Metering energy savings: insights from the “Energy Savings Meter” funding scheme
Proc. eceee Summer Study, Giens
Achieving the German primary energy saving targets requires increased efforts: for 2020, there is a foreseeable shortfall of at least 1,400 PJ (BMWi 2014). To help narrow this gap, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) launched the pilot funding scheme “Energy Savings Meter” in 2016. The scheme is designed to tap the benefits of digitisation for energy savings. Companies offering smart energy services to customers in all sectors – targeting energy savings through installing metering technology, providing data analyses and feedback, and supplying additional energy efficiency services – are eligible for financial support. Notably, the “Energy Savings Meter” enters new territory: as the subsidy is performance-based, metered and proven energy savings will be remunerated. Thus, the “Energy Savings Meter” introduces a unique funding scheme in Germany.
This paper compiles new insights from the programme’s progress. Demand from companies that want to realise an innovative pilot project under the funding scheme is high – with the result that the overall funding volume had to be increased from 30 to 69 million Euro in 2018.
First, the paper analyses why the scheme is particularly attractive for both companies and policy makers, given that there is less demand for other funding programmes within the field.Second, considering the conceptual challenge to meter something that is not there, this paper highlights improvements towards measuring energy efficiency made within the accompanying research. Metering methods to determine energy savings that are reliable and feasible in practice have been developed. Third, the paper analyses to what extent the objectives of the pilot scheme have been met by now, based on qualitative data and first quantitative results on energy savings. Finally, related to the design of energy efficiency policies, the paper identifies strategic options to effectively develop the scheme further.