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The Step up! program is divided into an open and a closed call for tenders. The open call for tenders is open to all technologies and sectors and aims to provide financial assistance to energy-efficient projects, with the focus in this funding round on energy-efficiency measures in water and wastewater technology. This means that projects also capable of making thermal energy savings will also be eligible for funding.

According to the project sponsor, VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH , the reason for this decision is because water is one of the most frequently used resources in German industry. The related processes are manifold – and all of them energy-intensive; yet this also means that they harbor great potential for energy savings. Companies have until May 31, 2018 to apply for funding of up to a maximum of 30% of the costs eligible for assistance. The detailed t erms and conditions of participation are available online.

The Ministry also offers further energy-saving tips for industry. In November 2017, it published a 44-page brochure , well worth a read for small and large companies alike, with interesting facts and figures: for example, that it’s not cooling, cooling water, or ventilation systems that top the list of technologies that harbor saving potential, but lighting and IT systems.