From the Regional Energy Association to the Styrian Energy Agency gGmbH
The LEV (LandesEnergieVerein) was founded in 1981 as "Association for the promotion of domestic renewable energy sources and energy saving in Styria". The association saw itself as an interface between administration, politics, research and the energy consumers. Its main concern was to bring the many lively initiatives on energy efficiency and sustainability as well as corporations and their concepts togehter.
Hans Georg Fuchs (VP) and Christoph Klauser (SP), then State Councillor for Economic Affairs, were involved in the founding of the association. Wilhelm Altziebler, State Energy Commissioner and Director General of STEWEAG, became chairman, and Gerhard Ulz steered the association's fortunes until 2010 as managing director.
Since its foundation in 1981, the association has supported the energy policy of the province of Styria and in particular the work of the State Energy Commissioner. The initial focal points - 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 association's competence. A "state energy plan" was developed and decided in 1994 (!).
The activities of the association included technical and organizational support of energy projects, awareness raising and public relations (exhibitions, publications, conferences etc.), educational work (specialized further education, research funding), European cooperation (participation in EU research and development projects), energy consulting as well as handling and awarding of grants.
A special task was the establishment and expansion of the ÖkoNetzwerk. This Network Eco-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 transferred its business operations as a whole to the Energie Agentur Steiermark gemeinnützige GmbH, which has been 100% owned by the State of Styria ever since.
Further information about Energie Agentur Steiermark gGmbH can be found at: www.ea-stmk.at