Benchmarking energy efficiency in the German non-energy intensive industries
Reducing energy costs by decreasing energy usage and CO2 emissions are central for the manufacturing industry, especially in the context of rising electricity costs in the long run and the political objective of decarbonising the energy system. Moreover, customers increasingly ask for more sustainable products. Thus improving energy efficiency is a key strategy for securing industrial competitiveness. However, many manufacturing firms lack information on their performance regarding energy efficiency as compared to other companies. Furthermore, they have little insight into which technical and organizational efficiency measures are applied by other firms. This paper aims to address this topic by analyzing how energy efficiency is achieved in firms of the non-energy intensive manufacturing industries in Germany. For this purpose, a survey was conducted which provides empirical information on the strategy and practices of energy saving in the non-energy intensive manufacturing industries. This survey covers 396 firms based in Germany with a minimum of 20 employees and provides a representative sample for the German non-energy intensive manufacturing sectors including the metal, machinery, rubber and plastic, electronic and optical, electrical and automotive industries. Based on this survey, the diffusion of typical energy efficiency technologies in production, buildings and infrastructure as well as the organizational framework addressing operational and strategic management tools is examined. In addition, a benchmarking tool for energy efficiency in industry is presented which serves as an online self-assessment tool for manufacturing firms. This benchmarking tool allows to quickly and confidentially determine the performance of a manufacturing firm regarding the usage of technical and organizational energy efficiency measures based on a peer group similar in firm and production characteristics.