The BESS &
Expanding BESS

Benchmarking and Energy management Schemes in SMEs

he (Ex)BESS project
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February 12, 2009: The Exbess toolkit has been validated!

During the EU Sustainable Energy Week (9 - 13 February 2009) our ExBESS toolkit has been validated by:

  • Rob Boeree (Director Energy and Climate SenterNovem) as representative of the European Network of Energy Agencies (EnR)
  • Guido Lena on behalf of the European SME umbrella organisation (UEAPME) and
  • Joost van Iersel on behalf of the EU Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (EESC)

They declared at 12th February 2009 in Brussels that the toolkits of
EU LTA Uptake and ExBESS are valuable instruments to:
  1. set up Long Term and or Voluntary Agreements between relevant parties aimed at energy efficiency improvement, CO2 reduction and or cost reduction
  2. assist industrial (SME) sectors and or individual (SME) companies in implementing energy management;
  3. make international energy efficiency benchmarking accessible to all kinds of industrial sectors.

During the discussion, led by Claudio Cappellini (representative of the EU Economic and Social Affairs Committee), it became clear that support and involvement of companies, public authorities and energy agencies remain relevant for continuous improvement and use of the LTA toolkits. The declaration is therefore an important step forward.

Contact Miett Tajthy (Coordinator of Expanding BESS) or Herman Gels (Coordinator of LTA Uptake) for more information.

Download the signed declaration on the two toolkits.

Behind: Guido Lena. Second row from left to right: Joost van Iersel, Rob Boeree, Paul Waide, Patric Naghten.
Front from left to right: Herman Gels, Miett Tajthy, Claudio Cappellini.

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October 10, 2007: Kick-off of the exBESS project.

The follow up project exBESS (extension of BESS) has started in September 2007. On October 9th and 10th 2007 a kick off meeting has taken place in Utrecht, Netherlands.
The BESS project (Benchmarking and Energy management Schemes in SMEs 2005–2007), focusing on food & drink industries has shown promising results in 60 pilot companies. Now the EC Directive on energy end-use efficiency and energy services (EESD) has set an ambitious target (9% energy saving in 8 years), BESS will be firmly extended to other member states, other industrial SME sectors and to Energy Services Companies (ESCOs).
The aim of ExBESS is to extend BESS with:

  • 8 additional member states and candidate states participating, in total 19
  • new industrial SME sectors (e.g.. more food & drink sectors, textile/carpet and machinery)
  • energy management and benchmarking in at least 80 additional pilot companies
  • introduction financial mechanisms to boost energy efficiency investments (involvement of Energy Service Companies, ESCOs)
  • improvement E-learning scheme (user friendliness and multi language upload functions)

ExBESS will recruit additional associations, pilot companies and ESCOs, extend and adapt to improved BESS tools and include more national SME monitoring data to the BESS benchmarking scheme. This results in a user-friendly SME energy management and benchmarking scheme, tested and in operation in 19 EU (member) states.

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Workshop Benchmarking and Energy Management in SMEs, 1. March 2007, Energiesparmesse / expoEnergy , Wels, Austria.

To read more about this event click here

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March 1, 2007: Final version of handbook ready.

The final version of the handbook which leads the SME in logical steps through the implementation process of energy management
can be downloaded now. Most tools which are available within the e-learning scheme are included in the handbook and references to the e-learning scheme are given consequently

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Workshop Benchmarking and Energy Management in SMEs, 1. March 2007, Energiesparmesse / expoEnergy , Wels, Austria.

To read more about this event click here

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November 25, 2006: BESS promoted on energy conference in Greece.

On November 25th 2006, Aristotelis Botzios from CRES (Greece) presented the BESS project at the 1st International Exhibition and Conference “Energy” held at the HELEXPO Centre in Athens (23-26 November). The Conference’s theme consisted exclusively on matter of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The BESS project was received with much enthusiasm, and there were many questions asked regarding it. The main conclusion that can be drawn from the presentation and questions asked is that people seem to be very happy that a “real” benchmarking tool is available on the internet. Lots has been said about energy benchmarking, but all of this has been on a theoretical scale. BESS now appears with a practical “hands-on” tool

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November 9, 2006: BESS promoted at EU Energy forum for SMEs in Rimini.

The second meeting of the Energy forum for SMEs, funded by the Intelligent Energy for Europe programme of the EU took place in Rimini, Italy at November 9 and 10 in 2006. At the same time and place, the Ecomondo fair on sustainable development was held (45 thousand visitors).

At the energy forum, mainly Italian and European Energy institutes, SME associations and individual companies discussed best practices and optimal techniques to promote energy efficiency and distributed generation using renewable resources.

Jobert Winkel of the Dutch agency SenterNovem was invited to present the first results of the pilot phase of the BESS project. The presentation was received as very positive, since it appeared one of the few really practical examples on the forum, on how to assist SMEs in implementing energy efficiency measures. Contact has been made with most of the presenters of the forum and a couple of initiatives were discussed for further cooperation in a follow up of BESS. At the presenter’s common stand at the Ecomondo fair, around 50 BESS posters have been distributed to interested visitors.

(BESS was also presented at the first meeting of the Energy forum for SMEs in Brussels, on May 10, 2006.)

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September 18, 2006: Pilot progress workshop in Athens.

Sunny Athens was the stage of a meeting of all the national pilot coordinators of the BESS project. The pilots are an important part of BESS and involve more than 60 companies from the food and drink industry from 11 countries. Each of the companies uses the tools and facilities offered by BESS in order to start implementing energy management and start using benchmarking. The main tools are an energy management implementation model and an E-learning system.

The meeting was held approximately halfway the pilot phase and was used by the participants to report the progress in every country. Although there were some differences in progress from country to country, generally progress was only a little behind schedule. Main obstacle was the availability of time within the companies. It is obvious, that in the Western world nowadays companies have to work very efficiently in order to be able to sustain. This means there is no superfluous workforce and there is very little attention for matters outside the core process.

However, the implementation model, the E-learning system and especially the possibility to benchmark were received enthusiastically. People experienced that attention for energy management and thus energy efficiency pays off! Setting up energy management and performing an audit give a company insight in the attractive economic opportunities of an increase in energy efficiency. Energy costs are ‘out of pocket costs’. In some instances it was proved that and increase in energy efficiency for a company would result in a profit increase of no less than somewhere between 3 to 10%

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August 22, 2006: BESS Public Progress Report first half year 2006 is available.

The BESS Public Progress Report of the first half year 2006 and the BESS 2005 Progress Report can be found on this BESS project website in both sections "download" and "Activities". These reports give insight in the activities of the consortium until summer 2006 including the participation of pilot companies in the countries which are currently covered by BESS. The first half year report 2006 describes the change over from the development and recruiting activities towards the actual execution of the pilot phase of the project. It also contains several descriptions of the tools as you can find in the BESS E-learning scheme. If you want to learn more about these tools click on one of the sections of the BESS dartboard and fill in the temporary dartboard access form.

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August 18, 2006: Access to the BESS E-learning scheme for all vistors of the BESS project website.

The BESS E-learning scheme including the tools of the pilot package is now tested by the consortium members, pilot companies and by some selected stakeholders. The BESS consortium now invites also other interested parties to learn about benchmarking and test the tools helping to implement or improve energy management. Therefore the BESS E-learning scheme is now also accessible to all visitors of the BESS project website. When a visitor tries to log in to one of the restricted sections of the BESS E-learning dartboard a "temporary access form" can be filled in and sent to the webmaster. The visitor will get immediately an automatic e-mail response with a username and a password which gives 7 days access to all sections of the dartboard except for the interactive benchmarking module. Though interactive benchmarking module can only be used by the pilot selected companies, detailed information about the BESS benchmarking system can be downloaded by every one from the download section of the project website.

Feed back to the consortium representatives is highly appreciated in order to improve the quality of the tools and of the navigation.

If you are interested to get temporary access to the BESS E-learning scheme, please click on one of the dartboard sections in this BESS project website and fill in the access form.

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June 30, 2006: BESS starts with preliminary benchmarking.

One of the strongest features of the BESS project is the international benchmarking scheme. It enables companies to compare its own energy efficiency figures with those of other companies in an anonymous way.
In May an operational pre-test was carried out successfully. The BESS benchmarking exercise has originally been planned for the autumn 2006. In June however data from 90 companies from 3 countries (Norway, the Netherlands and Lithuania) were used to carry out a preliminary benchmarking. In order to get enough data for a useful benchmark the information of the first 13 pilot companies (bakeries, meat processing industry and dairies) from those countries taking part in the BESS project additional data from 77 Norwegian companies from these sectors have been added to the BESS database. Though the BESS Benchmarking system can provide more types of benchmarks in this preliminary exercise only a comparative analyze was made of the specific energy consumption related to the production.
During the coming months the data regarding production, energy corrections and the quality level of energy management system from all 66 pilot companies of the 11 "BESS countries" will be collected and validated by their "national administrators" for inclusion in the BESS benchmarking system.
Contrary to the "registered" companies the BESS benchmarking scheme also allows for an online ad-hoc benchmarking (not validated). This feature which is already available for participants of the BESS project shows benchmarking results of a "guest company" against the registered companies results. The “guest data” are not stored in the system. This feature will be public ally available beginning of 2007 when the pilot has been concluded.
For more information on the BESS benchmarking system go to the "Description of the BESS Web based monitoring and benchmarking" in the
download section of this project website

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April 27, 2006: Kick-off meeting for pilot companies in Lithuania.

The main aims and tasks of the BESS project were presented for all representatives of Lithuanian pilot companies at the kick-off BESS project workshop, which was held at the Lithuanian Energy Institute in Kaunas, Lithuania.
The representative of the Lithuanian Energy Agency (leader of NPKG) explained the importance of energy management in industry,, the fundamentals of energy management and the Energy Management Guide. The advantages of Energy Management, a description of BESS Energy Management Implementation Model and guidance of Energy Use Audit for industrial Companies were presented. Furthermore, existing benchmarks and Specific energy consumption were discussed. The Cycle Plan-Do-Check-Act was explained. The organization of the E-learning website was presented and the principles of “log-in” for enterprises were explained. Discussions about tasks, responsibilities and expected results took place amongst all responsible persons.

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April 6, 2006: Kick-off meeting for pilot companies in Ireland.

The BESS project in Ireland kicked off in earnest at the beginning of April. Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), the Irish Energy Agency, ran a workshop focusing on energy efficiency in the Food and Drink Sector which caused great interest and had a very large turnout. Along with giving delegates an overview of the benefits and procedures of Energy Management, the day also focused on Refrigeration, Hot Water and Steam Systems, and Heat Recovery, all areas which present major opportunities for energy savings. The BESS project was also a focus for the day with delegates showing great interest in the idea of benchmarking against their European counterparts.

If you are interested in the BESS approach, and would like to receive more information, please contact your national contact person. Details can be found in the
contact BESS section of this website.

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March 31, 2006: BESS pilot programme has started.

Today, the BESS pilot programme has started with phase I.

During phase I, several parts of the dartboard, which is the main interface of the BESS E-learning scheme, are available. These includes the bulls eye of the dartboard (which is also accessible by the general public) and a part of the middle ring and the outer ring (to be accessible only by the pilot SMEs).

To give an impression of the tools that are available for use, the companies can:

  • learn about the energy management implementation model;
  • do the business case (data collection and first estimates of savings and financial benefits);
  • do the self assessment (assess the current state of energy management);
  • draw up a committment statement (using an example of a declaration of management);
  • start thinking about the organisation (energy team; energy co-coordinator);
The following phase, PHASE II, concerns the Internal Organisation, the Audit and the Initial Benchmarking. The complete pilot programme consists of four phases, and phase IV is scheduled to end in November of this year.

If you are interested in the BESS approach, and would like to receive more information, please contact your national contact person. Details can be found in the
contact BESS section of this website.

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October 6, 2005: Kick-off meeting for pilot companies in Spain.

With the aim of making the BESS project well-known, a kick off meeting was held at IDAE’s headquarters in Madrid. The meeting was led by IDAE, and counted with the participation of representatives from the SMEs recruited in the dairy sector, together with a relevant member of the National Dairy Association (FENIL). Although not all the SMEs could attend, all of them showed a good predisposition to collaborate. Prior to the meeting, the role played by FENIL was very useful when recruiting companies interested in participating in the pilot phase. By then, the number of companies amounted to seven. This number could increase as a result of new possible incorporations provided by an external consultant in charge of the energy audits.
During the meeting the objectives aimed by the BESS project were highlighted and the benefits derived from the involvement of the SMEs, without either costs or time-consumption on their side. The SMEs showed a high interest in improving their costs balances through the savings obtained as a consequence of an improvement in their energy efficiency, facilitated by the results of the energy audits to be developed in the pilot phase.
In this sense, the experience and role played by IDAE in energy policy matters linked to both the improvement of energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy was well appreciated. In this field, it’s worth mentioning the elaboration of the Spanish Energy Efficiency Strategy 2004 – 2010 , with the target to reduce the energy intensity by 2010. With this aim financial resources will be available and will be addressed to different energy consuming sectors, like industry, to carry out energy audits. The SMEs within the Dairy sector could be among the potential beneficiaries of the aforementioned measures. So, this can be an additional stimulus for them to participate in the BESS project.
It was also necessary to assure the confidentiality of the data submitted under the elaboration of a kind of agreement. This point has already been solved through the contract with the consulting company. The procedure to choose the consulting company was followed in coherence with the article II.9 of the EIE Grant Agreement Model. The final decision was adopted taking into account not only the best offer in terms of money, but also the wide experience of the consulting company, as it has already demonstrated in different occasions and its involvement in studies developed within the framework of the Spanish Energy Efficiency Strategy 2004 – 2010.

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October 6, 2005: Kick-off Meeting with dairies in Austria.

The Austrian national pilot coordination group (NPCG) meeting took place on 6th of October 2005 in the premises of the Austrian Energy Agency. Representatives from six dairies and two dairy associations attended the meeting. The role of the chamber of commerce food association is to comment communication papers and executive reports for BESS and act as a possible future partner for extending Benchmarking to other sectors. This association also signed the letter of interest for BESS. The role of the cooperative association, where most Austrian dairies are a member, is to support the recruiting procedure and to inform pilot companies and other dairies about BESS.

The NPCG leader Petra Lackner from the Austrian Energy Agency welcomed the participants and introduced the BESS project. She gave an overview of the support possibilities pilot companies will get from the NPCG and introduces the tools and the website. The participant also got a first impression of the planned international benchmarking system.

For raising the interest in energy management representatives from the Austrian energy consumer’s association, which is sub-contractor for supporting the pilot companies, gave an insight in practical advantages and experiences of companies with energy management.

In Austria the BESS project is linked with the national project
klima aktiv energy efficient enterprises and the EU project Motor Challenge Programme. Additionally to the BESS energy management implementation and benchmarking the pilot companies get information and support within these projects e.g. about efficient chillers, pumps and ventilators.

At the end of the one-day workshop the benchmarking system and expectations of the dairies have been discussed. The result of this discussion was:

  • Companies need to be “leaded” through the whole pilot phase.
  • Companies want to choose the “dimension of help” and level of energy management they are going to implement.
  • Company data has to be handled anonymously.
Arguments for companies to be a pilot company are:
  • it is an opportunity to be one of the first companies that participate on the international benchmarking
  • it is an opportunity to get all the help through the implementation phase (= cost saving)

If you are interested in the BESS approach, and would like to receive more information, please contact your national contact person. Details can be found in the contact BESS section of this website.

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August 18, 2005: Project Advisory Group meeting in Brussels.

This was the first meeting of the Project Advisory Group (PAG) for the BESS project. The PAG consists of a limited number of stakeholders and experts who advise on the overall direction of the project (for a list see
contact BESS on this website). The Board is chaired by the director of International affairs of SenterNovem. During this first meeting, it’s role was discussed, its members were introduced, and several suggestions for the project were made.

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July 28, 2005: Coordination meeting of BESS and other SME oriented EIE consortia.

In order to streamline communication with EU consortia performing complementary activities to BESS, a joint meeting with EIE EMS TEXTILE, E CHECK in CRAFT SME and OPTIPOLYGEN and the EC took place in Brussels. EIE is the Intelligent Energy – Europe programme of the EU for the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Possible cooperation between all consortia has been discussed followed by an exchange of information and resulting in improvement of tools. See the following
EIE webpage for a description of all projects mentioned.

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July 15, 2005: Consortium webarea available.

From the link on the upper right side of the project website, the ‘Consortium area’ can be entered. This part is accessible only for consortium members and some stakeholders of the project. (Draft) reports, minutes and other documents can be stored here. The advantage of this consortium area is to have a central place to upload and download BESS related documents.
Stakeholders that like to have access to this consortium area, please
send your request to Jobert Winkel.

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June 15, 2005: WP1 Report available on best practices.

The first workpackage of the project has resulted in a comprehensive report, providing a blueprint for the implementation part of the BESS project. It mainly consists of a definition of main challenges to be addressed and a roll out of best practices to be presented in the project.
Click here to see the summary of this report (HTML), or download this document (Word).

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June 1, 2005: BESS at the ECEEE.

A paper on the BESS project was presented at the ECEEE summer study held in Mandelieu, France. After the presentation there was interest from several energy agencies in the BESS approach. Also a BESS coordination meeting was held in parallel with the ECEEE summer study at the same venue. Important progress has been made with the development of the structure of the general BESS website, the e-learning scheme and the benchmarking application.

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April 29, 2005: BESS internetsite on-line.

In April, a first version of the project website has been launched on It contains general information about the project. From May, different pages and texts will be added on a regular basis. Amongst other things pages in the language of the various project partners will be added, as well as an interface to an interactive E-learning scheme from where companies participating in the pilot of the BESS project will have access to all tools.

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April 18, 2005: Ranking workshop in Helsinki.

A selection of best practices in energy management and benchmarking was made at this workshop, as part of the objective of Work Package 1 of the BESS project. A ranking of practices was obtained by giving scores on a number of criteria. The ones with the highest ranking were chosen for further analysis and application in the piloting phase. At this meeting also representatives of the Finnish Ministry of Trade & Industry and of the Confederation of Finnish Industries were present.

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February 7, 2005: Kick-off meeting consortium.

A kick-off meeting was held on 7 & 8 February in Utrecht (the Netherlands). All responsibilities of the project partners were determined in more detail and a planning of the activities for the project duration has been made and documented. A “Project Advisory Group” and so-called “National Pilot Co-ordination Groups” (NPCG) were defined, as well as three Project Working Groups. Finally a consortium agreement was drawn up. It deals amongst others things with the intellectual property rights and a procedure to settle future management provisions for the e-learning & benchmarking schemes to be developed by the BESS consortium.

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