How policies incite investments into energy efficiency

Panel: 5. Business models, finance and investment in the age of digitalisation

Rita Werle, Impact Energy, Switzerland
Conrad U. Brunner, Impact Energy, Switzerland


The research project 'Management as a Key Driver of Energy Performance' (M_Key) investigated the relationship between the level of energy management and investments into energy efficiency improvements. It specifically addressed the factors that influence whether a company perceives investments into energy efficiency as strategic.

M_Key targeted large-scale energy consumer companies in Switzerland (above 0.5 GWh/a electric energy and/or 5 GWh/a thermal energy consumption) in the industrial and services sectors. The research was conducted between 2015 and 2017 in three phases:

1. Online survey among 305 companies

2. Face-to-face interviews at 26 companies from those surveyed

3. Case studies with a "walk-through-audit" on site at five companies from those interviewed.

This methodology with the case studies is unique, as a closer "reality-check" was possible by independent energy efficiency experts, assessing the actual status of energy efficiency investments. The presentation will focus on the findings of the case studies which can be summarized as follows:

1. Several factors determine whether a company perceives energy as a strategic issue. Important factors are in particular energy intensity, public policy and the decision-making power and skills of the person in charge of energy (energy manager).

2. If energy is perceived as strategic, the company has a high(er) level of energy management.

3. Energy management has the function to deliver reliable, fact-based data and information as a basis for investment decisions.

4. In most of the five companies the ceiling of possible, feasible and profitable energy efficiency improvement measures is not reached.

5. Monitoring of energy consumption and especially verification of energy savings within the companies remains a challenge.

M_Key is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and is part of the National Research Programme “Managing Energy Consumption” (NRP 71):


Download this presentation as pdf: 5_053_18_Werle_pres.pdf