The German Bundestag recently passed the Energy Efficiency Act (EnEfG), which represents a significant step towards a more sustainable and efficient use of energy. We have summarized the new requirements for companies for you.
Milestone for energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency Act — new obligations for many companies
Energy efficiency has become a key issue in times of climate change and rising energy costs. In this context, the German Bundestag recently passed the Energy Efficiency Act (EnEfG), which represents a significant step towards a more sustainable and efficient use of energy. We have summarized the new requirements for companies for you.
Who is the Energy Efficiency Act addressed to?
This law sets clear targets and obliges companies, public institutions and data centers to increase their energy efficiency. Energy audits or energy and environmental management systems are mandatory. The aim is to implement final energy savings economically and make full use of waste heat. An obligation to provide evidence via certifiers, environmental verifiers and energy auditors is introduced.
What are the objectives of the Energy Efficiency Act?
The EnEfG pursues a number of ambitious goals in order to increase energy efficiency in Germany and achieve the long-term emission reduction targets:
Energy efficiency targets
The law sets clear targets for reducing primary and final energy consumption by 2030. 500 terawatt hours are to be saved compared to the current level (source: BMWK press release dated 21.09.2023).
Introduction of energy or environmental management systems for companies
Companies with high energy consumption (annual consumption of more than 7.5 gigawatt hours) are obliged to introduce energy or environmental management systems.
Implementation plans for final energy saving measures
Companies with a total final energy consumption of more than 2.5 gigawatt hours are obliged to draw up and publish implementation plans for cost-effective final energy saving measures.
Avoidance and waste heat recovery
The law requires the avoidance of waste heat recovery and its use if avoidance is not possible. Information on waste heat potential is made publicly available on a platform.
Energy efficiency and waste heat requirements for data centers
Data centers must meet energy efficiency standards and use waste heat. They are also obliged to purchase electricity from renewable energy sources and make information on their energy consumption publicly available.
Energy saving obligations for the federal and state governments
From 2024, the federal and state governments are obliged to implement annual energy-saving measures that will result in significant final energy savings by 2030.
Role model function of the public sector
The public sector is called upon to introduce energy and environmental management systems and implement energy efficiency actions in order to achieve 2 percent total annual energy savings by 2045.
What does this mean for companies?
Companies with an annual energy consumption of more than 7.5 gigawatt hours
These companies must operate an energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001 or EMAS or introduce one by July 1, 2025. The following additional mandatory elements of the management system are required:
- Collecting information on the waste heat situation in the company,
- the identification of savings measures, including waste heat utilization and
- the evaluation of the actions according to VaLERI.
Companies with an annual energy consumption of more than 2.5 gigawatt hours
The Energy Efficiency Act stipulates that concrete feasible implementation plans must be submitted and published by 2026 for all actions with a positive net present value after a maximum of 50 percent of the useful life.
Companies are also obliged to avoid and utilize waste heat. Information on waste heat (temperature, output, load profile, etc.) must be passed on to operators of heating networks upon request. In addition, the information must be reported on a BAFA platform by March 31 of each year.
Data centers with a connected load of more than 300 kilowatts
The Energy Efficiency Act places further special requirements on data centers. In future, a maximum PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) of 1.3 will be set for the energy efficiency of the technical infrastructure for data centers (for existing data centers from July 2030 and for new data centers from July 2026). When building a new data center from 1 July 2026, at least ten percent of reusable energy must be used, from 1 July 2027 at least 15 percent and from 1 July 2028 at least 20 percent.
Operators of existing data centers will also be required to introduce an energy management system by 1 January 2025. Data centers that already use 50 percent of their waste heat and feed it into the heating network and have an annual energy consumption of less than 7.5 gigawatt hours are exempt.
ÖKOTEC supports you in implementing the Energy Efficiency Act
We support you with individual solutions so that you can achieve your goals in compliance with legal requirements and benefit from the opportunities of efficient energy use. Dealing with the topic of energy efficiency pays off for you in the long term. We will be happy to support you with the introduction of an energy management system, the implementation of an energy audit or a heat source and sink analysis to determine heat quantities so that you can tap into the corresponding savings potential.
Learn more about the Energy Efficiency Act
Questions about implementing the Energy Efficiency Act? We are happy to help!
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