Energy audit und energy management are important elements in the EU and Federal Government energy efficiency strategies. With good reason, as they provide companies with valuable know-how to increase their energy efficiency. Thanks to these measures, companies recognise and exploit their energy saving potential, allowing them to reduce their energy consumption significantly.
Two complementary energy efficiency measures
In energy audits, an internal or external auditor investigates the energy consumption and costs, identifies savings potential and assess it from a commercial perspective. Energy management that helps to develop measures, to put them into practice and to monitor them constantly is needed in order to integrate the improved efficiency within the company on a permanent basis.
Since December 2015, regular audits have been mandatory for large and affiliated companies, meaning businesses that belong to the same group. According to the Energy-related Services Act (EDL-G), these audits must take place every four years. Companies are exempted from this requirement if they have already introduced an energy management system according to DIN EN ISO 50001 or an environmental management system based on Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009.
The requirement applies to other companies that according to the European definition of the term are not classified as small to medium-sized enterprises (SME). All the same, it can be sensible for SMEs to conduct a voluntary energy audit, as they are then eligible for tax benefits, among other advantages. For instance, they are only entitled to make claims for shared contributions under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEC) (Section 63 et seq EEC 2014) or for tax capping (Section 55 Energy Tax Act (EnergieStG), i.e. Section 10 Electricity Tax Act) once they have conducted this audit.
ISO 50001 certification or EMAS energy management?
Certification according to DIN EN ISO 50001 is a particularly effective measure for companies that have energy efficiency targets they want to achieve. On the one hand it provides independent verification of the company’s commitment, while on the other a certification is usually a precondition to receive exemption from the shared contributions under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) or tax capping. An alternative would be to introduce an energy management system within the framework of the environmental management system EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme), which is based on ISO 14001. While EMAS does cover the majority of requirements, it does not automatically satisfy the conditions of DIN EN ISO 50001.
dena advises on energy efficiency
dena has advised a broad variety of target groups on matters relating to energy efficiency and energy management for years now – for instance as part of its EnergieEffizienz (Energy Efficiency Campaign), which targets companies and other stakeholders. In addition, dena surveyed 1,000 companies on the topic of energy management in 2015. Its other activities include the Energy Management Handbook, which is an important guideline for companies, as well as a dossier on the project website Industrie-Energieeffizienz.de that provides detailed information on the topic.
Finding experts for energy management
The Database of Energy Efficiency Experts for Government Subsidy Programmes helps companies find suitable experts for their energy management. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) and KfW decided to enter the names of qualified energy-efficiency experts into a single national database, in order to ensure the quality of subsidised advice on energy and energy-efficient refurbishment or new construction initiatives. Maintained by dena, the database can be accessed at www.energie-effizienz-experten.de.