Rising energy prices and the new German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV), which includes the now-compulsory energy certificate and which was published in accordance to the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD), have dramatically increased the demand for energy consulting services in Germany. The new legislation has also changed the traditional consulting services provided by engineers.
The energy consulting market lacks uniform standards, “energy consultant” is not a legally protected title and there is no system of further training or qualification. Energy consultants and customers alike are uncertain as to the services on offer.
ESysPro is a collaborative project funded by the research programme “Innovationen mit Dienstleistungen” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research that aims to develop a set of tools to allow energy consultants, depending on the depth and breadth of their skills, to identify value-adding development perspectives (see diagram). The research project, part of the funding framework “Dienstleistungsqualität durch professionelle Arbeit”, hopes to improve the provision of skilled energy-consulting services by professionalising the role of energy consultants.
Diagram 1: Skills of energy consulting services
To achieve this, the project will:
- Develop tools to assess skills in various consulting situations to enable energy consultants to analyse and systematically develop their competences
- Establish procedures that energy consultants can use to assess their clients’ needs and wishes (For example, residential and non-residential buildings will have different requirements, as will older and more modern buildings.)
- Develop reference processes for all consulting services to serve as a basis for devising in-house business processes for energy consultants
- Design a system of further training by conducting a nationwide study of further training opportunities and analysing the qualifications employers require from energy consultants (Newly developed, targeted qualification modules will ensure service quality.)
- Provide a collaborative internet platform where small and medium-sized companies can come together to offer their various consulting skills. This platform aims to promote cooperation and thus develop consulting services tailored to the needs of different client groups.