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Energy Efficiency in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

image of Energy Efficiency in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

The EU’s Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency obliges Member States to develop programmes to encourage small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve energy efficiency by implementing energy audits and the recommendations that stem from these audits. This study looks at the barriers that SMEs face and the existing policy instruments in more detail and analyses which practices are working. The study concludes that SMEs cannot be effectively targeted with solely uniform solutions even within the same country and even though many of them face similar barriers. More emphasis is needed on sharing information and best practices and guiding SMEs to implement energy efficiency improvements after having identified the opportunities. The good news is that many good practices already exist and there is potential to improve. Now it is just a question of taking action.

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Conclusions and recommendations

There are two main reasons why SMEs consume a lot of energy. Firstly, there are sectors that have a large number of small companies whose combined energy consumption becomes significant. Secondly, there are some SMEs whose business requires a lot of energy although the companies otherwise are classified as SMEs. This study analysed different sectors and concluded that the following sectors have the most promising potential for further energy efficiency improvement: the manufacturing of food and beverages as well as manufacturing of chemicals, basic metals, rubber and plastic, wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food services, and agriculture.

English

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