Together with important industrial clients, the beginning of 2015 VERBUND Solutions started the learning energy efficiency network. The VERBUND Eco-Net was one of the first of its kind in all of Austria. Companies from different sectors join forces and over the course of three years pursue a jointly agreed-on, specific savings goal. Within the network, the companies learn from one another in order to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions. The result is doubling or even tripling the energy efficiency compared to the industry’s average.
Joint path to success
Through the regular exchange of information, a know-how pool is created from which all partners in the network profit. Energy consulting for the individual projects take place in cooperation with Forschungsgesellschaft für Energiewirtschaft (research company), or FfE GmbH for short. The network partners were Andritz Hydro, Coreth, Hammerer Aluminium, Magna, PC Electric and VERBUND Hydro Power. Today the Eco-Net participants can look back on more than three successful years of joint energy efficiency increases. They have every reason to be proud of what has been achieved.
In the three years of cooperation, 49 quantifiable larger-scale measures for improving energy efficiency were implemented. In this way, energy usage was reduced by a total of about 7,400 MWh per year, almost 5,000 MWh of which was electricity usage. The CO2 emissions were reduced by about 1,800 t/a. Through the energy efficiency measures alone, the companies are saving more than 500,000 euros annually in energy costs. Savings due to organisational measures such as targeted awareness-raising among employees are not included in these figures.
Close to half of all the energy efficiency measures were realised in the area of optimising lighting. Other focal areas were compressed air, cooling and heating.
"Our goal is a smarter energy future for Austria and Europe. With our activities aimed towards decarbonisation of the energy system, we are strengthening Austria as a business location. So we are particularly pleased about the excellent results of the Energy Efficiency Network. Because they are solid evidence that all participants profit from cooperation that goes beyond the boundaries of the sector, and so does the environment," points out Martin Wagner, Director of VERBUND Solutions GmbH.
In light of the national government’s ambitious goal to generate 100 % of electricity from renewable energy by 2030, and to achieve the decarbonisation of the entire energy system by 2050, the need for energy efficiency measures in industry and trade will continue to increase. The next energy audits are due in 2019. VERBUND is offering participation in a network for the next audits as well, in order to develop and implement appropriate measures. "We don’t just deliver energy to our customers; we also provide the know-how for using it in the most efficient way. This is how we can attain the climate goals together," Wagner outlines the energy future.