Nuremberg, 7 May 2014 – German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are still showing reluctance when it comes to using energy efficiency services (EEDL). This is attributable to the highly varied supplier market and a lack of transparency in the range of available services. Although the necessity to save energy has long been recognized by SMEs across the board, existing offers must be more strongly tailored to the target group. These are recent findings derived from qualitative expert interviews conducted as part of the new GfK EEDL Monitor (energy efficiency services monitor), which is carried out in Germany.
The European Union (EU) Energy Efficiency Directive, which came into effect in 2012, stipulates that member states are required to achieve 1.5 percent energy savings every year from 2014. The focus in Germany is on promoting the market for energy services and an improvement in energy efficiency. Decision-makers with regard to energy policy in German SMEs are aware that improving energy efficiency is extremely important. However, so far, the issue has not really been integrated in to the organizational structure of SMEs. Only manufacturing industries and public facilities have focused on introducing energy saving measures until now.
GfK survey: lack of transparency on EEDL market for SMEs
GfK carried out a qualitative baseline survey on the issue of "energy efficiency in small and medium-sized companies" to assess the market potential for such services in SMEs. From expert interviews with decision-makers in SMEs as well as in the private and public sector, it became apparent that the services being offered on the market are difficult to understand. From the user's perspective, there is a lack of transparent information on the available services, the projected outcome of measures and the associated costs. The highly varied market of energy suppliers, advisors, service providers and energy plant manufacturers creates great uncertainty in relation to the neutrality of a service or advice, and the costs involved. However, energy providers came out comparatively well with regard to expertise and professionalism, in particular.
SMEs more likely to think about areas of application
The expert interviews also revealed that decision-makers in SMEs do not feel that existing product descriptions such as energy management and energy checks adequately address their needs. Instead, this target group finds specific areas easier to access. For example, lighting is considered to be a relevant area in which to act, followed by the building shell and the car fleet. Only in individual cases there is definite budgetary planning in place for the near future. There are also very different conceptions regarding the payback period.
With regard to the use of energy efficiency services, it is not just costs that play a key role for decision-makers in SMEs. In order to exploit the growth potential of SMEs, energy efficiency service providers should show the clear cost-benefit ratio as well as establishing products as self-explanatory and essential, as is already the case for heating maintenance, for example.
GfK EEDL Monitor: market potential and planning tool
GfK has used the results from the expert interviews to develop a tool with which the market potential of energy efficiency services for SMEs and public facilities in Germany can be measured and analyzed. The GfK EEDL Monitor identifies starting points for marketing energy efficiency services and therefore provides an essential foundation on which energy suppliers and service providers can develop strategic plans and marketing strategies.
On the basis of this survey, GfK will soon be conducting a quantitative survey in which energy suppliers and service providers can participate. GfK will be publishing the results of this survey, which will be carried out on an annual basis, in the third quarter of 2014.
Dr. Roland Abold, tel. +49 911 395-4667
GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s 80 years of data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.
For more information, please visit www.gfk.com or follow GfK on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gfk_en
Responsible under press legislation:
GfK SE, Corporate Communications
T +49 911 395 4087