The National Climate Initiative (NKI) of the German federal government provides financial support to a number of GHG emission reduction activities. This project, supported by the Ministry for the Environment, contributed to further enhancing the NKI. It looked at the needs and possibilities of support for an actor (municipal energy companies), an instrument (energy performance contracting), and a technology (micro CHP).
The Wuppertal Institute contributed to the work on part 1, energy efficiency activities by municipal energy companies. This part of the project elaborated the scientific basis for a possible supporting strategy that would enable municipal energy companies to realise energy end-use efficiency potentials of their customers. The project analysed (inter-)national programmes, evaluated the possibilities for municipal energy companies to offer their customers energy efficiency programmes and services, assessed the need to adapt them to fit the legal framework, and focussed the findings in a support strategy. The incentives provided by that strategy were assessed using examples from practice.
For this purpose, six standard offer programmes were developed and discussed with the municipal energy companies. Based on these programmes, the Institute calculated that Germany could save an additional 1 % of electricity each year with programme costs of just under EUR 1 billion. This is equivalent to about half of the cost-effective potential available each year. As a result, twice the amount of the programme costs would be invested by energy users, and they would benefit from energy cost savings worth nine times the programme costs over the decades ahead.
Legislators will be able to use the results of the project to adapt the legal framework in order to implement "dormant" energy efficiency potential. Municipal energy companies as well as private energy service companies and their customers as well as manufacturers of micro CHP plants would be the primary beneficiaries of the incentives provided by such an adapted framework.