Welcome to the website of the ERASME project!
ERASME (short for „Energy Audits in SMEs“) is a project that developed and promoted energy audits' use in SMEs in Central Europe as a tool for reducing the high cost of energy. Project partners came from seven EU countries: Italy, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Croatia.
ERASME was co-funded by the European Union under the Intelligent Energy – Europe programme.
The aim of the project was to demonstrate that there is a more effective solution for energy audits in SMEs and that there are true practical benefits. ERASME ensures integrated solution for a number of SME associations in countries – project partners – that share similar issues when it comes to production (manufacturing) processes.
Regional SMEs’ associations often receive claims from their Associates on the high cost of the energy requested for their processes, but the suggestion of implementing an energy audit is often not set in action due to various barriers: unwillingness to spend money for an energy audit without certainty of the result, worries on leaks of information regarding process features (confidentiality leakages), lack of finance available for future investments on energy efficiency.
What was achieved?
In the period from 29.03.2012, when the project started, till the end of September 2014, an audit methodology and training material were developed, using a horizontal approach and existing knowledge (CHANGE manual, ENFORCE training experience, BREFS manuals of IPPC), ERASME Energy Auditors were trained, preliminary and full energy audits in SMEs were undertaken and specific financial packages identified, in order to assist the implementation of the recommendations expressed in the preliminary and detailed audits.
Can results of the project be used in future?
All the results, from training methodology to the good practices in energy efficiency identified in audits, are available on these web pages. In addition, a network of practitioners, consultants, auditors and SMEs is established through the regional SMEs associations and development agencies, that will continue to disseminate the auditing approach and to maintain the international contacts.
The interaction with EED and energy auditing schemes foreseen by Member States
The Energy Efficiency Directive - EED (Directive 2012/27/EU), which was published eight months after the ERASME project start, says in article 8:
“On the basis of transparent and non-discriminatory criteria and without prejudice to Union State aid law, Member States may set up support schemes for SMEs, including if they have concluded voluntary agreements, to cover costs of an energy audit and of the implementation of highly cost-effective recommendations from the energy audits, if the proposed measures are implemented.”
The ERASME results can be of direct support to all Member States for developing the support schemes for SMEs foreseen by this article of EED (even if this target was not considered in the project proposal and technical annex). In particular the lesson learnt from ERASME suggests that these schemes should be cost effective and matching the SME needs. Key suggestions are:
- Supply preliminary audits and support the following full audits only under request of the enterprise.
- The audits should be connected to a support for energy management schemes, in order to give continuity to the initial effort.
- Energy management schemes can be applied in SMEs, even if the certification is a strong financial barrier and could be left as optional.
- Energy auditor training should include a section dedicated to how to proceed with SMEs.