European Energy Efficiency Directives – Tools and Recommendations for Regions and Cities

EnercitEE’s final conference in Brussels

On 25th September 2013 EnercitEE’s final conference took place in the Saxony Liaison Office in Brussels. About 100 guests from DG Energy, the European Parliament, from many regional liaison offices and federations joined the EnercitEE partners, listened to their experiences made, to the good practices presented and discussed the results with them.

Showing the implementation of EU energy directives into regional policies and practices as well as giving practical implementation examples - these were the main objectives of the final conference organized by the Mini-Programme Coordination Office, the coordinating team of the Saxon Lead Partner.

Monika Hoegen, an independent Brussels and Cologne-based journalist invited all guests to join her and the EnercitEE partners on a journey through Europe and through five of its regions, namely Saxony, Smaland, Emilia-Romagna, Haute-Savoie and Lower Silesia. After the warm welcome words of Wolf-Eberhard Kuhl, head of the Saxony Liaison Office, the journey began in Saxony represented through Frank Kupfer, the Saxon State Minister for Environment and Agriculture. Mister Kupfer highlighted that for Saxony and for him the exchange of experience across national borders has been the biggest motivation. Further, he stated that international cooperation does not only concretise the European idea in the regions but also gives new impulses to municipalities which would not reach the local level without such a programme as EnercitEE.

While EnercitEE ensures the implementation of the EU’s current strategies (20-20-20) and directives (Energy Efficiency Directive, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) focusing on the year 2020, Dagmara Koska, member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Oettinger strengthened that the Commission’s work is now focused in 2030. Up to her the proper implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive is crucial for reaching the 2020 goals, but the next period’s goals are also crucial.

Still, the current results achieved form the basis for the work to be done until 2030. That EnercitEE has reached some impressive results has also been confirmed through Akos Szabo from the Interreg IVC Joint Technical Secretariat who stressed that “EnercitEE has shown a high mobilisation of local sub-project actors”. For him, EnercitEE is a “flagship project” with “extremely committed regional partners” whose dissemination activities go “far beyond initial targets”.

After these pleasant words Katharina Mörl, coordinator of EnercitEE, looked back at four years of EnercitEE and presented an overview of the results to be shared which were also available on an usb flash drive and invited the audience to listen to five examples of EU policy implementation on the regional level.

Gunnar Nordmark from the Regional Council of Southern Smaland emphasized in his speech about Växjö’s ambition of becoming the greenest city in Europe that “giving local authorities and their citizens the opportunity to make climate smart choices is a key for the future”. The motto of his speech “seeing is believing” stands also for the policy maker exchange realised by EnercitEE through which 30 mayors from 5 European countries travelled to and learned from Växjö.

Attilio Raimondi from the Council for Productive Activities and Energy Policy in Emilia-Romagna convinced his audience through the presentation of a good recipe and the right ingredients for the improvement of regional energy and climate policies. “Acting like a team” was one of the preconditions that have to be fulfilled in his mind. Further, he pointed out that the transformation of directives into practice is the key. Thus, he claimed for less directives and more practice.

“Lower Silesia is ready to act, EnercitEE was our wake-up call.” With these words Pawel Kurant from the Marshal’s Office of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship illustrated the Polish point of view. EnercitEE paved the way to promote energy efficient behaviour locally.

“EnercitEE has made us creative. We have done in 4 years what would have taken 10 years”, stresses Michel Danielou from the Conseil Général in Haute-Savoie. Therefore, it is clear for him that the end of the project does not mean an end to energy efficiency efforts. On the contrary, the implementation will go on in Haute-Savoie.

Werner Sommer from the Saxon State Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture highlighted the experience of Saxony gained on energy efficient buildings which has been shared amongst others through an international symposium in Leipzig with all partners. Next to practical examples like site visits in schools, it has also to be mentioned that important EPBD goals have been implemented into regional policies through Saxony’s first combined “Energy and Climate Programme”. It contains among other aspects a reduction target for the fossil fuel consumption in residentual buildings by 25%.

More practical examples and tools for energy efficiency have been presented by the regions in the afternoon session.

Anne-Sophie Masure from Prioriterre gave in her presentation examples for energy efficiency as an added value for those who struggle with energy poverty. Through the project LEEAN Prioriterre trained social workers on the energy poverty problematic. The social workers have been equipped with adapted tools in order to help families in reducing their energy demand through changes of their energy consumption behaviour. Feedback and exchange were important in order to attain good results.

“Building authorities – do not be afraid of the EPBD!” was the message of Arkadiusz Suliga from the Marshal’s Office of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship. Through the sub-project RIEEB which verified to what extent the partner regions implement the legal requirements to energy performance in the buildings sector, a verification of legal documents (e.g. energy performance certificates) for 21 municipal buildings was carried out. Information about the legal regulations in relation to the energy efficiency of buildings and the results of the investigations were disseminated and fundamental knowledge about the possible use of renewable energies for heating and domestic hot water in the buildings were presented to public authorities, planers and private households. “The versatile experience exchange between the participating partner regions about the energy efficient construction will help this region to reproduce these techniques in the future”, states Arkadiusz Suliga.

Also focusing on buildings, but this time from the user perspective, Carla Groß from the City of Leipzig presented a user manual for passive house schools which has been developed in the sub-project EEMTE. She stated that “energy efficiency of municipal buildings can only be reached with an influence on the user's behaviour as well as by influencing the actions of the operators”. Therefore, different versions for several advanced trainings (such as passive house training concepts, pilot seminars and site visits) for the users and operators of passive house schools have been developed and tested.

Sarah Nilsson from the Energy Agency of Southeast Smaland asked “how to move a car driver without gasoline” and presented some interesting results which originate from the sub-project SustraMM. Emanating from the point that “a bicycle runs on fat and saves you money while a car runs on money and makes you fat”, bicycle competitions for workplaces have been carried out. Another concept addressed habitual car drivers which were offered a monthly public transport ticket only if they promised to ride with the public transport instead of with their car. One year later, still 38% of the car drivers travelled to work using public transport, proving the success of this measure.

The last example given, dealt with climate change mitigation and adaptation planning and was presented by Vittorio Marletto from the Regional Environmental Agency HydroMeteo Climate Service. CLIPART aimed at the needs of regional and local authorities and wants to support them in mitigation and adaptation planning. Therefore, a handbook called “Climate change planning for regional and local authorities” was developed and is now considered to be used in Italy for the national adaptation strategy.

Many interesting examples of implementing energy efficiency into policies and translating energy efficiency into real practices have been given. The audience made use of the large break foreseen in order to enable discussions and all partners concluded at the end of the day that the final conference has been a successful one giving them the hope that the results presented will find their way into many other European regions.

Author: Meike Löhr

Presentations held during the event

Interregional cooperation - state of play and perspective 2014+
Akos Szabo, INTERREG IVC Joint Technical Secretariat

EnercitEE - impressions, insights and highlights of 4 years
Katharina Mörl, Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology

Seeing is believing - policy makers from 5 European regions learned from Europe's greenest city Växjö
Gunnar Nordmark, Regional Council of Southern Smaland

How to improve your regional energy and climate policy - a good recipe and the right ingredients from Emilia-Romagna
Attilio Raimondi, Council for Productivee Activities and Energy Policy

Paving the way to promote energy efficient behaviour locally - benefits from EnercitEE
Pawel Kurant, Marshal's Office of Lower Silesian Voivodeship

End of project, end of energy efficiency efforts? Implementation will go on in Haute-Savoie
Michel Danielou, Haute-Savoie Local Authorities

Towards low energy buildings: progress and innovation in Saxony
Werner Sommer, Saxon State Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture

Struggling with energy poverty - the added value of energy efficiency tools
Anne-Sophie Masure, Prioriterre - Energy Advice Centre

Building authorities - do not be afraid of the EPBD! From prejudices to benefits
Arkadiusz Suliga, Marshal's Office of Lower Silesian Voivodeship

How to operate a passive house? A user manual supports the local energy strategy
Carla Groß, City of Leipzig

How to move a car driver without gasoline?
Sarah Nilsson, Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden

Climate change mitigation and adaptation: practical guidelines for regional and local authorities
Vittorio Marletto, Regional Environmental Agency, HydroMeteoClimate Service