Energy – efficient and up to date
In the interest of climate and environmental protection, the European Union has followed up on this idea and developed various ideas and approaches in recent years.
As a result of the implementation of the European Energy Efficiency Directive into German law, more and more companies now see themselves facing its consequences at national level.
The German Bundesrat voted on the draft law amending the Energy Services Act (EDL-G) and other energy efficiency improvement measures in March 2015; this means that important innovations will come into force that could affect your business.
On 22 April 2015, the EDL-G came into force and introduced important new aspects that could affect your business. Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) has already made clarifications in a code of practice for energy audits with numerous references designed to facilitate the application of the law at companies.
Important innovations: Mandatory energy audits
Pursuant to the new law, all non-SMEs are required in the short term to conduct an energy audit as per DIN EN 16247-1 by 5 December 2015. This means that a systematic inspection and analysis of the company’s energy use and energy consumption must be performed with the aim of identifying energy flows and the potential for energy efficiency improvements.
Our BDO Technik- und Umweltconsulting (technical and environmental consulting) specialist teams consisting of a combination of engineers, scientists, lawyers, auditors and, of course, energy consultants support you in performing these energy audits, which must be conducted out by qualified experts.
Who has this obligation?
Based on the will of the legislators, all ‘non-SMEs’ are subject to an audit requirement.
The definition for determining a non-SME is:
‘Companies with 250 or more employees, or with fewer than 250 employees but more than 50 million euros annual business volume, or more than 43 million euros annual balance sheet volume.’
Affected companies not only include large-scale manufacturing companies, but also hospitals, retailers, service companies, banks, insurance providers and all other non-manufacturing companies. Further restrictions have not been defined so far. According to the German federal government, the obligation to perform regular energy audits will affect approximately 94,000 companies, which will be randomly audited by Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control.
In the event that a company is unsure whether it is subject to an obligation to carry out an audit as a non-SME, our experts from BDO Legal are the right people to turn to. An accurate appraisal of whether a company belongs to the affected group of ‘non-SMEs’ can be quickly verified within the scope of a quick check.
Determining the SME status by means of a quick check offers companies some additional advantages. For example, SMEs can apply for grants to the European Union, while non-SMEs can apply to development banks for capital investment subsidies and grants.
Further energy-saving options
Operational CO2 emissions are used as metrics and control factors to visualise the CO2 footprint, or corporate carbon footprint (CCF) of a business. Numerical simulation of this is the basis of entrepreneurial climate protection. BDO TUC’s engineers perform these simulations in accordance with international standards such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol or ISO standard 14064.
On the basis of the corporate carbon footprint, specific energy efficiency measures can be identified and integrated into a tailored climate protection strategy. As a result, a measurable reduction in business-related CO2 emissions can be achieved.
For companies in energy and waste management, technical inspections with a view to the provisions of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and the Kraft-Wärme-Kopplungsgesetz (KWKG) (German cogeneration act ) are important considerations. Reviews by auditors and engineers help to optimise claims for reimbursement and settlements under the KWKG and EEG in terms of time. A technical and economic appraisal of the task avoids interface losses and ensures enhanced quality control.
The latest information on the Renewable Energy Sources Act of 2014, electricity tax and energy tax
Certain financial judgements under energy tax and electricity tax law last year are of importance to manufacturing companies and enterprises in agriculture and forestry. Many aspects need to be observed in claiming tax relief; potential need for action arises from jurisdiction in the financial courts.
The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2014) has introduced numerous changes in the field of the specific equalisation scheme. The relationships between the specific equalisation scheme and the taxes on electricity are fraught with various pitfalls.
Our department of duties, consumption taxes and foreign-trade law is available as a competent partner to provide comprehensive service, with extensive practical experience in dealing with the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, the main customs offices and other authorities in all matters related to the Renewable Energy Sources Act of 2014, electricity tax and energy tax.