Germany's total final energy consumption decreased by 5% (-11.4 Mtoe) since 2000. In 2015, the largest consuming sector is transport, representing 29% of total final energy consumption.  The share of residential has decreased from 29% to 26% in 2015, while industry increased its share from 26% to 29% over years (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Final energy consumption by sector (normal climate)


Energy efficiency for final consumers, as measured by the so-called technical ODEX has improved by around 1.5% per year since 2000. Larger gains have been registered for households (2.4%/year), against 1.2%/year for the transport and services sector. Few improvements have been registered in the industry sector (0.9 %/year).

Figure 2: Technical energy efficiency index (ODEX)


The Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF) is part of the German “Energiewende” that follows the goal to reduce primary energy consumption by 20% until 2020 and 50% until 2050 (compared to 2008). Furthermore, it seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% until 2020 and 80 to 95% until 2050 (base year 1990). The fund consists of currently 23 policy measures including funding schemes and educational activities. Funds proceed from the Federal  Ministry  for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The
schemes are administered by different federal agencies or the development bank KfW. Beneficiaries are businesses, households and municipalities.

The second overarching programme "Climate Action Programme 2020" aims to support the achievement of the interims target of cutting the greenhouse gas emissions in Germany by 40 percent compared with 1990 by 2020. The programme consists of several additional measures to tap further potential for a future-oriented climate policy, e.g. reforming the emissions trading scheme, the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency and the climate-friendly building and housing strategy .

Table 1: Sample of cross-cutting measures

MeasuresNEEAP measuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Energy Efficiency FundyesFund to promote rational and economical use of energy2020: 2.26 PJLink
Climate Action Programme 2020yesProgram containing several components to push the achievment of the 2020 climate target2020: 62 – 78 Mt CO2eq.Link
Source: MURE


As shown in Figure 3 the energy consumption of space heating per m² in German has decreased by 37% since 2000, from 17.4 koe/m² to 11 koe/m² in 2015. While the consumption for water heating per dwelling increased by 35 % from 2000 to 2015 (from 0.19 toe/dw to 0.26 toe/dw), the consumption for appliances and cooking stayed almost constant.

Figure 3: Energy consumption of space heating per m2 (normal climate)


Figure 4: Energy consumption by end-uses per dwelling


The total final energy consumption of residential was around 7 Mtoe lower in 2015 than in 2000. Two main factors contributed to increase energy consumption – more dwellings (5 Mtoe) and lifestyles (7 Mtoe, due to larger home and more appliances per dwelling). On the opposite, energy savings decreased the consumption by around 23 Mtoe.  

Figure 5: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in households


The final energy consumption per employee is steadily declining with a rate of 1.6% per year from 2000 to 2015. The consumption of electricity decreased more slowly with 0.6% per year and stayed relatively constant over the last 10 years.

Figure 6: Energy and electricity consumption per employee (normal climate)


To achieve the target of a virtually climate-neutral building stock in Germany by 2050 a set of programmes is established, which aims to support the introduction of sustainable buildings equally on existing and new buildings. Several programmes, such as the CO2 Building Rehabilitation Programme and the Market Incentive Programme Promoting Renewable Energies, are already implemented and many other existing or planned measures provide a basis for climate-friendly buildings.

In 2016 the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) launched the Energy Efficiency Incentive programme (APEE). This programme provides funding for the modernisation of heating and ventilation systems in homes with a total of 165 million Euro per year over the next 3 years in form of low-interest loans and grants. The latest amendment to the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV), which came into force in May 2014, includes, among other things, an increase in requirements that became effective in 2016: the annual primary energy consumption for new buildings is reduced again and the standards for the minimum thermal insulation of the building envelope is reduced by an average of 20 percent. The energy requirements for new buildings have therefore become more stringent since 2016

Table 2: Sample of policies and measures implemented in the building sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Energy Efficiency Incentive programme Funding of modernisations of heating and ventilation systems2020: 7 PJ 2030: 13 PJLink
Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV)Tightening of requirements for new buildings regarding primary energy consumption and thermal insulation2020: 44.8 PJ 2030: 115.2www.bmub.bund.de/P3427/
Source: MURE


The final energy consumption in transport is dominated by cars covering almost 60% of total consumption in 2015. The share of road freight also stayed almost constant (23%), while rail transport dropped from 3.3% to 1.9%. In the same period the share of air traffic increased from 11.7% to 13.9%

Figure 7: Split of the transport energy consumption by modes


Cars represent around  85% of passenger traffic in 2015, followed by rail with 10% and only 5.6% for bus. The share of cars stayed relatively constant in comparison to 2000, while the share of rail slightly increased by 0.8 %p.

Figure 8: Share of transport in passenger traffic


Road freight transport represents 73% of total freight traffic in 2015, a 4% increase since 2000.
Rail transport of freight increased strongly by 11%, while water traffic decreased by 52%.

Figure 9: Share of modes in freight traffic


Germany's total final energy consumption for transport decreased by 4 Mtoe from 2000 to 2015 . The increasing traffic of passengers and freight contributed to increase the consumption by 12 Mtoe. This trend is counterbalanced by energy savings (12 Mtoe).

Figure 10: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in transport


The Federal Government has set itself the goal of promoting the sale of new electric vehicles through an environmental bonus. This will make a significant contribution to reducing air pollution while at the same time increasing the demand for environmentally friendly electric vehicles by at least 300,000 vehicles. The promotion supports the rapid proliferation of electrically powered vehicles on the market. The environmental bonus amounts to 2,000 euros for a pure battery electric vehicle (BEV) or a fuel cell vehicle (no local CO2 emissions) and 1,500 euros for an externally rechargeable hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) (less than 50 g CO2 emissions per km).

Table 3: Policies and measures into force in the transport sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Environmental BonusFinancial support for the purchase of BEV and PHEV.2020: 0.5 MtCO2eq. 2030: 0.2 MtCO2eq. (direct emission reductions)Link
Source: MURE


The total consumption of the sector industry slightly increased from 59.3 Mtoe in 2000 to 62.1 Mtoe in 2015 (+5%). Consumption of steel industry dropped by 10 % in this time period, while the energy consumption of the sector chemicals increased by 23%. The paper industry's energy consumption increased by 25%.

Figure 11: Final energy consumption by branch


Specific consumption of steel and paper production changed over time but is at the level of 2000 in 2015. These unit consumption can be strongly affected by capacity effects during low utilization of production capacities.

Figure 12: Unit consumption of energy‐intensive products (toe/t)


Industry's energy consumption slightly increased from 59 to 62 Mtoe over years, mainly driven by change in industrial activity (12 Mtoe). This effect was counterbalanced by energy savings (8 Mtoe) and to a lesser extent to a structural effect (6 Mtoe), i.e. the fact that less intensive branches increased their contribution in industrial value added.

Figure 13: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in industry


The funding programme "Energy consulting in SME" supports qualified energy consulting, which is intended to identify potential savings and measures to improve the energy efficiency of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Also, in 2014, the Federal Government signed an agreement with industry associations and organisations for the nationwide introduction of energy efficiency networks. It aims to initiate around 500 new networks by 2020 to support the increase of energy efficiency in industry, trade and commerce.

Table 4: Policies and measures into force in industry

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Energy consulting in SMEFunding of energy consulting in SME2020: 34.5 PJ 2030: 40.1 PJLink
Energy Efficiency Networks Initiative Introduction of 500 energy efficiency networks in industry, trade and commerce2020: 15.8 PJ 2030: 54.3 PJLink
Source: MURE