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Establishing energy efficiency in SMEs - energy management to enhance energy efficiency in everyday work life

  • Despite strong political efforts across Europe, small and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) seem to neglect adopting effective measures for energy efficiency. Adopting a cultural perspective and based on a study among industrial SMEs in Southern Germany, we investigate what drives decisions for energy efficiency in SMEs and how energy management contributes to closing the energy efficiency gap. The study follows a mixed-methods approach and combines eleven ethnographic case studies and a quantitative survey among 500 manufacturing SMEs in Southern Germany. The main contribution of the paper is to offer a perspective on energy efficiency in SMEs beyond the diffusion of energyefficient technology. By contrast, our results strongly suggest that the diffusion of energy efficiency in industrial companies should not be solely reduced to decisions for technical measures. We shed light on how energy efficiency is established and the importance of energy management in SMEs. Our study shows that energy efficiency is well established in the investigated SMEs. At the same time, establishment cannot be explained by company size or energy demand. By contrast, the contextual environment of the company and the individual leadership of the company appear to have a more substantial influence. The embedding of energy efficiency in corporate strategy, a broad spectrum of different practices, the involvement of the employees, actions for raising awareness in everyday work life, and distributing attention by organizational measures constitute the driving forces in establishing energy efficiency, and these drivers can be subsumed under the label of energy management.

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Author of HS ReutlingenKönig, Werner; Löbbe, Sabine
Erschienen in:Decarbonise Industry! : Industrial Efficiency 2020, 14-17 September 2020, online event
Place of publication:Stockholm, Schweden
Editor:Therese Laitinen Lindström
Document Type:Conference proceeding
Publication year:2020
Tag:energy efficency gap; energy efficiency culture; energy efficiency practices; energy management
Page Number:10
First Page:181
Last Page:190
PPN:Im Katalog der Hochschule Reutlingen ansehen
DDC classes:600 Technik
Open access?:Nein