Deutsche Bank – Responsibility
September 24, 2012

Survey: SME sector companies preparing for energy transition in Germany

Two thirds of companies expect investments in energy efficiency to increase in the next five years, i.e. 10 percent more than in 2008. One out of every three small to medium sized companies already intend to invest in energy conservation measures in the next 12 months. Among larger companies, the proportion with that intention is even 44 percent. At small and medium sized business operations, 28 percent of entrepreneurs have plans for concrete measures. Those are the findings of a representative survey conducted by Deutsche Bank.

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Umfrage: Mittelständische Unternehmen rüsten sich für Energiewende

“We have been observing a growing demand for financing in the area of energy efficiency since the beginning of the energy transition policy in Germany, which is aimed at achieving a sustainable economy by means of renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development. Energy costs have risen perceptibly in the last ten years; the price of oil alone has increased tenfold since the end of 1998. Companies in the German SME sector reacted quickly - for the most part they were able to make up for price increases with economy measures and they intend to continue to invest in energy efficiency,“ explains Cornel Wisskirchen, a member of the executive management of Corporate Clients Germany and the Management Committee Germany.

Economic considerations are the primary focus when planning efficiency measures. According to the survey, 46 percent of the entrepreneurs expect investments in energy efficiency to improve the competitiveness of their business operation. Those companies perceive a competitive advantage above all in optimised cost structures and the possibility of using the money that is saved for new investments. Furthermore, 70 percent of the companies expect a positive impact on the companies’ image. With regard to the next 12 months, one out of every two companies that are willing to invest expect to implement efficiency measures in a scale of up to 500,000 Euros; 23 percent of the business operations want to deploy more than one million Euros.

Against the backdrop of the energy transition policy in Germany, the primary objective is to reduce energy requirements at companies. The majority of companies willing to invest want to make their building engineering systems more efficient. Four out of ten business operations that currently want to save energy are planning to deploy energy-efficient equipment or improve the efficiency of production plant systems, vehicles and logistics.

“There are a number of public subsidy programmes that companies can take advantage of in order to invest in more efficient, more environmentally friendly production plant systems and processes or modern building engineering systems. Germany-wide Deutsche Bank has more than doubled total loan commitments involving public subsidies in the energy efficiency area this year in comparison with the previous year,“ explains Wisskirchen. “At Deutsche Bank, experts specialising in subsidy programmes advise entrepreneurs on what potential subsidies are available and how these can be optimally exploited for energy conservation measures at companies.”