million tons of greenhouse gases
of renewable energy produced,
equivalent to the consumption
of 190 thousand families
in the carbon footprint of energy
production compared to 2015,
aiming at -22% by 2021

Primary energy consumption of the Hera Group

Hera’s energy consumption reflects the multi-business nature of the Group.

The balanced portfolio of activities creates synergies that increase productivity in multiple sectors while limiting energy consumption. Hera manages cogeneration plants for district heating which produce thermal energy and electricity to sell to its clients, and cogeneration plants, mainly to satisfy internal consumption requirements. It also manages waste-to-energy plants that dispose of waste with subsequent energy recovery, turboexpanders that take advantage of pressure differentials in the natural gas distribution stations in the local managed networks, and the recovery of low enthalpy geothermic heat at the district heating plant in Ferrara. Furthermore, a part of the electricity produced by the Group’s photovoltaic plants is used for self-consumption. Through a continuous series of measures, Hera pursues a policy aimed at increasing the energy efficiency in all of its activities.

Primary energy consumption by type
Tep 2015 2016 2017
Energy consumption for production (natural gas, geothermal, biogas, others) 146,574 139,068 152,973
Waste-to-energy treatment 336,996 336,590 326,743
Total energy consumed in electricity or thermal energy production plants 483,570 475,658 479,716
Electricity excluding public lighting 89,520 86,462 105,743
Electricity for public lighting 26,221 32,336 31,255
Natural gas and other energy vectors for heating of premises 2,836 2,860 2,962
Fuel for vehicles 9,875 9,971 9,843
Total energy consumed for uses other than the production of electricity or thermal energy 128,452 131,629 149,802
Total 612,022 607,286 629,518

The data refer to energy consumption by Hera Spa, Acantho, AcegasApsAmga, Aliplast, Aresgas Group, Fea, Hera Comm, Herambiente, Hera Luce, Hera Servizi Energia (now AcegasApsAmga Servizi Energetici Spa), Hera Trading, HeraTech, Hestambiente, Inrete Distribuzione Energia, Marche Multiservizi, Marche Multiservizi Falconara, Medea, Sinergie, Uniflotte and Waste Recycling.

In 2017, primary energy consumption rose compared to the levels of the previous year (+3.6 %) due to the expansion of the company scope. Specifically, the entry of Aliplast led to an increase in overall electricity consumption, while the rise in consumption of methane and other fuels is linked to the entry into Hera’s scope of activities of several EE production plants from landfills, previously owned by third parties (consumption of biogas from waste) and the entry of Aresgas into the company scope. The organisation’s internal energy consumption, calculated according to the reporting standard used (GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards 2016) were estimated at 18,849 thousand GJ. They comprise the consumption of fuel from renewable sources (8,308 thousand GJ for biogas and waste, 51% renewable share) and non-renewable sources (13,235 thousand GJ for methane, diesel, LPG, waste, 49% non-renewable share and petrol), electricity consumption (2,661 thousand GJ), the production of renewable electricity, photovoltaic energy (7 thousand GJ) from which the electricity produced and introduced into the grid is deducted (4,028 thousand GJ) and the thermal energy produced (1,334 thousand GJ). Primary energy consumption is calculated based on data gathered mainly from measurements and on the basis of calculation and conversion methods defined for the application of the regulatory provisions relating to Italian Law 10/91 (MISE Circular of 18 December 2014). Energy consumption does not include: Amga Calore & Impianti Srl, Amga Energia & Servizi Srl, ASA Scpa, EnergiaBaseTrieste Srl, Feronia Srl, Gran Sasso Energie Srl, Hera Comm Marche Srl, Herambiente Servizi Industriali Srl, Sviluppo Ambiente Toscana Srl, and Tri-Generazione Srl, whose consumption is estimated at 0.5% of total energy consumption.

The Group’s energy performance can be represented by a number of indicators that express the development and prospective targets and give a picture of the company’s savings strategies. A comparison of energy consumption with certain production and operating indicators can provide consumption intensity indices that reflect the improvements achieved by efficiency measures and by corporate energy management.

Intensity of primary energy consumption
2015 2016 2017
Treatment: primary energy (toe)/volumes treated (millions of m3) 102.8 103.7 109.8
Drinking water treatment: primary energy (toe)/water fed into the water network (millions of m3) 83.8 81.0 86.4
District heating: primary energy consumption (toe)/thermal energy fed into the network (MWh) 182.8 178.6 166.4
Waste-to-energy plants: Primary energy (toe)/volumes treated (thousands of t) 25.5 26.7 27.0
Offices: primary energy (kWh)/office area (m2) 82.0 83.5 83.2
Heating at offices: primary energy (toe)/volume heated (days*m3/1,000) 1.20 1.12
Vehicles: primary energy (toe)/distance covered by the vehicles (millions of km) 157.0 161.7 157.4
Public lighting: primary energy (toe)/thousands of light points 80.1 76.5 69.2

The data refer to energy consumption by Hera Spa, AcegasApsAmga, Fea, Hera Luce, Herambiente, Marche Multiservizi, Uniflotte. Data refer to consumption of electricity, natural gas, diesel, petrol and LPG fuel and waste.

The purification energy efficiency index is rising as a result of the smaller volumes treated, due to energy consumption which is basically stable given the nature of the plants. The energy consumption of potable water treatment is increasing in a manner more than proportional to the volumes treated, leading to a deteriorating efficiency index. This consumption does not only depend on the volumes treated but also on other factors, such as the 2017 drought which made it necessary to use less energy-efficient sources. In the Emilia-Romagna area, energy consumption for the district heating service is falling while the thermal energy fed into the network is rising, with positive effects on the efficiency index. The figure is attributable firstly to the effects of the measures implemented in the waste to energy plants of Ferrara, which led to the increase of available thermal energy from waste combustion, which determined lower methane use at supplementary plants. The positive result is also the result of the network capacity optimisation measures started in 2016. The efficiency index for vehicles is again in line with 2015 values, after a brief peak in 2016, as commented in the section on Hera vehicles in Chapter 4, Air and soil protection. The public lighting index has improved, as a result of the energy efficiency measures described in the respective paragraph.

Natural gas is used by the waste-to-energy plants during start-up and shut-down and to support combustion if the calorific value of the waste being treated is low: the overall consumption of 2017, excluding Hestambiente and the Enomondo plant, was over 8 million m3. Compared with 2016, there was an increase in methane consumption by over 860,000 cubic metres against a 2% reduction in waste treated, leading to the worsening of the energy efficiency index. This increase is mainly due to an increase in methane consumption at the Ravenna, Forlì, Bologna and Ferrara plants, in part compensated by the decrease of consumption in the Ravenna incinerator and in the Modena waste-to-energy plant.