LEEN 100 plus

Learning Energy Efficiency Networks on the way to 100 and more networks

Duration: June 2018 – March 2019


Within the framework of its Climate Initiative, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) promotes projects that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. An important starting point are measures to increase energy and resource efficiency and tap potential for reducing emissions economically with a widespread impact, while at the same time being worthwhile for those actively involved. Here the ‘Learning Energy Efficiency Networks’ (LEEN) can make a considerable contribution for the SME sector, as the ‘30 Pilot Networks’ project has shown.

In order to provide more extensive information on this successful ‘instrument developed by industry for industry’ and to provide incentives for further networks, the BMUB promotes further networks with the ‘LEEN 100’ project. The first ten new networks can apply for a subsidy of €4,000 per enterprise for the initial consultation and are supported by Fraunhofer ISI, Stiftung für Ressourceneffizienz und Klimaschutz (STREKS) and IREES in the imitation and starting phase, as are a further 30 new networks.

In all enterprises, there are numerous possibilities for profitable investment and organisational measures to reduce energy costs by using energy efficiently. The energy managers are partly aware of them, but there is often not enough time for the preparation and selection of investment solutions.

Project goals and results

The objective of a learning energy efficiency network with 10–15 companies is to make the numerous profitable efficiency potentials available to all of the participants in less time and with less effort through a regular moderated exchange of experiences. The stipulated energy review of the participating enterprise is both the basis for the individual possible investments for the enterprise and a joint goal of the network over several years to improve efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Annual monitoring checks the level of target achievement. The network idea for energy efficiency was already born in 1987 in Switzerland and realised there many times; in Germany, it was put into practice for the first time 2002. The results from a DBU (German Federal Environmental Foundation) project (2007–2009) formed the basis for the LEEN Management System, which was developed further and tested in the ‘30 Pilot Networks for Climate Protection and Energy Efficiency’ project (see www.30Pilot-netzwerke.de).

The emphasis of the ‘LEEN 100’ project is on the LEEN-classic networks, which are suitable for enterprises with annual energy costs exceeding €500,000. Here the energy costs saved through implemented energy efficiency measures always cover the costs of the network participation, in addition to the costs of the measures taken.

The results of the ‘30 Pilot Networks’ project:

  • A doubling of energy progress in comparison to the average of the industry: on average a 2.1% p.a. increase in energy efficiency (this is equivalent to a reduction in consumption of about 10% in five years) and a reduction of 2.3% in CO2 emissions,
  • About 30% internal rate of return on average for all recommended cost-effective measures,
  • A high level of acceptance on the part of the participants:
  • A very positive evaluation of the course of the project,
  • Most of the enterprises have benefited from the data collection as the preliminary stage of the energy review and judge the latter as good to very good;
  • Approx. 90% of the companies considered the composition of the respective network as right; As a rule, they participated with one or two persons in all network meetings, which they judge as good to very good with regard to length, frequency, preparation and course, but particularly the site inspections and the exchange with representatives of other participants; Many of them also use the contacts beyond the network meetings for further technical topics but also for matters concerning the management system, the evaluation of suppliers, etc.
  • Most of the enterprises evaluate the benefit as considerable to very high in comparison to the expenditure, and the amount of time invested as small.
  • Almost all of the enterprises put the suggestions from the network activities into practice; some of the measures would not have been implemented without the network.

This instrument ‘developed by industry for industry’ is a major opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises to reduce energy consumption and thus energy costs.

Project partner

Contact persons

Prof. Dr. Harald Bradke (Fraunhofer ISI)
Breslauer Str. 48
76139 Karlsruhe


Prof. Dr. Eberhard Jochem (STREKS)
Schönfeldstr. 8
76131 Karlsruhe



Edith Chassein
Schönfeldstr. 8
76131 Karlsruhe


Contact Group coordination

Kerstin Kopf


T 0721 6809-320


Prof. Dr. Eberhard Jochem
Prof. Dr. Eberhard Jochem