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STEP up! The competitive efficiency tender in Germany – step by step towards an effective new instrument for energy efficiency

Panel: 3. Policy and governance

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Nora Langreder, Prognos AG, Germany
Friedrich Seefeldt, Prognos AG, Germany
Tim Chmella, Bundesstelle für Energieeffizienz im BAFA (BfEE), Germany
Lars-Arvid Brischke, Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg GmbH (ifeu), Germany


With respect to implementing Article 7 (Art.7) of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the idea of an 'Energy Efficiency Tender' (EET) was introduced into the political discussion in Germany (cp. eceee 2015 paper 2-345). By the end of 2014, Germany presented the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency with the new developed competitive efficiency tender (STEP up!), an innovative approach, which drew inspiration from the ProKilowatt tender scheme in Switzerland and adapted it to European regulations on state aid. However, the birth and early childhood of STEP up! was not that easy. The scheme had to be adapted to European state aid (and other) regulation, which led to constant loss of strength. The first tenders, starting in 2016, attracted few applications. After 3 years of constant support, STEP up! is strengthening its muscles and ready to leave the pilot stadium. However, sustained and joined efforts were needed to make the program more attractive, starting with the focus on the program marketing, a proactive program support and not yet ending with a continuous improvement of the leading parameters for the efficiency tender.

The paper reports about the practical experiences of the program owner and the evaluation team. The results of the first five call for tenders, the relevant tender parameters such as the cost / efficiency ratio will be presented. The initial setup and stepwise improvement of the tender design and the program architecture will be discussed. The paper addresses the challenges of bringing a new instrument into life with specific respect to the competitive efficiency tender.

Note. The progress of STEP up! is under constant evaluation (BfEE program evaluation) and the content of the paper has to be confirmed by the respective authorities. Before publication program owner BMWi and evaluation authority BAFA are to give their official final approval.


Download this paper as pdf: 3-251-19_Langreder.pdf

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