Energy Efficiency in Care Homes for the Elderly

Development of an integrated communication concept about energy efficiency in residential care homes


  • Buildings
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy supply
  • Market & policy


  • Study
  • Consulting
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Pilot project
  • Market development


  • Public funds


06/2015 – 10/2018 (3.25 years)


420,003 EUR


In Germany there are about 11,000 residential nursing and care homes which serve as home for 800,000 elderly citizens. The efficient use of energy in care homes is a neccessity to keep the cost factor energy socially acceptable and affordable in the care sector. Solites already worked on this subject in the EU research project Save Age (05/2010 to 05/2013) and has been responsible for the implementation in Germany. For Germany, a potential of avoidance of 500,000 to 2.5 millions tonnes CO2 per year could be identified.

The new project “Energieeffizienz für Pflegeeinrichtungen” focuses on activities in the sector of non- and low-investment measures in nursing and care homes: Energy management, energy conscious behaviour of employees, residents and visitors and process optimisation. An internet based campaign-tool (methods, website, study materials) shall be developed, to be used by host organisations to support their care homes indiviually and affordably in the implementation of non- and low-investment methods.


Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Environmental Foundation)


  • Steinbeis Research Institute Solites (DE)
  • City of Stuttgart through the department for environmental protection
  • Johannes Nowak, Consultance for social enterprises
  • Four host organisations and eight care homes as implementation partners


By non- and low-investment measures that can be integrated into the home life, the project shall promote energy efficieny in nursing and care homes. For this purpose a communication concept shall be developed which can be purchased by host organisations and used self-reliance. Through a needs-oriented service concept, the communication concept shall be disseminated further in the care sector after the project is finished. A decrease of CO2 of at least 15 % shall be reached in the pilot implementation of the communication project in the institutions. The goal of the distribution of the communication concept are concrete requests of further host organisations and care homes before the end of the project.


The project is subdivided into the following work packages:

  • Methods and instruments: The communication concept is developed corporately with the four joining hosts and eight institutions on the base of preliminary studies of SaveAge. The collection of energy data in the care homes will be standarised.
  • Pilot implementations: The hosts and institutions are using the developed materials and methods and bring the subject energy efficienciy actively into their commitees. The communication concept is getting approved and optimized. The energy consumptions of the institutions are collected and inserted into the developed internet portal by the responsible person of the respective institution. A benchmark is calculated for energy consumption of the joining institutions and networking is supported with communication functions.
  • Nationwide dissemination: The results of the project are communicated and the developed materials and methods are promoted. Through a needs-oriented service concept the communication concept can be distributed in the care sector after the project. During the project the hosts and institutions are accompanied and trained by project meetings and workshops.


During the active phase the project partners visited the care homes regularly and spoke with involved persons. In both regions, four regional workshops were organised to discuss about the measures and to exchange experiences. In a final evaluation of the project, the exchange of experiences was valuated as very important. Due to the developed internet portal and the benchmark of the energy consumption, in some of the homes the energy consumption was calculated and discussed for the first time. The benchmark and examples of efficiency measures are described on the project website.

In 2017, compared to the years 2013 to 2015 (base), the eleven homes saved 8 % of heat, electricity and water and 13 % of CO2-emissions in average. In total, 380 tons of CO2 were saved in 2017 by the homes. The sum of saved energy equals to the heat consumption of eleven single family houses, the water consumption of 26 single family houses and the electricity consumption of 55 single family houses with four persons.

Support of energy efficiency in care homes by non- and low-investment measures

Downloads and links

Magdalena Berberich

This project has received funding from

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