New numbers: Energy efficiency in companies

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Importance increases despite or because of coronavirus [Picture: EEP]Importance increases despite or because of coronavirus [Picture: EEP]

The index on the importance of energy efficiency (EEI) rose more than ever in summer 2020. Also, the targeted energy productivity for the past six months is higher than before. Thus the corona pandemic did not have a negative, but rather a positive impact on the importance companies attach to energy efficiency.

The importance of energy efficiency has never been more appreciated by industry, although there has been a decline in investment. "Despite or perhaps because of Corona, the respondents seem to attach great importance to energy efficiency in their planning," says Professor Alexander Sauer, Head of the Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production (EEP) at the University of Stuttgart. Since 2013, the Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production (EEP) at the University of Stuttgart has been surveying current and planned activities by German industrial companies in terms of energy efficiency on a semi-annual basis. The Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) is created in collaboration with the German Energy Agency (dena), the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Fraunhofer IPA, the TÜV Rheinland testing service provider, and other partners.

About 850 companies from more than 20 different industrial sectors answered special questions from the EEI, which change twice a year. For the Summer Index 2020, it was asked whether and in what way the current COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the energy efficiency strategy of companies (n = 843, n’ = 986). More than 30% of the respondents answered that coronavirus had no influence on their energy efficiency strategy and that they would continue to adhere to the existing strategy. What is particularly positive: Many companies have extended or brought forward their energy efficiency measures.

Companies plan to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 20% by 2025, including all compensation measures. SME’s plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 18-21%. (n = 550). The most important measure mentioned is the reduction of energy consumption through energy efficiency measures. Industry seems to follow the "efficiency first" principle. This is closely followed by the purchase of renewable energies.

"The current mood in industry with regard to energy efficiency is very positive, despite the worsening economic situation caused by the corona pandemic. This explains the readiness and the ability to act. Especially now, energy efficiency can help reduce companies’ energy costs and increase their competitiveness. This is an opportunity for energy efficiency," says Prof. Sauer.