Wüstenrot is a rural community with 6 500 inhabitants situated in the North of Baden-Wuerttemberg in Germany. In 2007, the municipal council decided to make Wüstenrot a plus-energy community.

The project EnVisaGe, started in 2012, aims to develop transferable strategies for energy efficiency measures and the utilisation of local renewable energy sources.


A new residential neighbourhood “Vordere Viehweide” is being built in Wüstenrot. This energy-plus-quarter consists of 25 new residential high energy standard buildings (single family and detached houses). With the sale contract for the ground, the future building owners agree to fulfil the high energy standard requirements, install PV systems of sufficient size (6 to 10 kWp) and connect to an innovative cold water heating grid. This grid supplies low temperature heat from a near surface geothermal system to decentralized heat pumps providing heating energy and hot water for the single buildings. The geothermal source is based on a so-called ‘agrothermal’ (sub-surface underground geothermal) collector. A common intelligent load and storage management system optimizes the PV self-consumption, reduces the peak power supplied in the electricity grid and offers the possibility to use the heat pumps with hot water and electricity storages as controllable electricity sinks for future smart grid applications.

In addition, Wüstenrot works directly with the energy supplier Schwäbisch Hall (former Mainhardt Wüstenrot GmbH & Co) to support innovative renewable energy technologies and look for affordable energy solutions.

In the City Hall of Wüstenrot there is an exhibition and information centre for ongoing research on renewable energy. The exhibition shows a 3-D model of the buildings, a guideline for technological and social implementation of energy efficient actions, demand side management strategies.

Key personnel

Thomas LÖFFELHARDT – Thomas.Loeffelhardt@gemeinde-wuestenrot.de