expertise for Contracting for Buildings with support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).


  • Project start: 2002
  • More than 30 successful energy efficiency contracting projects for federal real estate have been launched
  • They guarantee savings of around 15–60 percent of the building's energy costs (39 percent on average) and average CO2 reductions of 37 percent.
  • 2010: Founding of the Centre of Expertise for Contracting
  • Established group of experts from state energy agencies, state authorities, and state offices 

dena Refurbishment Roadmaps for Large Building Portfolios

The energy targets enshrined within state and Federal Government policies present significant challenges to the owners and operators of state-owned properties. The public sector is required to act as a role model, so these institutions find themselves under significant pressure to act in a certain way. This is why the Refurbishment Roadmaps for Large Building Portfolios that dena provides are designed for the long term.


  • Systematic collection and analysis of all data needed for energy-efficient refurbishments
  • dena has prepared Refurbishment Roadmaps for: Deutsche Annington, Brandenburgischer Landesbetrieb für Liegenschaften und Bauen and Institute for Federal Real Estate (BIMA)



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

Efficient House Pilot Project

The “Efficient House" pilot project by dena has focused on the energy-saving refurbishment of residential buildings since 2003, and of municipal buildings since 2007, with a special focus on schools, to create high standards of energy efficiency.


  • Project duration: 2003 - 2014
  • energy-saving refurbishment and assessment of over 400 residential and non-residential buildings in Germany
  • over 300,000 m2 of living space refurbished
  • CO2- annual reduction of over 3.7 million tonnes in residential buildings
  • average reduction in energy consumption of 80 percent during the pilot projects
  • 98 of the investors recommend energy-efficient refurbishment