On September 4, 2014 RUN start-up & service center Fürstenfeld organized, in conjunction with the department of Energy and Housing of State Government of Styria, the " AWARD GALA" in the frame of the IEE project "ERASME - energy audits in SMEs" in Graz. A consortium of nine partners from seven European countries qualified energy consultants to "SME energy auditors". They have analyzed energy saving potentials in companies and proposed energy efficiency measures. With the help of these consultations SMEs should increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near future.
At the beginning of the event, over 35 participants meet at the final 6th Gadget Café as part of the EU Lifelong Learning Project GADGET (Good Practice Pilot Action for Innovative Industries) in the Foyer of the premises and got an inside into the GADGET project focusing on the dialogue between business and dialogue. Ingrid Kienberger justified herself to the interested participants and initiated some fruitful discussions between companies and energy consultants.
The managing director of RUN, Dr. Ludwig Ems opened the gala having a gander at the approved National Energy Efficiency Law. Indirectly the security of supply should be improved, the share of renewables in the energy mix should be increased and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions should be achieved. Summarizing the auditor training within the ERASME project, 18 energy consultants have accompanied 52 Styrian SMEs and were confronted with the "harsh reality". Over 1,000 SMEs were invited to the audits, 52 audits were actually implemented: this corresponds to a quote of 1:20. This was confirmed by DI Dieter Thyr of the Styria Government, which has bundled all energy issues in the network of "I do's consultants" and thus better exchange of knowledge can be assured. "Thereby, the most important measure is always the increase of energy efficiency. Together with partners in the regions, a better access to the firms is guaranteed which in turn can account on the best advice, "Mr. Thyr underlined. Mag. Gössinger-Wieser, Climate Protection Officer of Styria emphasized in her statement once again the need of well-trained energy auditors, especially for SMEs, because “it’s still very hard to bring them in”.
The two keynotes on "Energy in the area of tension between economics and politics, with a focus on SMEs" were held by representatives from klima: aktiv and Energie Steiermark. Dr. Radosch, Energy Agency, has underlined, that awareness-raising of energy efficiency in companies and the cooperation with market and technology partners has to be forced. In addition, she has recommended a standardized approach to energy audit through trainings and standardized report templates. According to the second speaker, Mag. Trummer, Managing Director of Energie Steiermark, the environment is changing rapidly and there is a need of new knowledge in science and society (Brain Research, Generation Y, Marketing 3.0, Knowledge Society, Global Brain - Hyperlocal). In summary it can be said that in future energy production is decentralized, flexible benefits like control energy etc. will increase fivefold over the next 10 years, telecommunications and energy use will be connect and the Energy Efficiency Act will mint these developments even more.
The climax and at the same time closing of the event was the introducing and award of the top six companies (selection by AC members), in which an ERASME energy audit has been performed for their outstanding commitment to energy efficiency. The winner in the category "best energy efficiency measures in SMEs", the mobility center Graf Carello, will participate
in the European award ceremony in Brussels on September 16, 2014. Subsequently, the certificates "ERASME energy auditor" have been presented to the successful energy auditors. A Styrian buffet closed the award gala.