Further improvements in energy efficiency for the retail sector

The retail sector is already working on a more efficient use of energy. Still, energy-efficient modernisation of retail buildings remains quite rare.

dena is developing solutions to drive energy-efficient building refurbishment in the retail sector.

Energy efficiency in the retail sector

Cost-efficient solutions for building refurbishment in retail trade

Above all, conomically viable solutions are needed to promote energy-efficient refurbishment in commercially used buildings. dena cooperates with the retail sector and owners of commercial properties to develop solutions for the refurbishment of retail properties.

Trailing only office buildings, retail properties have the second highest energy consumption levels of all commercially used non-residential buildings in Germany. Increasingly, larger companies are introducing professional energy management systems. But most of the measures introduced are focused on the reduction in electricity consumption, for instance in lighting or product-based system technology. In contrast, the implementation of energy-efficient refurbishment to include improved thermal insulation or the modernisation of building technology remains comparatively rare. One reason: many retailers have only rented their sales premises and modernisation measures would require approval from the building owner.

Cooperation for greater energy efficiency

dena is cooperating with industry representatives and building owners to develop viable solutions for the energy-efficient refurbishment of commercially used buildings and hence allow the retail sector to benefit from lower energy consumption as well. The pilot project “Energy-efficient Retail – Energy-efficient Modernisation of Retail Properties” is intended to provide important insight in this area.

Implemented together with retail companies and building owners, this project visualises the efficiency potential lying untapped in each individual building. In the next stage, the stakeholders develop cost-effective energy efficiency solutions for socialisation throughout the industry.

Studies point the way to greater energy efficiency

dena has completed two exacting studies to investigate the status quo and the potential for more energy efficiency in retail buildings. In March 2016, it published the study “Energy Management in Commerce”.It outlines the energy-efficiency potential in commercial buildings used in the German retail sector, while at the same time developing affirmative approaches in order to overcome the owner/tenant dilemma and hence to achieve improved energy efficiency. Released in June 2015, dena’s preliminary study “Energy Efficiency in the Retail Sector” had already analysed the building portfolio and its energy efficiency situation.

Projects on the topic

Campaign “zukunft haus” (“future house”).

What was originally conceived of as a portal for informing and motivating owners in 2003 has now developed into an extensive campaign and a mainstay for stakeholders from the industry and politicians, as well as for the press.


  • Project start: 2003
  • Over 9,000 newsletter subscribers
  • Approx. 30,000 press reports with a total reach (circulation) of 1.2 billion
  • Turnover of more than 6.3 million information brochures
  • Free hotline: over 100,000 questions on energy efficiency in buildings
  • Website: (consumer) information tailored specifically for a particular target group; over 8 million visitors on central internet platform

Check-in Energy Efficiency pilot project

dena's pilot project demonstrates the energy saving potential in the accommodation sector and ways to exploit this potential. Concrete refurbishment properties are to serve as examples of economically, ecologically and socially acceptable concepts for the "hostel of the future".


  • Project start: 2015
  • Number of participants: 30
  • Funded by: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
  • Partners: Viessmann, Daikin
  • Media partners: Hotel & Technik, Superior Hotel