Guido Schaefer: Climate-friendly systems inspired by “active house”

The company Guido Schaefer GmbH from Alsdorf, in the district of Aachen, installs climate-friendly systems, from solar thermal applications to heat pumps through to fuel cells – and not just for its customers. These technologies are, of course, also used by the company itself and it goes even further, for example, with the help of e-mobility. By taking these next steps, the company’s headquarters will finally become a plus-energy site.

At Guido Schaefer GmbH, the company’s focus and personal views on climate protection go hand in hand. It’s not only the customers who are offered bespoke climate-friendly comprehensive solutions, focusing on renewable energies and efficiency. Instead, the company itself is also setting a good example. What it has already achieved is truly outstanding.

Climate protection objective:

  • Additional 50% CO2 savings by the end of 2018

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Foto: Guido Schaefer

Guido Schaefer GmbH’s premises are gradually being converted to “active house” standard.

The full spectrum of climate-friendly energy

The company’s first major step in 2013 was to install a heat pump and convert its heating from gas to pellets. In 2014, a fuel cell and the firm’s first PV unit were installed. An additional PV installation was added in 2015 – and a third in 2016. By then going on to generate its own electricity (approx. 60,000 kWh), the firm has succeeded in reducing its CO2 emissions by more than 25 tonnes. It is also making increased use of this self-generated electricity through e-mobility. Guido Schaefer now runs three electric vehicles in his company fleet and uses electricity to drive around 50,000 kilometres per year. The firm has also set up the first free electric filling station in Alsdorf, where customers can fill up with “sun power” for free during the company’s opening hours.

Pioneering field of small wind turbines

Guido Schaefer’s new area of focus is on generating electricity using small wind turbines. The company installed its first wind turbine in 2015. At just over one metre high, but still with 500 W capacity, it is generating electricity for exterior lighting from its location on the firm’s roof. With the help of batteries, the electricity supply continues even when there is no wind.

On track to become a plus-energy company

Guido Schaefer GmbH has set itself the goal of reducing its CO2 emissions by 50 per cent within the next two years. To achieve this, it is planning to install further small wind turbines from 2017. The company also intends to further develop its storage of self-generated electricity and use of e-mobility. Its premises are gradually being converted to “active house” standard (plus-energy buildings).

Foto: Guido Schaefer

“Fewer than 10% of the 21 million heat producers in Germany operate using renewables. There’s a lot of progress to be made over the next few years. We don’t need “passive houses”, but rather “active houses”, which benefit the environment and don’t cause it further harm. It’s also a great feeling to be generating electricity yourself and to run your heating system on renewables. Furthermore, saving money on electricity and heating is the best way to set money aside for retirement and get the best return on your savings. We want to lead by example and show our customers what is possible. Our customised energy systems pay off for our customers after just a few years.”

Guido Schaefer, Managing Director