Energy Efficiency Act

New law to increase energy efficiency in Germany

The Energy Efficiency Act, which was passed on September 21, 2023 and confirmed by the Bundesrat on October 20, 2023, obliges data centers to save energy.

What does the law mean for existing data centers and what must be considered when a new data center is built?

 

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What do data center operators need to be aware of?

In the section "Energy efficiency of data centers", the draft stipulates that data centers must not exceed a certain value of energy consumption effectiveness or Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).

This is staggered by year of data center commissioning: 

Operating before July 1, 2026: From July 1, 2027 PUE 1.5 | From July 1, 2030 PUE 1.3

Operation from July 1, 2026: PUE 1.2

An obligation for mutual notification of load assumptions or customers (i.e. energy suppliers) has been decided. How the implementation is to take place, however, is not regulated. The obligation to use waste heat does not apply if the heat network operator does not respond to the request for 6 months or if no buyer can be found. In this case, the data center operator must prove that it can provide the necessary capacities, supply a suitable infrastructure, and that an investment plan and financial framework conditions have been regulated, or that the customer does not accept the offer despite it being in line with the market.

The proportion of reused energy (ERF - Energy Reuse Factor) must be at least 10% for commissioning from 
1.7.2026 at least 10%,
from 1.7. 2027 15% and 
20% from 1.7.2028.

All important data of the data center must be entered into a data center database in the future. The purpose of this is to monitor, control, improve and document environmental issues relating to data centers. A distinction is made between public information and protected data. Here, the balancing act between data protection due to security-related concerns and a register to simplify the comparison of data centers is to be achieved. The federal government will be required to report annual energy consumption as early as 2024. From mid-2025, there will be mandatory reporting and the establishment of an energy or environmental management system. In March 2026, a mandatory annual transmission of information to the federal government will come into force.

Data center operators are obliged to purchase 50% unsubsidized electricity from renewable energies from 2024 and 100% from 2027. The guarantees of origin (HKN) - i.e. the proof of the region from which the electricity is sourced - do not have to come from Germany or the EU.

When does what apply? All measures, year after year

Solar plates on a roof

From January 2024:

Use of 50% green electricity [§11/5 EnEfG].

Data collection of annual consumption (mandatory from a connected load of 300 kW for public data centers and 1000 kW for private data centers).

2 men before a forest

By July 2025:


Energy or environmental management system and reporting requirement to the federal government.

Electricity masts

As of March 2026:
Annual information submission to the federal government.


From July 2026:
Data centers that go live on or after this date must achieve a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ≤ 1.2 and Energy Reuse Factor (ERF) ≥ 10%.

Little plant

From January 2027:
Use of 100% green electricity [§11/5 EnEfG].


From July 2027:
Data centers before June 2026 startup must now achieve a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ≤ 1.5
Data centers going live from this date must achieve an Energy Reuse Factor (ERF) of ≥ 15% [§11/2 EnEfG].

As of July 2028:
From now on, new data centers must achieve an Energy Reuse Factor (ERF) ≥ 20%.

Forest with trees

From July 2030:
Data centers built before July 2026 must achieve a power usage effectiveness (PUE) ≤ 1.3 from now on [§11/1 EnEfG].

Download now for free our Cheat Sheet, which clearly shows all time periods of the measures of the Energy Efficiency Act.

Are you affected?

The resolutions of the Energy Efficiency Act have far-reaching effects on the industry. They affect all

  • public data centers with a connected load of 300 kW or more
  • private data centers with a connected load of 1000 kW or more.

Are you affected by the law and need help with further planning or have further questions about the law? Use our configurator or get a non-binding consultation:

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