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Getting smart about lowering buildings’ carbon footprint

Son and Mother

Improving energy efficiency in buildings is an important pillar of the European Union’s climate strategy. The effort has become even more critical given rising energy prices and concerns about the bloc’s energy supply. In strengthening rules around metering and customer billing, the EU wants consumers to better understand how their energy usage contributes to the bloc’s energy security and climate goals.

Germany-based Techem, a company in which we invested in 2018, was already a pioneer in providing consumption-based heating cost billing services to residential building owners. With increasing digitization, the company has developed new smart products that optimize energy and water use in multifamily buildings. They include more than 40 million installed devices equipped with radio technology, enabling remote reading of heat and water consumption and even water leak detection. They also include systems that enable more efficient distribution of heating in high-rise buildings.

By making residents of multifamily buildings more conscious of how and when they use heat and water, Techem helps them use less and keep their costs down. Those efforts in turn help building owners reduce overall emissions. 

Techem’s products, deployed in more than 12 million apartments across about 775,000 buildings, produced energy savings of about €1.8 billion in 2021 and avoided CO2e emissions of around 7.7 million tonnes, according to Techem research.

Techem has a strong presence in Germany and is growing in another 18 countries, mostly in Europe. It’s well positioned to benefit from policies mandating more transparent energy metering and billing across the EU. Techem is also undertaking new initiatives that support building sustainability, including the installation and management of shared EV charging stations at multifamily buildings.

"What unites Ontario Teachers’ and Techem is the common belief that a sustainable foundation is crucial for a sustainable outcome—both in terms of finance, as well as climate-neutral buildings. For us at Techem, it is clear we need to press ahead with energy efficiency in buildings in order to meet the climate objectives. With our solutions and partners’ support, we are already actively contributing to this, making buildings green, smart and healthy." 

Matthias Hartmann, CEO