Federal funding for energy advice for SMEs

Phase: Management
  • Access to finance
  • Transition to a climate-neutral economy
  • Advice
  • Support of SMEs
Last modified: 17 November, 2020
Projekto pavadinimas::

Bundesförderung für Energieberatung im Mittelstand

Angliškas pavadinimas:

Federal funding for energy advice for SMEs


Small and medium-sized companies in the commercial and other services sectors as well as freelancers with registered offices and business operations in Germany are eligible to apply for this measure if they:

1. employ fewer than 250 people;

2. have an annual turnover of no more than €50 million in the past year or an annual balance sheet of no more than €43 million in current year.

Main characteristics

The federal funding for energy consulting in SMEs (EBM) aims for sustainable energy use that can make a significant contribution to the energy security in Germany and to the global climate protection. The federal German government supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with grants in the use of qualified energy advice. The grants are seen as an important tool for reducing information deficits, identifying potential savings and identifying measures to improve energy efficiency in the company.

Important advice areas are energy systems and facilities as well as user behaviour. The requesting businesses should consider applying renewable energy solutions to their businesses and also consider how they can reduce the energy waste.

The funded energy consultations are high-quality energy audits within the meaning of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive.

For companies with annual energy costs of more than €10,000, the allowance is 80% of the eligible consulting costs, however, not exceeding the maximum of €6,000.

For companies with annual energy costs of a maximum of €10,000, the allowance is 80% of the eligible consulting costs, but a maximum of €1,200.


  • National funds
  • European funds
  • European Funds

Involved actors

National government
Federal Office of Economics and Export Control
The consulting may be provided only by licensed and approved companies.


An evaluation of the programme was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in 2018. The group focused on four goals to assess the effectiveness of the measure: 

  1. energy savings between 10% to 20% per company;
  2. reducing energy of all companies within the scope of the programme by 400 gigawatt hours;  
  3. increase of implemented measures of energy efficiency to three per company;
  4. increased quality of consultations.

The results indicate that:

  • Companies were able to save on average 13.88% of energy per year, for the period between 2015 and 2020. This equals 120 megawatt hours annually.  
  • It is estimated that the entire programme has saved on average 502 gigawatt hours per year between 2015 and 2020. Including dead weight effects, it is estimated that EBM saved up to 808 gigawatt hours annually (in total).
  • Consultation on energy efficiency has led to the implementation of on average 2.45 energy efficiency measures per company. This is below the goal of 3 measures per company. 
  • Interviews show that the quality of consultations has increased compared to the previous study by ISI from 2014. Over 75% of consultation participants considered the consultation to be beneficiary. 


The PWC report (2018) shows that businesses are actively seeking consultation on the matter of energy efficiency. They were able to increase measurements for increased energy efficiency and in the process save energy and costs.  


No information available.


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