In addition to the expansion of renewable energies and the reduction of greenhouse gases, improving energy use is a key pillar of the energy revolution. Here you will find information about our many measures to improve energy efficiency.
1. Network energy efficiency and climate protection
In order to contribute to increasing energy efficiency in industry, trade, commerce and crafts, the German government, together with associations and organisations from industry, has concluded an agreement on the nationwide introduction of energy efficiency and climate protection networks. The energy efficiency networks established under the first association agreement proved to be a successful approach to saving energy and hence reducing emissions. In 2020, the parties extended this agreement by five years while placing greater focus on climate protection. By the end of 2025, a further 300 to 350 networks are to be established. These will continue to work on the goals of saving energy, reducing carbon emissions and reducing energy costs on a long-term basis.
EnBW, as a pioneer in this field, has been writing a success story on energy efficiency and climate protection for 17 years now with the EnBW Networks Energy Efficiency, which we offer as a service to industrial customers. More than hundred industrial companies are participating in the seven networks running in 2023. EnBW has now held more than 650 network meetings – currently increasingly in the form of online meetings, some of which are also held as expert meetings for all network participants. A new addition is the "Climate Management System Workshop", an online exchange round for companies that want to develop a climate protection strategy
Responsibility for the Group’s main property management activities lies with EnBW Real Estate GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG. The portfolio includes approximately 290 buildings that are relevant in terms of energy use, with a total net floor area of some 670,000 square metres. An ISO 50001-compliant energy management system (EnMS) promotes regular monitoring and improvement of the building energy consumption.
After achieving the 2020 targets for the property portfolio (20 % lower energy consumption per employee relative to 2010), EnBW Real Estate GmbH formulated new targets that include reductions in carbon emissions in addition to energy efficiency:
- 50 % reduction in portfolio carbon emissions at the representative reference sites by 2025 and 75 % by 2030 compared to the 2018 base year
- 10 % reduction in energy consumption per employee at the representative reference sites by 2025 and 20 % by 2030 compared to the 2018 base year
By 2022, we achieved a reduction about 14 % at the representative reference sites. In addition to technical and operational improvements to buildings and the enhanced transparency brought by digitalisation, one important measure in the building portfolio is the procurement of green power and biogas. This alone reduces carbon emissions by some 11,500 tonnes per year. Besides the area of building automation and digitalization, we have upgraded our concepts to reduce CO₂ emissions to include aspects related to gray energy in the construction sector (following the cradle-to-cradle principle), life cycle assessments and the use of sustainable raw materials.
Stuttgart water supply produces more energy than it uses
NETZE BW Wasser GmbH, a subsidiary of Netze BW GmbH, operates the Stuttgart water supply. Due to the topographical location of the water network, energy can be recovered from the power of the water and then used locally or fed into the power grid. The basic idea is that the "hydraulic potential" is not "destroyed" by pressure reducing valves, but is converted into electrical energy by means of backward running pumps before the water is fed into the municipal distribution network. An electricity requirement of approximately 1.8 GWh per year is offset by a recovery up to 3.7 GWh of electrical energy. About 0.8 GWh of the generated electricity can be consumed by the city itself. This covers almost 45% of the company's own electricity requirements. By feeding the remaining 2.8 GWh of electrical energy back into the public power supply grid, fossil fuels can be substituted. Thus it is possible to avoid about 2,200 tonnes of CO₂ per year.
Since Netze BW Wasser GmbH buys 100% green electricity, the purchase of the gigawatt hour of electricity still required from the grid is CO₂-neutral. Even if the CO₂ emissions caused by the demand for fuels and gas (0.3 GWh and 1.2 GWh) are included in the balance sheet, the bottom line is that Netze BW Wasser GmbH's balance sheet shows approximately a remaining of minus 1,900 tonnes of CO₂.
Netze BW Wasser GmbH currently operates 18 turbines with a total output of around 1.4 MW at 15 sites in the urban area of Stuttgart. The power range extends from turbines with only 1.5 kW to aggregates with 315 kW active power. Although the recovery of energy from drinking water is not subsidized under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the aim is to further expand and exploit even small recovery potentials.
Since 2016, Netze BW Wasser GmbH has had a certified energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001, which helps to identify potential savings and sustainably reduce energy consumption. By supporting energy management systems in accordance with ISO 50001 at the Filderwasserversorgung and Strohgäu Wasserversorgung water utility associations, Netze BW Wasser GmbH also supports the continuous improvement of energy efficiency outside its own boundaries.
Sustainability is also a major topic in EnBW’s IT sector. Many measures have therefore already been implemented under the keyword "Green IT". This not only protects the environment, but also the wallet. Starting points for improving energy efficiency extend along the entire process chain.
In EnBW's data centres, great attention is paid to energy consumption and energy efficiency. This is typically measured in the data centre environment with the "PUE value" (Power Usage Effectiveness). The PUE value puts the total energy consumed in the data centre in relation to the energy consumption of the IT components. Energy consumption in the data centres has been significantly and sustainably reduced by measures such as indirect free cooling, various enclosures for the supply air and the removal of waste heat for heating office space.
The high degree of virtualisation achieved in recent years and the increasingly widespread use of cloud solutions have enabled us to significantly consolidate our data centre space.
When procuring servers, we pay attention to sustainable purchasing criteria. In addition to the technical requirements, the sustainability criteria account for about one third of the evaluation. We also pay special attention to sustainability and maximum environmental compatibility at our cloud service providers.
In the past years, work was mainly done from the home office and a large number of processes and working methods were digitized in many areas of our Group for this. This has reduced paper consumption and the number of car journeys in the long term.
We are tackling forward-looking issues with the "Drive it25" initiative. Strengthening environmentally conscious action in IT actively supports the Group's goal of climate neutrality by 2035. Based on innovative ideas and forward-looking technologies, challenges and expectations of the environment and stakeholders are taken into account.