Nuremberg, 11-12-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — As many as 80,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany have an immediate need for energy efficiency services. This is one of the key findings of the recent GfK EEDL Monitor, a market potential analysis of energy efficiency services for SMEs in Germany.
The European Union (EU) Energy Efficiency Directive stipulates that EU Member States must make energy savings of 1.5 percent on average each year up to 2020. In Germany, energy companies are obliged to inform and advise end customers about energy savings. In this context, the GfK EEDL Monitor reveals how SMEs in Germany perceive energy efficiency services and estimate the market potential of these specific energy related services.
The recent study has shown that energy efficiency is of fundamental importance to SMEs: 4 in 10 businesses with 10 to 250 employees regard energy efficiency as important, but they take a very practical approach. Although nearly half of the companies issue defined guidelines to their employees, they principally stipulate measures that are easy to implement, such as turning off lights and electronic devices when exiting a room.
Of the companies surveyed who do not consider energy efficiency to be important, nearly 50 percent stated that this was because the share of energy expenses in the overall budget was so low. However, just under a third of companies also cited the high workload of decision makers in daily operations. This means that tasks must be prioritized and consequently energy efficiency remains low down on the list.
Initial consultancy promises immediate potential
Overall, decision makers are looking for solutions that will immediately increase energy efficiency. Possible measures mentioned primarily included optimizing lighting (68 percent), heating systems (55 percent) and office devices (43 percent). This is where suppliers of energy efficiency services come in. They can advise customers about potential starter solutions. Energy consultancy is the most familiar service, known to 85 percent of the companies surveyed. Nearly a quarter of SMEs are also planning to make use of energy consultancy services in the future. The manufacturing industry and the public sector were particularly positive in this regard (30 percent). Energy efficiency consultancy services won less ground with retailers (24 percent), services providers (23 percent) as well as other trade and craft industries (14 percent).
In-house energy generation represents area of potential
The possibility of generating energy in house is currently familiar to 77 percent of survey respondents. However, very few SMEs are already taking advantage of this option. A lack of financial means was the main reason for this according to 15 percent of companies. In addition, 11 percent of the SMEs surveyed had not given this issue any consideration. This therefore offers potential for consultancy and financing to energy efficiency service providers. Contracting was familiar to only around a third of the companies surveyed, with only around 4 percent of companies planning an approach based on this concept.
GfK EEDL Monitor: Market potential and planning tools
In cooperation with the GfK Verein, GfK carried out a multi-stage fundamental study entitled “Energy efficiency in small and medium sized enterprises” to evaluate the market potential of energy efficiency services for SMEs. The study encompassed qualitative expert interviews as an initial preparation and a comprehensive quantitative survey with nearly 1,000 interviews with SME decision makers. GfK was able to derive definite market potential for energy efficiency services on this basis. The GfK EEDL Monitor revealed approaches for marketing energy efficiency services and therefore also offers utility companies and energy service providers a significant foundation for strategic planning and marketing measures.
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