When Dr. Theodor Stiebel invented and produced the coil immersion heater in his backyard workshop in Berlin in 1924, he opened the first chapter of STIEBEL ELTRON’s successful corporate history. To this day, we follow the guiding principle of our company founder: to produce innovative products of the highest quality. As a result, we have developed STIEBEL ELTRON into a leading brand in the areas of hot water and green technologies.
Foundation and early success
1924 Dr. Theodor Stiebel develops the coil immersion heater and establishes the ELTRON Dr. Theodor Stiebel company on 5 May in Berlin. In the same year, he starts producing his coil immersion heaters in a small backyard workshop in Reichenberger Straße.
1927 Dr. Theodor Stiebel and around 30 employees produce the first small instantaneous water heater that has 1000 watts and 2-stage technology, which is revolutionary at the time. As the first of its kind, the appliance is awarded the test mark of the German VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies.
1931 We expand our range of appliances to include overflow, high pressure and boiling water cylinders. They can hold up to 600 litres of water, depending on the model. In the same year, we launch the instantaneous water cylinder, which also ensures a quick supply of hot water.
The Berlin plant is completely destroyed during World War II. Dr. Theodor Stiebel moves the company to Holzminden in Lower Saxony.
New start in Holzminden
1944 Dr. Theodor Stiebel builds new production halls to expand the premises rented in 1943 in Holzminden. This creates sufficient capacity for even more orders. The following year, he begins producing non-electrical appliances such as saucepans, frying pans, laundry sprinklers and irons.
1946 We now employ 400 people. Together with his staff, Dr. Theodor Stiebel resumes the manufacture of electrical appliances such as convection ovens, warming trays, hotplates and immersion heaters.
1960 Company founder Dr. Theodor Stiebel dies on 9 September at the age of 66. With 160 patents at home and abroad, he goes down in history as a pioneer of modern domestic hot water heating.
Step by step to green tech
1968 With the development of storage heaters, we follow the pioneers of modern electric heating. The night storage heaters use cheaper off-peak electricity tariffs at night to store heat. This can be used to heat the home the next day.
1976 The 70s are characterised by oil crises, rising heating oil prices and car-free Sundays. People are becoming more and more interested in systems that work with renewable energy. In 1960, we are one of the first manufacturers to develop and produce heat pumps. In the years that follow, we refine our heat pump technology and establish ourselves as the market leader in Germany.
1977 The idea of using solar energy leads to the development of solar collectors. In the ensuing years, we introduce a complete product range with high performance flat-plate collectors, DHW cylinders and compact solar installations.
A solution for every need
1987 We launch the world’s first fully electronic instantaneous water heater. This brings a new dimension to the concept of hot water convenience. The appliance supplies hot water at a temperature accurate to the nearest degree as soon as it is switched on. The temperature that is set remains constant, even if hot water is drawn off at other points of use.
1991 We extend our product range to include mechanical ventilation systems with heat recovery. Modern ventilation systems such as these not only ensure a healthy room climate, but also maintain the fabric of the building and are especially energy efficient.
World exhibition and expansion
2000 We take part in the EXPO 2000 world exhibition in Hanover to showcase Hofanlage Brombeerweg, a low energy housing development. Dr. Ulrich Stiebel uses the EXPO 2000 project to demonstrate cost effective solutions for living and building, with the emphasis on good health and protecting the environment.
2002 STIEBEL ELTRON acquires Electrolux-Haustechnik GmbH with the building services division of Electrolux Germany. This adds the brand names AEG and Zanker to our portfolio of products for hot water, room heating, area heating systems, air conditioning and ventilation. This is the largest acquisition in our company history, and enlarges the company at once by almost a third.
2004 We acquire the Slovak company Tatramat GmbH. It produces and distributes products for DHW heating and specialised heat pumps. Tatramat is well known in Eastern and Central Europe in particular.
Investment for the future
2007 The most advanced heat pump manufacturing facility in Central Europe is created in Holzminden. Construction of the Dr. Theodor Stiebel Hall, involving an investment sum of over €10 million, is a further milestone in our company history. The production area covers almost 6000 square metres and more than 25,000 heat pumps a year roll off the production line.
2009 We continue to invest in Germany as a production location, with a sum totalling some €8 million. We respond to increased global demand by opening a second factory hall for heat pumps in Holzminden.
2012 25 years of instantaneous water heaters – a hot water revolution from 1987 that’s worth celebrating.
The success story continues
2014 We celebrate our 90th anniversary and the success story of STIEBEL ELTRON, which Dr. Theodor Stiebel began on 5 May 1924 when he founded the company. On the anniversary itself, our decision-makers lay another foundation stone: for a new training and communication centre in Holzminden, involving an investment of approximately €16 million.
Welcome to the future!
2015 Hands-on green tech, the platinum award from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), a PlusEnergy building – the Energy Campus is a real world laboratory for the energy transition. On 24 November 2015, we celebrate the inauguration of our new training and communication centre. The Supervisory Board, Management Board, founding family, State Prime Minister Stephan Weil as the keynote speaker, and 300 guests admire the new building. Thomas M. Held, actor and committed “energy pioneer”, presides over the celebration and sums up our message: “Welcome to the future!”
Milestone in the ventilation sector
2016 STIEBEL ELTRON acquires MDM Diels GmbH, with locations in Meinerzhagen and Ulm in Germany. The sales subsidiary LTM is known on the market for its high quality products, primarily in the decentralised ventilation sector. A major step into the strategically important business area of controlled mechanical ventilation.
2017 For the first time in the company’s history, our turnover passes the €500 million mark. The previous record year was 2012 with €483 million. We owe our top performance to growth in all areas: heat pumps and ventilation units (green tech division) as well as instantaneous water heaters, small water heaters and floor mounted cylinders (hot water division).
Alliance with Thermia
2018 The STIEBEL ELTRON Group acquires the Danish company Danfoss Värmepumpar AB, based in Arvika, Sweden, and known under the brand name “Thermia heat pumps”. Thermia is the third largest supplier in the Nordic heat pump market, with an annual turnover of €68 million. It employs around 210 people (2018) in Sweden, Finland and Norway. Thermia’s strong position in the Nordic countries and its modern product portfolio are perfect additions to STIEBEL ELTRON’s focus on heating and cooling with renewable energy. The strong product offering of Thermia will help us develop our business in other markets dominated by ground source heat pumps.
125th birthday of Dr. Theodor Stiebel
2019 Together with around 150 guests, Dr. Ulrich Stiebel and Frank Stiebel celebrate what would have been the 125th birthday of their father and company founder Dr. Theodor Stiebel at the Energy Campus in Holzminden. “Today, we remember a visionary of his time,” declares Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer in his tribute. “Dr. Theodor Stiebel implemented his vision with daring – daring rather than courage, because daring takes account of the risk involved. He always used his findings and knowledge with a view to helping others whilst maintaining an entrepreneurial purpose. Ultimately, he chose exactly the direction of development that is paying off today.”
Shareholding in the air heating market
2020 STIEBEL ELTRON acquires a majority shareholding in Zimmermann Lüftungs- und Wärmesysteme GmbH & Co. KG. This company is active in the heating market under the Proxon and Atarus brands. Specialised in air heating and based in Freudenberg, the company focuses on innovative air/air heat pump technology in Germany. Dr. Nicholas Matten, Managing Director of STIEBEL ELTRON, says: “Through this investment, we are participating in a market segment that we ourselves do not serve or only serve with special solutions.”