Energy Democracy

Centre for the Turnaround of Energy Systems

What's the problem?

Homeowners* are in particular confronted with many questions about energy-efficient renovations. However, energy consulting services are often focused one-sidedly on classic energy-saving measures. Renewable energies are considered, if at all, only in additional warm water supply by solar thermal energy. Combined systems such as photovoltaics/storage tanks and renewable heating systems including heat storage and control systems are not included in the consultations. Instead, insulation is wrongly propagated as the primary saving measure. As Stiftung Warentest has found in an energy consultary test, the energy consultants evaluated are mostly unqualified, only interested in selling a specific product (insulation, condensing boiler technology, etc.), are often unorganized and in any case too expensive. In the population, for example, renewable heating systems and their cost and CO2 saving potential are hardly known. Likewise, numerous energy consultants*, municipal and commercial climate protection representatives and handicraft enterprises have knowledge deficits, although almost all are open-minded and have a positive attitude towards renewable energies and climate protection. Only a central and neutral meeting place is missing.

What's the measure?

Setting up neutral and non-profit centres for the turnaround of energy systems.

How can the implementation look like?

An CET (Centre of energy-turnaround) covers the high demand for renewable energies for private, municipal, public, social, religious and commercial energy users*. It operates in a non-profit legal form (association, gGmbH, cooperative). This avoids CET being profit-oriented instead of offering the best / most neutral solution. The CET focuses on the following:

a) Construction, operation, guided tours and lectures of renewable energies in the areas:

  • Photovoltaics with concentrator/anti-blend technology with storage techniques - including control
  • combined PV/storage heat hybrid systems
  • Heat pump use - without gas burner for winter use
  • High-vacuum solar thermal energy, among other things as an additive for the covering of process heat
  • Replacement for night storage heaters
  • Alternatives for heating systems based on non-fossil fuels
  • Heat insulation plaster
  • vertical wind turbines
  • Electromobility

b) Passing on information about the basics of the most important techniques/services

  • Profitability considerations per energy system
  • History of energy production and distribution
  • Successful plant subsidies
  • New financing possibilities, for example crowdfunding or contracting
  • current societal, social and political developments
  • broad and local information exchange 
  • Property managers, caretakers or real estate companies receive valuable information, especially in questions of cost and profitability

c) Restructuring of commercial and municipal energy consulting

d) Networking of support programs of municipal/non-profit foundations / energy saving campaigns such as "10,000 houses", programs of various municipalities or the campaign: "Renovate house - profit" of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU)

e) Training, lectures and further education for energy consultants* / craftsmen*

f) Training, lectures and knowledge exchange for training, talks, and education for non-industrial employees* in local authorities, energy cooperatives, environmental associations and property management companies.

The CET will thus become a mixture of a consumer* advice centre, financial advice, and training centre like for example the Berufliche Schule Butzbach (Hessen). The neutral and central meeting place for all areas of → energy turnaround passes the information on to energy users*. New technologies can also be viewed and handled at a local location.

How does this work against climate change?

Wrong and overpriced energy-consultation is avoided. No CO2 saving potentials are wasted.

Which other effects does the measure have?

Through the training and further education of craftspeople*, the involvement of local companies (including the local energy supply company), the value chain remains in the region or the energy cell.

References to other measures:

Intelligente Verbraucher*innen statt intelligenter Netze (Smart consumers* instead of smart grids)

Problems of social, global and intergenerational justice

Continuative literature, sources

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