“Germany makes it efficient”

It pays to be energy efficient: The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has launched a broad-based campaign to get this message across.

Illustration© BMWi

“The energy transition? It’s about using more renewable energy.” Most people in Germany would be able to tell you this much. But only few know how important energy efficiency is for the energy transition to actually be a success. Energy efficiency is about consuming as little energy as possible to achieve the same goals – and using renewables to cover the remaining needs. This simple formula is the only way to make the energy supply of the future both clean and secure. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has therefore launched a broad-based information campaign to encourage as many people as possible to rethink their energy habits. This campaign is called ‘Germany makes it efficient’!

Federal Minister Sigmar Gabriel said: “This campaign is about using less but achieving more. More prosperity, more growth, more quality of life based on less energy. This is quite different from the calls to simply save energy being made 30 years ago.”

Reducing consumption while boosting your bank balance

Anyone who thinks that the only way to save energy is by sitting in the dark and freezing to death has a lot to learn. With a bit of effort, you can enjoy a comfortable living and working environment and save on monthly electricity and heating costs as you go. What’s more, private consumers, home-owners, companies, and municipal governments can also take advantage of a large number of useful advisory services and funding programmes operated by the Federal Government.

Small changes reap great rewards

Just by making a few small changes, members of the public can start to save money and help protect the climate. Examples include bleeding radiators, putting down outdoor blinds at colder times of the year, airing intermittently instead of leaving windows open, or replacing old electrical devices with modern, energy-efficient ones. Home-owners that want to do even more to protect the climate and save money can apply for a grant of up to €30,000 to pay for renovation work, such as insulation or new windows. Government funds have also been made available to pay for up to 60 per cent of the costs of energy advice provided leading up to such work.

Companies that undertake efficiency measures not only gain competitive advantages, but can also secure money from the state. Incentives include grants of up to €50,000 for businesses that switch to renewables-based heating, low-interest loans for investments in efficient manufacturing equipment, or money for advisory services on energy-conservation contracting.

The municipalities can also receive help from the state as they undertake their own efficiency transition. Up to €1 million of support is available for measures including the construction or expansion of short-distance heating networks, the provision of low-interest loans, and the payment of attractive grants for energy-efficient retrofits or for help with buying an electric car.

Piloting you through the jungle of information: our new website and hotline

With so many different ways of saving energy and so many different programmes offering funding and advice, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. This is why the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has launched the information campaign ‘Germany makes it efficient’, which is to pilot people through the jungle of programmes on offer. The aim of the campaign is to provide all of the different consumer groups with quick and simple access to the right information. This includes details on what efficiency measures are open to them, where they can gain expert advice, and how much government support is available to them.

The information can be found on the campaign website www.Deutschland-machts-effizient.de (in German only). Consumers, home-owners, municipalities, and companies can use it to find out everything they need to know about improving energy efficiency in the home, at work, as well as in other areas of life – from energy-saving domestic appliances, to renovation work on private homes, to electric vehicle fleets for companies, through to efficient ventilation for municipal swimming pools.

There is also a telephone hotline (dial +49 (0)800/ 0115 000), with trained experts on hand to answer any questions you might have.

How to reach an ambitious target: a comprehensive strategy

The Federal Government is seeking to reduce primary energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020 compared with 2008, and by 50 per cent by 2050. This is an ambitious target – a reduction that is equivalent to the total energy consumption of the Benelux countries and Austria put together. In order to achieve this target, the Economic Affairs Ministry has taken a range of different measures, and has added to the long-standing advisory and funding programmes by setting up a large number of new, targeted programmes under the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE). The new information campaign is helping provide an even clearer overview of the many different opportunities for securing government funding.

All for one and one for all!

If the energy transition a success, we will also stand to benefit. That’s why ‘Germany makes it efficient’ needs your help! From chimney sweeps, to master craftsmen, right through to the initiative’s board, each and every person is invited to become a partner in this efficiency campaign.