Decarbonization and digitization maturity assessment to create implementation roadmaps on the way to digitally-enabled and greenhouse gas-neutral energy utilities

The aim of the ‘Roadmap.SW’ research project is to support municipal utilities and companies on their way to greenhouse gas neutrality by combining digitization and decarbonization in an interdisciplinary approach for the first time and deriving an individual, scenario-based implementation roadmap for digitally driven transformation in the local energy system on this basis.

Initial situation

Municipal utilities are key players on the way to a greenhouse gas-neutral society. Although they are two important strategic topics, digitization and decarbonization are not necessarily thought of together, and an overall approach is lacking. However, an overarching strategy is highly relevant for many energy supply companies (EVU), as it often becomes apparent in practice that there is a lack of empirical values, clear goals, a uniform approach and supporting tools to guarantee the best possible implementation.

Solution Approach

In the project ‘Roadmap.SW’, a tool for maturity assessment in the areas of decarbonization and digitization is to be developed and applied together with industry and continuously improved. In the process, the ‘municipal utility of the future’ is defined as the highest maturity level. With the help of a maturity platform, municipal utilities will be enabled to determine their status quo maturity level in a self-assessment in order to get a holistic picture of the initial situation of digitization and decarbonization. Measures for increasing the maturity level are then collected and evaluated on a scenario basis. In the third step, based on the development of the energy industry environment, roadmaps are drawn up that propose a precise implementation strategy.

Expected Result

Specifically, the 'Roadmap.SW' project aims to generate the following results:

  • ‘Roadmap.SW’ shows how municipal utilities can develop and successfully implement decarbonization strategies by creating comparability with other utilities and providing reusable building blocks for a decarbonization strategy.
  • An open standard for determining the maturity level in the focus areas ‘digitalization’ and ‘decarbonization’ for energy supply companies is defined.
  • A web-based maturity platform for the administration of all maturity elements (questionnaire, list of measures and assessment) will be developed and made available to all municipal utilities and EVU for an independent maturity assessment.
  • Realistic and effective measures are identified to harness the potential of digitalization for decarbonization for municipal utilities.
  • Targeted adaptability is achieved through a concrete scenario-based implementation roadmap to gradually increase digitization and decarbonization in the local energy system.
  • The continuous involvement of different RUs in the development of the individual elements ensures a high level of practical relevance and applicability of the methods.

Benefits for the Target Group

Dealing with the multitude of framework conditions is very resource-intensive, so that smaller municipal utilities in particular are quickly overwhelmed.

The project will therefore create a strategic tool that municipal utilities can use to drive forward the local implementation of the energy transition in a strategic and implementation-oriented manner. By determining the status quo in the areas of decarbonization and digitalization, the utility companies are shown deficits and development potential, which they can then address by setting targets and selecting suitable measures. The development of a roadmap as a result of the process promotes the feasibility of the measures.


  • Services public/private
  • Energy/Water/Disposal/Recycling

Topic Area

  • Information Management

Research Focus

  • Informationstechnologie­management
  • IT-Komplexitätsmanagement

FIR Navigator

  • Digital Skills Development
  • Strategic Sustainability Management
  • JRF Guiding Topic

    • Society & Digitization


    Funding no.
    Funding information

    Grant from the federal budget, Section 09, Chapter 03, Title 68301 Budget year 2022 for the project: "Joint project: EnEff:Wärme: RoadmapSW Maturity assessment for the creation of implementation roadmaps on the way to digital-driven and greenhouse gas-neutral EVU; Subproject: Digitalization"