Energy Efficiency Directive
Efficiency systems are a prerequisite to attain relief from surcharges and taxes, and will soon be mandatory for non-SMEs. In the following overview (as of January 2015) we have listed the legal foundations relevant for your company, and which obligations to act arise for you with regard to the introduction of energy efficiency systems (management systems or alternative approaches). In the following pages, we explain the legal foundations and requirements to you in more detail.
In February 2015, the German parliament adopted a bill amending the Energy Services Law (EDL-G), and thus implementing the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) in national law. The goal of the amendment was, inter alia, to meet the EU target of an increase in energy efficiency by 20% by 2020. The draft bill was debated in the Upper House (German Bundesrat) in March 2015, and is now in force.

The law includes the following provisions:

  • All companies not covered by the SME regulation must carry out an energy audit according to DIN EN 16247 by 5 December 2015 at the latest.
  • Alternatively, in accordance with the transitional rule*, ISO 50001 or EMAS can be introduced.
  • Implementation of the system must be fully completed by the end of the transitional period.
  • For companies with many similar locations (such as chain stores), a multi-site procedure can be used for the energy audit.
  • ISO 14001 is not sufficient to meet the audit obligation.

We will inform you about the current legally binding developments and requirements regarding EDL-G on this site, and with our information flyer.

* Proof of the beginning of the introduction of the system between 5 Dec. 2015 and 31 Dec. 2016 is required.

Since the amendment of the Renewable Sources of Energy Act (EEG) in June 2014, companies with an annual electricity consumption of 1 GWh or more  must prove they have a system in place to improve energy efficiency in order to apply for a reduction of the EEG electricity surcharge at the Federal Office of Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA).

For companies with a power consumption of 1 to 5 GWh, proof of an “alternative system” is sufficient, as is the case for reimbursement of the electricity and energy tax according to the Surplus Settlement Efficiency System Regulation. Companies that use more than 5 GWh of electricity per year must even present proof of a certified energy or environmental management system. The costs of the EEG electricity surcharge can be substantially reduced by this limitation.

We prepare your company for the requirements of the EEG and for successful certification of the respective systems. The experienced and accredited auditors of our partner company Arqum Zert GmbH can then independently certify your system in the next step.

By introducing the “alternative system” to improve energy efficiency, small and medium-sized enterprises can apply to the Customs and Excise Office for relief from the energy and electricity tax. Introduction of an energy management system as per the “vertical approach” of ISO 50001 applies for non-SMEs as a prerequisite to apply for the tax relief under the Energy and Electricity Tax Act. In 2013 and 2014 all that was required was proof of the introduction of the corresponding system. The standard method applies from 2015 on, where the system has to be fully implemented. Use our information flyer to inform yourself of the current requirements.

An auditor’s certificate is issued by an accredited environmental auditor or a certification centre to demonstrate the introduction of a system to improve energy efficiency. This is done after an on-site inspection of the company. The relevant documents on the energy media, energy consumers and energy-saving measures must be submitted to the environmental auditor at least two weeks prior to this. All of the requirements must be met by the 31st December of a year in order to make the application for a refund for the respective year at the Customs and Excise Office. In our two customer information flyers on the Alternative System and the Vertical Approach of ISO 50001, we inform you in detail about what has to be done.

We will calculate the refund you can expect this year free of charge, and will provide support in the fulfilment of all tasks required for successful certification. You can then have your system certified by the accredited auditors of Arqum Zert GmbH.

Companies that are eligible to apply for surplus settlement as per the Surplus Settlement Efficiency System Directive (SpaEfV) must have the necessary proofs certified by independent and certified auditors. The auditors from our partner company Arqum Zert GmbH can do this certification. They have many years of experience across all industries in the introduction and implementation of environmental, energy and quality management systems. In addition, they are also accredited as free auditors for ISO 14001, EMAS and ISO 50001 by the well-known certification centres accredited by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS). The auditors of Arqum Zert GmbH are approved for the following areas:


Industry NACE-Scope EAC Scope
Agriculture 01 01
Forestry 02 01
Production of foodstuffs and tobacco 10 03
Production of beverages 11 03
Production of chemical products 20 12
Production of metal products 25 17.1
Health Care 86 38.1