The LEV (LandesEnergieVerein) was founded in 1981 as an “Association for the Promotion of Domestic Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Saving in Styria”. The association saw itself as a hub between administration, politics, research and energy consumers. His main concern was to bring together the many active initiatives on energy efficiency and sustainability as well as corporations and their concepts under one sensible hat.
Hans Georg Fuchs (VP) and Christoph Klauser (SP), then State Councillor for Economic Affairs, were involved in the foundation, Wilhelm Altziebler, State Energy Commissioner and General Director of STEWEAG, became chairman, and Gerhard Ulz steered the fortunes of the association as Managing Director until 2010.
Since its foundation in 1981, the association has supported the energy policy of the province of Styria and in particular the work of the provincial energy commissioner. The initial focus – promotion of biomass local heating both financially and through research contracts and organizational support and energy consulting as well as the training of energy consultants were the basis of the competence of the association. A “state energy plan” was developed and adopted in 1994 (!).
The activities of the association included technical and organizational support of energy projects, awareness raising and public relations work (exhibitions, publications, conferences, etc.), educational work (subject-specific training, research funding), European cooperation (participation in EU research and development projects), energy consulting as well as processing and awarding of subsidies.
A special task was the establishment and expansion of the ÖkoNetzwerk. This Network of Green Energy Styria (NOEST) was a one-stop-shop and the knowledge hub for all R&D projects in the field of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
In June 2014, the LandesEnergieVerein brought its business operations as a whole into the Energie Agentur Steiermark gemeinnützige GmbH, which has since been 100% owned by the Province of Styria.