How does a LEEN network work?

The LEEN Management System regulates the setting up and permanent cooperation within the Learning Energy Efficiency Networks, which each comprise 10 to 15 companies. The participants pay a fee throughout the term, which is used to finance the energy review, network meetings and monitoring. The annual energy costs of each company should be sufficiently high to ensure that the participation fee and investment are quickly recovered. As a rule, an internal rate of return of 30% is achieved.

The network host (organisation), the moderator (organisation and management of the network meetings) and the consultant engineer (energy review, monitoring) play important roles.

Phase 0 | Acquisition

The future network host (e.g. Chamber of Commerce and Industry, municipality, energy utility) recruits companies for the network. This can be done through information events or individual talks. Here building on existing structures (e.g. environmental working groups) offers good prospects of success.

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Phase 1 | Energy review

The existing savings potential in the companies is identified and assessed by a certified consultant engineer. Once the companies have filled in a data collection form concerning their energy situation (consumption, systems), the consultant engineer carries out site inspections of all companies, on the basis of which he draws up the energy review reports. Then a joint energy efficiency and CO2 reduction target is agreed with all participating plants for the network.

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Phase 2 | Network

The network phase starts at the same time as the energy review in order to establish the contact among the companies. The meetings each take place at one of the companies participating. A LEEN-certified moderator conducts the meeting. A site inspection with information on the energy situation is followed by expert lectures and an exchange of information among the companies. For instance, network participants report on implemented measures so that the other participants can benefit from their experiences. This information exchange is a central success factor.

The success is measured through the monitoring once a year and the results are documented by the consultant engineer. They serve for tracking the network target and for the corporate communication (internal/external).

Parallel to the network activities, the host takes care of communicating the information on the network’s contribution to genuine environmental protection in a way that appeals to the public and boosts the network’s image. At the end of the term, the companies decide whether to continue the network.

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