Energy crisis: information for companies in Bremen
Working together to save energy and find alternatives
Rising electricity and gas prices are placing a huge strain on both businesses and private households in the State of Bremen. To ease this cost pressure, we need to save energy and seek out alternative sources.
Bremeninvest is helping Bremen companies navigate the crisis and has compiled some sources of useful information:
- How and where can businesses save energy?
- Is there any available funding and support?
- Who are the best people to contact with questions about energy consumption and procurement?
Sources of help and information:
- On its pages for business customers, the Bremen energy supplier swb provides details of contact persons and informationhttps://www.swb.de/geschaeftskunden/erdgas
- wesernetz Bremen GmbH provides gas and electricity distribution networks in Bremen and Bremerhaven. Details of contact persons and additional information on connections, planning and incidents can be found on the company's website: https://www.wesernetz.de/geschaeftspartner
- Switching from gas to oil: companies planning to switch their energy supplies from gas to oil (fuel switch, dual fuel) in the near future can contact the industrial inspectorate (Gewerbeaufsicht) with any questions about approvals:
>> Rüdiger Wedel, Emissions Protection Head of Division, Industrial Inspectorate State of Bremen + 49 (0)421 361 6255, Officefirstname.lastname@example.org
Simplified procedures (tolerance procedures) currently apply for major consumers of natural gas seeking to switch their energy supply, in cooperation with the authorities.
- BAB – the development bank for Bremen and Bremerhaven provides a summary of information on funding instruments for companies on its “Ukraine Aid” page. This includes securities, support with liquidity shortfalls and capital assistance. The information is aimed at businesses affected by the war in Ukraine or rising energy prices.
- The Bremen Chamber of Industry and Commerce collects all information relating to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, with a particular focus on foreign trade issues.
- The Bremen climate protection agency energiekonsens offers businesses practical energy saving tips and information on its website.
- Law on energy saving: the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) has issued two decrees effective from 1 September 2022, affecting both businesses and private households:
- Energy cost control programme: companies particularly affected by high energy costs can apply to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) for a grant for their natural gas and electricity costs (german). The amount of the grant is capped at €50 million per company. The programme has now been extended until 30/09/2022
Energy-saving tips for businesses:
- Training/awareness raising: any energy-saving measure will only be effective if everyone plays their part. Train your employees about use of energy. Appropriate ventilation and heating as well as a forward-looking approach to use of electrical devices can result in energy savings of up to 15%.
- Involve corporate control/utilities management: involve company technicians, facility management or appropriately qualified employees. Regular training is recommended here, too.
- Identify power-hungry devices: check the consumption of your electrical devices. Measuring systems and energy monitoring can help you calculate your consumption and identify potential savings.
- Heating/air conditioning: efficiency of appliances – Enlist expert assistance to check the efficiency and settings of your heating installations. Heat according to requirements: Reduce heat settings in unoccupied periods (e.g. weekends). Wherever possible, organise home-working days for employees to reduce heating periods. Refer to the new low temperature specifications in the workplace regulations (see above).
- Lighting: switch your lighting to energy-efficient sources such as LEDs. Movement sensors in rooms used less frequently can also save electricity.
- Hot water: reduce hot water consumption, for example, by switching off hot water on wash hand basins.
- Correct ventilation: regularly opening windows wide for short and intense ventilation saves energy for heating.
- Procurement/energy efficiency/mobility: energy-efficient devices save a lot of electricity. This applies for IT equipment and vehicles as well as building technology. Alternative mobility solutions help to save energy too. For example, funding of rail cards/job tickets, bike leasing or an electric company car.
- Options for employees: is it possible to introduce an additional home-working day to reduce heating periods in offices? This would need to be agreed and the details specified with the Works Council and employees.
- Insulation/sealing: are pipes, windows, components and appliances adequately insulated? Good insulation can reduce heat loss by up to 30%. Elastic draught strips and flexible sealing strips are a simple and cost-efficient solution to save heat energy. Brush seals are a particularly good idea on doors to unheated rooms or floors.
Bremer Unternehmensbefragung zur Energiekrise:
In August 2022, Bremeninvest conducted a non-representative survey of Bremen companies. The objective was to gain insights into how businesses in Bremen are addressing the energy crisis. 170 companies, mainly small and medium-sized businesses (1-249 employees), took part. Results:
- Around 65% of the surveyed companies use gas and 20% use oil for heating.
- For 56% of companies, electricity comes from conventional sources; around 22% use green electricity.
- 17% use gas for production.
- 27% of business are already affected by the energy crisis; 64% expect to be affected in future.
- 67% of all companies have no energy emergency plan; 56% are not currently reducing their energy consumption.
Bremen companies are using different methods to save energy: photovoltaics is a growing trend, as are LED lights. No hot water for washing hands, reducing room temperatures and specifically switching off unused consumption sources are among the urgently planned measures. Increasing home-working days, employee training, switching off unused devices and closing unused rooms are on the agenda for Bremen companies.