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What are the concrete requirements and what alternatives are available?

The affected organisations are obliged to undergo an energy audit according to Standard EN 16247-1 by 5 December 2015 at the latest, and then at least every four years thereafter.

Companies which have either a certified energy management system (EnMS) according to DIN EN ISO 50001 or an environmental management system according to EMAS are exempted from the rules.

These systems guarantee a continual improvement process by means of the PDCA cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act). Regular surveillance audits create sustainable awareness of how to save energy and encourage motivation to implement suitable measures. In addition, consideration of the entire organisation makes it possible to cover all relevant aspects and therefore takes advantage of all opportunities to increase energy efficiency.

The legislator grants more time to those companies who decide in favour of a certified energy or environmental management system instead of the energy audit – namely until 31.12.2016. However, first steps towards implementation must have been completed by 5 December 2015.

In the case of an energy management system according to ISO 50001, this means that at least one energy assessment based on the standard must have been carried out by this date. In the case of an environmental management system according to EMAS, data collection and evaluation for energy sources and flows must have been completed.

In view of the particularly short timeframe allowed for energy audits, the legislator plans to introduce facilitating measures for companies with several sites, simplification for linked companies in the repeat audit and special consideration during checks by official authorities.

What rules have to be followed within the framework of an energy audit?

  • The basis for the energy audit demanded in the EU Energy Efficiency Directive is Standard EN 16247-1, which defines the procedure.
  • In exceptional cases, it is possible for in-house company personnel to undertake the energy audit themselves.
  • The company must appoint an internal or external energy representative as contact and coordinator for the energy audit.
  • The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control checks on a random sample basis whether these rules are being observed and the energy auditor has the necessary qualifications.
  • The energy audit considers all the parts and locations of an enterprise with the aim of representing at least 90 per cent of the total energy consumption.