Up to now, Germany has been flying virtually blind as regards heating energy consumption – bad for people’s wallets, bad for the environment. Everyone was in the dark until the heating bills arrived, months after the end of the heating period. Much too late to change consumption behaviour or act to protect the environment. But that’s changed since the autumn of 2023: the ista Heiz-O-Meter has been the gamechanger. 

Rouwen Hahn is really into data. That’s no surprise, in his role as Senior Specialist Data Analytics, he works with data day in, day out. But they are more than just numbers, he is really passionate about them as you immediately notice when you start talking to him about the Heiz-O-Meter. Rouwen’s eyes simply light up: “That was and is one of the most exciting projects in my nearly eight-year career at ista.” 

Behind the name is a free-of-charge and ad-free application that shows at a glance how households in Germany are actually heating. Since its launch in December 2023, the tool has given consumers their very first opportunity to use current changes in consumption in Germany as a yardstick to guide their own heating energy consumption. The basis for the Heiz-O-Meter is aggregated data from 350,000 households all over Germany who receive monthly information on their consumption from ista. 

Combined expertise of a multidisciplinary team

The combined expertise and close collaboration of many were required to implement this project. Florian Dötterl, Head of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, led the diverse team of ista experts: "The original idea stemmed from our communications strategy but it was only through real teamwork that we were able to so effectively turn it into reality," he explains. "The initial idea may have come from Corporate Communications but the actual product was most definitely a team achievement.” 

Data analysis at the very highest level

Data expert Rouwen Hahn structured the anonymised data records and enriched them through complex evaluations and representative extrapolations. "I developed the data models, checked plausibility of the results and used them to gain valuable insights,” Hahn explains.  

If complex data are not to remain just a sea of numbers, but instead produce real lightbulb moments, you need eye-catching visualisations. Here is where Maria Glukhova-Arndt came in. In her role as User Experience Design Manager, she aims to offer our customers everywhere a first-class “ista experience”. “I was always there to provide advice and support when it came to creating a positive user experience - focusing on the users and their needs, from using the right colours on the website to addressing the target groups and presenting the data in easy-to-understand graphics.” 

Extremely challenging puzzle solved  

Numerous tasks and people had to be coordinated before the treasure trove of data could be successfully uncovered. Julia Stäck was the coordinator. The manager from the Corporate Communications team is herself a numbers person: “I love working with data, that’s why I had so much fun developing the ista Heiz-O-Meter together with the rest of the team. It was often like putting an extremely challenging puzzle together: we had to collect and process the right data so the app really had the impact we were hoping for.” 

Led by Caren Altpeter, Head of External Communications & Newsroom, the Communications team developed a challenging multi-channel communication campaign, which generated a great deal of media coverage. And not just that - the team is also completely sold on the ista Heiz-O-Meter: “I was pleasantly surprised by the great response we got from the public,” says Maria Glukhova-Arndt. And Julia Stäck adds: “It was fantastic to see how we as a team went from facing a sheer mountain of data to being able to present a solution that creates real added value.” 

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