Apply for funding for projects to increase energy efficiency

If you make investments to increase the energy efficiency of your processes and plants, you can apply for financial support under certain conditions.


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) supports your measures to increase energy efficiency as part of the Energy Efficiency Funding Competition.
You can receive funding of up to EUR 5 million for measures focusing on the following areas:

  • Use of efficient technologies for process and procedure optimization,
  • energy optimization of production processes
  • Utilization of waste heat,
  • measures on equipment for heat supply, cooling and ventilation used in product manufacture and further processing
  • energy-efficient provision of process heat or cooling,
  • Avoidance of energy losses in the production process.
  • Provision of process heat from:
    • Solar collector plants,
    • biomass plants,
    • heat pumps.
  • Use of sensor technology, measurement and control technology (MSR) and associated software for the
    • documentation,
    • monitoring and
    • regulation of the energy consumption of the optimized plants and processes.

You will not receive funding for:

  • Measures,
    • that are required by law,
    • which are ordered by a public authority
    • which have already been started,
    • that do not result in direct energy savings in processes,
    • which cannot be clearly and predominantly assigned to a process,
    • which fall within the scope of the Energy Saving Ordinance,
    • which concern primary agricultural production
    • for research and development,
    • for energy savings that you achieve by curbing production,
    • for CO2 savings, which you achieve largely by replacing fossil fuels,
    • such as the purchase of a vehicle for use outside the company premises,
    • to plants subsidized under the Act for the Preservation, Modernization and Expansion of Combined Heat and Power Generation (KWKG),
    • to the modernization of existing cogeneration plants with the exception of measures that make previously unused heat potential of the waste gas streams usable,
    • to plants that can be subsidized under the Renewable Energies Act (EEG), with the exception of plants for the provision of process heat from the above-mentioned renewable energies.
  • Plants
    • that you have purchased second-hand
    • for heat generation from coal or oil
    • the cogeneration of heat and power with the exception of above-mentioned plants for the provision of process heat from renewable energies,
    • which can be subsidized according to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), with the exception of plants for the provision of process heat from above-mentioned renewable energies,
  • technologies and products that you produce yourself
  • Heat networks, which can be subsidized according to §18 KWKG.

The subsidies are distributed in a competition. Whether or not you receive funding as part of the competition, as well as the exact amount of funding, depends on your planned project:

  • You decide yourself which funding amount you apply for the planned measure.
  • The projects with the highest annual CO2 savings per euro applied for will receive the funding.

You can be reimbursed up to 50 percent of the eligible costs.
Eligible costs are:

  • all costs that you incur within the grant period for the implementation of the measures, in particular also the costs for
    • the preparation of a savings concept
    • the implementation of the subsidized measures with the help of an external energy consultant.

Not eligible are expenses such as

  • Personnel and operating costs,
  • production costs,
  • taxes, levies and charges.

You can have the funding paid out quarterly, but only up to 50 percent of the approved funding amount. The remaining grant funds can only be paid out once you have completed your measure and your proof of use has been checked, for which you must keep all invoices and receipts relating to the eligible costs. You must also prove how much energy you were able to save through the implemented measures.
Your application for funding will be processed by VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH. You are not entitled to the grant.

It is best to seek advice from an energy efficiency expert before submitting your application for funding. As a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), you can apply for subsidies for this from the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) via the "Energy Consulting for SMEs" program.


Applications can be submitted by:

  • private companies,
  • municipal enterprises,
  • freelancers, if the business premises are mainly used for freelance activities, and
  • Contractors who carry out measures for a company eligible to apply.

Other requirements:

  • Your company must have its registered office or a branch in Germany, the subsidized measure must be implemented in Germany and operated for at least 3 years,
  • the payback period of your investment must be at least 4 years without the subsidy, and
  • You must be able to bear the entire share of the investment costs yourself.


You can submit your application for funding online via the easy online portal or in writing to VDI/VDE Technik + Innovation GmbH:

  • Before submitting your application, you create the savings concept.
  • To do this, you need an energy consultant who is approved by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA). You can find energy consultants in the energy efficiency expert list for federal funding programs.
  • You can also hire your company's energy manager if your company is certified according to DIN ISO 50001 or EMAS regulation.
  • Select your energy consultant and have them draw up the savings concept.
  • Submit the application via the easy-Online electronic application portal.
  • Upload all required documents to the application portal and sign your application electronically.
    • Note: You can also print out your application. In this case, send the completed and signed application to VDE/VDI by mail within 14 days.
  • The VDE/VDI will review your application and decide on your participation in the funding competition. You will then receive an e-mail from the VDI/VDE informing you whether you can participate in the funding competition.
  • As soon as you have received the approval, you can start implementing the planned measures. You can now also conclude contracts with third-party companies for your project.
  • You now have 36 months to implement your measures. Once you have completed your project, you must submit all documents to the VDI/VDE for verification. To do this, download the forms from the profi-online portal and fill them out. You must then upload the completed forms again in the profi-online portal.
    • Note: You can only download the forms after you have registered as a participant on the profi-online portal.
  • After your documents have been checked, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will pay you the grant.


  • It is best to use the funding efficiency calculator on the Energy Efficiency Competition website before submitting your application to check whether your project meets the requirements and what funding you could expect.
  • If your application was not considered in one round of the competition, you can resubmit it for the next funding competition.


  • Application:
    • Possible at any time
    • Deadlines will be announced on the website of the Energy Efficiency Competition
    • before the start of the measure
  • Duration of funding: The measures must be implemented within 36 months of the funding approval.
  • Proof of use of funds: within 6 months after the end of the grant period.

Processing time

The VDI/VDE-IT needs up to 6 weeks to process your application.

You can only start with the measure after funding approval.

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    When submitting your application, you must submit:

    • Savings concept
    • Statement of facts relevant to the subsidy
    • current excerpt from the commercial register or cooperative or a business registration certificate
    • for contracting projects additionally:
      • Draft of the contracting contract
      • Declaration of the contracting partners

    When you have completed your measure, you must submit the following documents:

    • Application for participation in the "profi-Online" procedure
    • factual report
    • numerical proof
    • Proof that the technical system is ready for operation and confirmation of commissioning
    • Confirmation by qualified energy consultant, expert or energy manager of the implementation of the savings concept
    • Invoices for expenses excluding value added tax
    • tabular list of receipts showing the date, recipient, reason and amount of each payment
    • Declaration that you do not receive any other public funds to support your measure


  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Formular Erklärung zu den subventionserheblichen Tatsachen
    Please note

    This form requires no signature. You can sent it electronically (e.g. by secure email or De-Mail) or as hardcopy to the responsible authority.

  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Formulare auf der Internetseite des Wettbewerbs Energieeffizienz
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

Online procedures


  • none


  • Objection
  • administrative court action


Responsible for editing:Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz

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  • Form, Bavaria-wide
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