In our programme "SMEs create future (Mittelstand schafft Zukunft)" we explicitly address small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
SMEs are defined by an annual turnover of a maximum of 50 million euros or a maximum of 250 employees. They are characterized by responsible and solid entrepreneurship, regional roots, proximity to employees and customers as well as usually scarce personnel resources.
At a glance:
- Program especially for small and medium-sized companies (< 50 Mio. € annual turnover, < 250 employees)
- Average savings potentials of approx. 30% of energy costs
- Often highly economical measures (amortisation < 3 years, internal rate of return > 20%)
- Experience from approx. 200 consulted companies with approx. 2,000 energetically and economically evaluated measures so far
- Currently still up to 6,000 € state subsidy (80% of the consulting costs) - effective costs for the company thereby only 1,000 to 2,000 € depending on company size
- Various high-volume support programmes for the implementation of measures (e.g. 30% subsidy for pump replacement or heat recovery measures)
- Overall operational synergies: good knowledge of energy generation/utilisation often leads to an improvement in process and product quality
- Regional networking - strengthening SMEs, reducing emissions
The following chart gives an overview of the process of an energy consultation for medium-sized businesses from the initial contact until the savings and shows how companies can benefit from subsidy given by the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA).
Figure: How companies can benefit from the BAFA's subsidy "Energy consultation für SMEs" of 80 %.
In large companies there are usually energy representatives and an energy management system in place to reduce the high annual energy costs. Small and medium-sized companies, on the other hand, often have few human resources to dedicate themselves to the topic of energy efficiency.
From our many years of experience, however, we know that even these small and medium-sized companies often have great potential to provide and use energy more efficiently - which also significantly reduces costs. Depending on the industry and company, the focus is on different areas of consumption. While a hotel has a high demand for heat all year round, a retail business usually has a high demand for cooling and lighting. The key to success here lies in an individual analysis and an adapted energy concept.
Figure: Energy efficiency potential by consumption area (Source: German Energy Agency)
Low effort - great benefit
Since we know that small and medium-sized companies usually concentrate fully on their core business, we adapt our services to the needs and resource availability of our customers. In addition, we take care of the grant applications for you and also accompany you during the implementation of the measures. In this way, companies can achieve a great deal with a minimum of personnel.
The Federal Government is also aware of the important role played by small and medium-sized enterprises and therefore offers very high-volume funding opportunities. For companies with annual energy costs of € 10,000 or more, these subsidies cover up to 80 percent of the costs of our services, so that the companies themselves bear only 20 percent of these costs. Subsidies of this magnitude are rare and underline the great importance that small and medium-sized enterprises have in the German economy.
There are also various strong subsidies for the implementation of efficiency measures (e.g. 30 percent subsidy for pump replacement or heat recovery measures) for which we can instruct you comprehensively. Investments for savings measures can thus be greatly reduced - this also improves cost-effectiveness.
Promoting small and medium-sized enterprises regionally - energy-efficient and future-oriented
SMEs are not only important elements of the economy and employers, in sum it stands also for a large portion of the energy consumption. Regional networks are an excellent opportunity to promote small and medium-sized enterprises regionally, to increase energy efficiency and to create a positive external impact. With our programme "SMEs create future" we are also addressing local authorities in particular to network and strengthen their local businesses. Following the example and very positive experience of our Learning Energy Efficiency Networks (LEEN), in which predominantly large industrial companies are represented (so-called non-SME), we also offer energy efficiency networks for SMEs. Frameworks and contents can be adapted here to the requirements and desires of the customers. Our experience shows that above all the exchange between the companies offers a great added value. In addition, the relevant technical, economic and legal issues can be worked out efficiently in this way.
Taking responsibility - investing in the future
SMEs are the engine of the German economy. It stands for responsible and sustainable entrepreneurship as well as tradition, innovation and foresight. Energy efficiency means not only assuming responsibility within society, but also making one's own business fit for the future through optimised processes and cost reduction. These are features that are increasingly appreciated by customers. This is another reason why activities in the field of energy efficiency are paying off.