Energy efficiency is the most popular way to save natural gas, according to a survey of German companies

High gas prices and uncertain supply. Is there a way out? (Number of companies surveyed: 787) Credit: University of Stuttgart / EEP

According to the current survey by the Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production (EEP) at the University of Stuttgart, the Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) continues to rise while the Investment Index continues to decline. The Importance Index and the Productivity Index also continue to rise. In simple language, this means that energy efficiency is important for companies. However, money for future investments is withheld in times of uncertainty. Index results were presented to the public at an online TEAMS event on March 14, 2023

Since 2013, the Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production (EEP) at the University of Stuttgart has been evaluating the current and planned activities of German industrial companies in terms of energy efficiency every six months. The Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) is created in collaboration with the German Energy Agency (dena), the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Fraunhofer IPA, TÜV Rheinland and other partners. More than 900 participants commented on the three sub-indexes during the current survey period. Winter’s special numbers concerned high gas prices and uncertainty in gas supplies.

Gas prices encourage energy efficiency

Many German companies are looking for ways out of the gas crisis. The “favourite solution” here is more energy efficiency. Of course, this is also good for the climate. But since prices remain high, there is also bad news. Most companies choose, or rather are forced, to pass on the additional energy costs of manufacturing products to their customers.

Although the new energy saving ordinance regulates lighting and temperature in public spaces, a third of the companies remain inactive and have not planned any measures. Approximately 40% of these companies pass on more than 75% of their additional costs for energy or other additional costs to their customers.

Gas prices are a reason for companies to act. The EEP survey asked them about their alternatives. For alternative energy sources, electricity is preferred over fossil fuels or biomass. Only 22% of companies use a heat pump to generate process heat. Half of the companies are planning, or have already introduced, the digitized recording of their energy consumption data and are monitoring their electricity consumption. This is a basic prerequisite to be able to save more energy.

Energy efficiency: the most popular way to save natural gas

Decrease in investment as a result of the pandemic and energy crisis (number of companies surveyed = 850) Credit: University of Stuttgart / EEP

Low investment index: fear of turbulence

The industry’s willingness to invest decreased considerably during the survey period. This trend has been observed since the beginning of 2021. “The reason seems to be the pandemic and the energy crisis,” said Professor Alexander Sauer, director of the EEP. “High energy prices and related uncertainty are obviously raising concerns about new investment and are reflected in a lower investment rate.”

“We are feeding off of years of intensive investment in energy efficiency improvements. Once the low-investment measures being addressed again have been implemented, further investments in energy efficiency will probably be needed before considerable progress can be made,” says Sauer.

Provided by the University of Stuttgart

Citation: Energy efficiency is the most popular way to save natural gas, finds a survey of German companies (March 15, 2023) Accessed March 16, 2023 at -efficiency-popular-natural-gas.html

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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