Cologne's "Klimastrasse" (Climate Street): Showcase for energy efficiency

A section of street in Cologne-Nippes has become a test site and demonstration laboratory for energy saving: Residents, homeowners and business proprietors present measures, products and business ideas around the topic of energy efficiency to the public – and test these innovations in everyday use.

A section of Neusser Strasse in the Cologne city district of Nippes now has a second name: "Klimastrasse" shows and tests energy-efficient technologies around the topics of electricity, gas and water supply – at close quarters and makes them visible to all interested parties. A screen in the reception area of the district town hall, for example, shows the power consumption of the group of buildings precisely to the second. As a project by the SmartCity Cologne initiative, Klimastrasse wants to inspire people to take ideas home with them. Residents and entrepreneurs who would like to get involved receive grants and free advice. As not all of the individual projects are visible at first glance, they are also highlighted by signs on the buildings.

Engine for progress:

  • a showcase for innovative energy-saving technologies
  • test area for enterprises and consumers
  • measures can be implemented on every street
  • intensive public relations work has initiated a culture of joining in

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Photo: RheinEnergie AG

Signs communicate the individual measures on Klimastrasse to the public. The signs briefly introduce the implemented projects and their benefits and also name the participating sponsors.

LED retrofitting could save enough electricity for 1,100 households, smart technologies reduce heating costs

Cologne's Klimastrasse shows visitors what is possible: By converting from conventional to LED lighting, 16 businesses and shops on Klimastrasse have already saved two-thirds of their previous electricity requirements. This corresponds to more than 400,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and around 250 tonnes of CO2. Generally speaking, replacing the lighting system pays for itself after just three to four years – even without public and project grants, as was the case here. If all of the businesses located on Klimastrasse were to convert, the model street could save almost four million kilowatt-hours and more than 2,000 tonnes of CO2. This corresponds to the annual electricity requirements of more than 1,100 households.
The local residents have also managed to put into operation a micro-CHP heating system, an e-charging column and SmartGrid measuring points at transformer stations and sub-distributors. Smart home applications and smart metres in private homes in Nippes Towers and at a book shop have reduced heating costs by an average of seven per cent.

Street festivals make conservation technologies known to the general public

Not only does the project encourage local homeowners, business establishments and shops to participate: Public events make the "smart" energy world a tangible experience for outsiders too. 20,000 visitors came to the last Klimastrasse festival, where they were able to get information on the topic of energy saving at the RheinEnergie AG stand and marvel at the displays.

Photo: RheinEnergie AG

"Through the Klimastrasse project, RheinEnergie AG can make its activities regarding energy efficiency and hence climate protection visible to everyone. We see Klimastrasse as a pilot project by the SmartCity Cologne initiative. Business people, companies and local residents are involved in the best way possible and can also make suggestions for their own measures. The latest example is a guided tour of Nippes, during which Klimastrasse is also explained." (Image: RheinEnergie AG),

Dr. Andreas Cerbe, Network and Technology Management Board

Partners and sponsors

  • RheinEnergie AG, Köln
  • SmartCity Cologne