A review of energy efficiency policies for small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises from around the world
In most countries, small and medium-sized manufacturing (industrial) enterprises (SMEs) represent more than 99% of the number of companies and 60% of employment. Thus, this sector, apart from using energy, is a major driver in the economy with regard to innovations, GDP, investments and export. Despite the importance of SMEs in the economy, they have not received much attention in most countries' energy policy activities. Energy management in its various forms is regarded as one of the key drivers of industrial energy efficiency. While the term ""energy management"" is often associated with the ISO 50001 standard, there is a broad variety of different programs and schemes in place that do not strictly abide by the framework of the standard. Especially for SMEs, the standardized protocols of ISO 50001 are often too complex for cost-efficient implementation. The aim of this paper is to provide an international overview of existing energy efficiency policies with a focus on energy management practices in selected EU member states as well as Norway and Japan. Results indicate that different countries apply a broad variety of policy contexts in which the energy management practices are embedded.