On the 9 September 2020, two SMEPlus regional stakeholder meetings took place. The Regionalmanagement Burgenland, Austria, invited to the first meeting. The second meeting was organized by the Province of Groningen, Netherlands. The House of Energy, Germany, presented the PIUS (Production-Integrated Environmental Protection) program, which is considered an example of good practice in Hessen, Germany.

PIUS helps companies in Hessen to reduce their consumption of energy, water, air as well as raw, auxiliary and operating materials and to lower the emission of pollutants. For this purpose, the SMEs receive financially supported advice and recommendations in order to determine the corresponding savings potential. In the next step, the companies can also implement these recommendations through subsidized investments. Check the video by Hessen Trade and Invest explaining the program in detail. Further information on the PIUS project with numerous practical examples that prove the success of the project can be found online at this website www.technologieland-hessen.de.

At the second meeting, the participants were able to get an insight into an energy efficiency network from Gävleborg (Sweden). The Gävle region had introduced the German concept of energy efficiency networks as a pilot. The initiator of the networks, Patrick Thollander (University of Gävle), explained that the participating companies were able to reduce their energy consumption by an average of 16 percent and listed the essential elements that led to this success: regular meetings, specialist lectures, free energy audits and access to a database with numerous examples on the subject of energy saving. Check more information on the Energig energy efficiency networks.

The regular exchange of experience with project partners and stakeholders is essential. The good practice examples from the individual countries provide many suggestions and recommendations for own actions.