Government Adopts Bill Making Energy Audits Mandatory for Large Companies by December 2015

Last week the government adopted a bill which shall partly transpose Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency by making in particular energy audits mandatory for large companies by 5 December 2015 and in four year intervals thereafter.

To comply with Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, the bill foresees an amendment of the Act on Energy Services and Energy Efficiency Measures (Gesetz über Energiedienstleistungen und andere Energieeffizienzmaßnahmen – EDL-G) that makes energy audits for companies mandatory that are not small and middle-sized companies. The bill also lays down the criteria for the audits. The first such audit has to be carried out by 5 December 2015 and in four year intervals thereafter. Companies that have implemented an energy management system in the sense of Section 2 no. 17 EDL-G or an environment management system in line with Regulation EC 1221/2009 (EMAS Regulation) are exempt. The bill further stipulates that failure to comply with the energy audit obligation constitutes an offence (Ordnungswidrigkeit).

The government estimates that about 12,000 companies will have to undergo an energy audit in each given year. The bill points out that costs are difficult to predict, but says they should be in the range of EUR 2,400 to 8,000. As regards benefits, the bill refers to estimates by the European Commission made in the context of the Energy Efficiency Directive, according to which energy savings would on average amount to 20%, half of which needed no or little investment. However, the bill says that according to information by the industry, energy savings for German companies would probably be lower.

In addition the bill amends provisions that have become obsolete or in need of amendment as deadlines have lapsed and/or because they were based on a Directive which was repealed by the Energy Efficiency Directive.

The bill will be introduced to Parliament (Bundestag) and the Federal Council (Bundesrat). The government wants the law to enter into force in spring 2015.

Source: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

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