Aside from its direct business mission and in line with its regional responsibility, the Energie AG Group supports institutions and projects with economic relevance, charitable and non-profit organisations, activities such as humanitarian and social initiatives, and academic and education projects.
Cultural and social issues
Energie AG supports a host of initiatives in the cultural and social realm. On the cultural scene, the Group has been partner of the Höhenrausch/Sinnesrausch project in Linz for a number of years, and exhibitions are regularly held in Linz’s Power Tower. At the same time, the Energie AG Group supports young, talented artists with the Klemens Brosch Award and the “Dream Scholarship” project. In addition, Energie AG has been a long-standing voluntary partner of many cultural initiatives throughout Upper Austria, including the Upper Austrian Regional Exhibition, Salzkammergut Festwochen summer festival, St. Florianer Sängerknaben boys’ choir and Brucknertage festival. As a partner of the Red Cross and volunteer fire brigade, the Energie AG Group makes a conscious effort to support rescue organisations with a high level of voluntary commitment.
At our call centre, Energie AG also operates the Upper Austria crisis and disaster hotline in order to provide an information and communication platform to the public. In the event of an emergency, the emergency services dispatch a liaison to the call centre, who ensures that information is relayed to the public-safety answering point. As a result, the Energie AG Call Centre can always provide information with absolute professionalism.
Timelkam Energy Experience Centre
In the town of Timelkam, Energie AG runs an information centre about electrical energy called the Erlebniswelt Energie Timelkam (“Timelkam Energy Experience”). More than 5,000 visitors passed through the centre in the 2018/2019 fiscal year (up from 4,800 in the previous year). The facility is constantly being upgraded to include new technologies, with sections on digitalisation and apprentices added in the last two years. Workshops for schools and the “Start of School Festival” have been held at the centre or on its grounds for the last six years.
Following the motto “sport is energy”, the Energie AG Group has been supporting top athletes and amateurs alike across Upper Austria since 2000 – our “sports family”. 15 sportspeople became members of the sports family in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, receiving financial assistance, as well as important services to support their sports involvement (such as physiotherapy, equipment, help with advertising and media training). A top priority in this area is to promote young people’s involvement in sport.
Raising awareness of sustainability, energy and the environment among young people has been a cause that the Energie AG Group has embraced in a major way. In this spirit, the Group has consistently supported initiatives by youth organisations. A conscious and careful relationship with nature and the environment is one of the worldwide scout movement’s eight educational focal points. For many years, Upper Austria’s scouts, the Pfadfinder, have been implementing targeted environmental projects with the support of the Energie AG Group and the State of Upper Austria (acting on the motto “taking responsibility for tomorrow!”).
The Energie AG at School education programme (Energie AG macht Schule), which has existed since 2007, offers kindergartens and schools different classroom handouts for the relevant age groups. These cover topics related to energy, sustainability and – since autumn 2018 – digitalisation. The new class materials are available for primary school years 3 and 4 (ages 8-10), as well as for middle-school pupils in either of Austria’s state school models (ages 10-14). Energie AG received the Familie Digital Kompetent (“Family Digital Skills”) seal of approval in 2019 for this educational programme – and, in particular, for its expansion.
In addition, the Group has a selection of short books for the youngest programme participants, which cover a wide range of topics relating to energy and sustainability. The latest book, now our eighth, was published in 2019 and deals with the issues of separating waste and preventing littering. It is available upon request to private individuals, schools and kindergartens free of charge. Including the latest release, 250,000 copies of these short books are already in circulation.
In 2014, Energie AG began its educational programme for Czech primary and junior secondary school pupils with titles such as DOODPADU – was nicht in den Abfluss gehört (“DOODPADU – Don’t Put That down the Drain”) and Die Toilette ist kein Mülleimer (“Your Toilet isn’t a Dustbin”), which aim to protect our natural environment and water resources. The Group promotes awareness of how to properly dispose of rubbish by providing customised classroom materials for primary schools and creative projects for older pupils. The pupils at a state secondary school in České Budějovice were the deserving winners at ENERGIE AG BOHEMIA s.r.o.’s annual project competition in 2019 with a game app for DOODPADU.
Respect for the environment and a commitment to a green and efficient business model are guiding principles that underpin Energie AG’s ethos. Energie AG has supported the Energy Globe environmental award for some 20 years. Since its founding, just short of 25,000 environmental projects have been submitted for consideration. Every year, Austria ranks among the top performers, underlining the country’s role as a “world champion” in the area of sustainability.
ENERGY INSTITUE OF JOHANNES KEPLER UNIVERSITY LINZ
Science and research have traditionally been accorded high value at Energie AG. One area in which this is evident is our long-standing partnership with the Energy Institute (Energieinstitut) at Johannes Kepler University in Linz. As a founding member, the Group actively participates in shaping and further improving the institute, as well as drawing on its high level of expertise in energy-related areas and its interdisciplinary team. Energie AG commissions studies from the institute on a consistent basis and works together closely with it on research projects. A good example of this is the Gmunden High Temperature Heat project, which Erzeugung GmbH and Vertrieb GmbH are working on as part of the drive by NEFI (New Energy for Industry) to make Upper Austria a flagship region for clean energy.
Energie AG is also living up to its social responsibility in the Czech Republic segment, supporting social activities as part of the Vodní kapky (“Waterdrops”) project. This includes the establishment of Young Caritas CZ with the aim of promoting volunteering among young people. In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the Czech Republic segment supported Young Caritas CZ events in České Budějovice. As part of its social commitment, the Czech Republic segment donates one Czech heller (one hundredth of a koruna) for each cubic metre of drinking water Energie AG companies deliver to households in the country.
Each Energie AG Group company in the Czech Republic takes its regional social responsibility seriously. For instance, since 2015, VHOS a.s. has played a role in the Philanthropy Exchange in the Pardubice Region and Moravská Třebová to support the work of non-governmental organisations. This provides a platform for projects from selected non-profit organisations to be presented in a transparent manner. During the course of the event, these non-profits have the opportunity to engage with companies and public institutions to discuss their support needs. Energie AG also assumes social responsibility by financially supporting projects that improve the lives of disadvantaged people or families.
Federation, Association and Organisation Memberships
Energie AG is a member of various associations and representative groups related to its operational activities, both in Austria and abroad. Our employees also play a role in various bodies, committees and working groups within these organisations. All Energie AG’s employees can benefit from these memberships, which allow them to receive newsletters, participate in events and webinars, and access online portals, publications, studies, models, analytical findings and more.
Alongside its long-standing memberships in the Austrian Energy Industry Association, the representative group for Austrian energy utility companies, the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV) and the Austrian Economic Chambers (WK), Energie AG is also a member of the Upper Austria Business Hub Initiative (IWS), which promotes Upper Austria as a business location by providing basic research, studies, investigations and media work.
In addition, Energie AG is a member of Austrian Energy Agency GmbH (AEA) – the country’s national centre of excellence for energy, as well as the German Association of the Energy and Water Industries (BDEW). Both associations work on topics of interest to energy companies, such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, sector coupling, etc.
The OÖ Energiesparverband (“Upper Austrian Energy-Saving Association”) is a body instituted by the State of Upper Austria that has been the central clearinghouse for product-independent energy information since 1991. Energie AG has been a member of the association since its founding and collaborates closely with it in areas including energy consultancy and promotional funding.
Our membership of the Verein für Ökologie und Umweltforschung (Association for Ecology and Environmental Research; VÖU) offers us a platform for an exchange of information on matters of common interest between the energy industry and applied ecological and economic research experts. The association works on complex energy and environmental issues, such as renewable energy sources, resource efficiency and approval issues for energy infrastructure projects, while promoting interdisciplinary solutions.
Energie AG has been a member of the Energy Centre České Budějovice, an energy information centre supported by the State of Upper Austria and the Region of South Bohemia, since 1998. The centre's priority areas are offering support for implementing energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energies. Since 2002, Energie AG has also been a member of the Fachgruppe Energie (Energy Working Group), which aims for cross-border cooperation in the energy sector between Upper Austria and South Bohemia. The working group supports cross-border projects and provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience.
In addition, Energie AG is a member of the Austrian Association of Alternative Telecommunications Operators (VAT). With the aim of ensuring that Austria enjoys a reliable information infrastructure, the VAT promotes fast and comprehensive expansion efforts whose sustainability is assured through the use of next-generation technologies.