The gas is physically used directly at the sugar factory as process heat, thus reducing the use of conventional natural gas in the public power supply. The percentage of renewable energies in gas consumption at VAUDE in 2014 was 100 percent.
Because our production facility for waterproof bags burned down in April 2015 due to lightening strike, it had to be temporarily moved to a rented building, where we had to use the (non-renewable) energy provided by the landlord for heating. This is one cause of the percentage decrease to 93% in 2015.
The second exception in 2015: Due to the remodeling, fuel oil was temporarily used in the office building for the heating of some premises and for structural drying.
In order to consider the thermal energy consumption independently from outside temperatures and the duration of the heating season, we have aligned the consumption values with the regional degree days for Ravensburg (GTZspez). This was 3,607 for 2015 according to the Ravensburg Energy Agency.
This resulted in higher weather-adjusted heating energy requirements than what we actually consumed – we used less energy for heating than what would be predicted from the outside temperatures.
Nevertheless, our heating energy consumption did increase.
We will keep an eye on our heating energy requirements in the future and with the help of technical measures as well as employee awareness, try to heat even more conservatively in the future.
Since 2014 we have heated water using solar thermal energy in a buffer tank. This helps us to save gas for the hot water heater. We only supplement with gas when the sun does not shine and when a large number of employees take hot showers after their bike-commute to work or after sports.