Editorial: EnercitEE – European networks, experience and recommendations helped cities and citizens to become Energy Efficient

The newly adopted energy efficiency directive (2012/27/EU) highlights the importance of energy efficiency in reaching the Union’s 2020 targets. We, the EnercitEE partners, set our sights on preparing regions and cities to comply with future energy efficiency requirements, as well as on understanding other regional and local approaches within Europe, exchanging experiences and, in the end, helping build a joint European energy market.
After 4 years a successful and result oriented project will come to an end in December 2013. 5 European regions: Saxony, Southeast Sweden, Haute-Savoie, Emilia Romagna and Lower Silesia have contributed a great deal to improve energy efficiency. 

The exchange of experience has been an essential part of the programme. Interregional symposia, training sessions, study visits, a policy advice seminar and a policy maker exchange offered the possibility to discuss and compile political approaches, policy instruments, and examples of good practice and case studies. The eleven sub-projects of EnercitEE played an important role in increasing energy efficiency at the local level, both through policy making and small-scale pilot implementation. Learning from each other helped the partners in so many ways that everybody is looking back gratefully on the 4 years of EnercitEE:

Arkadiusz Suliga (Lower Silesia): “Overall EnercitEE proved to be a great success as a means to raise awareness and mobilize both citizens and municipalities to improve their energy efficiency. It showed that interesting and benefitting activities do not require plenty of funds. As a result we strongly believe that the experience we gained and our firm motivation will guide us to other projects on energy efficiency in the future.”

Gian Carlo Muzzarelli (Emilia-Romagna):
On 14 November 2007, the Emilia-Romagna Legislative Assembly approved the Regional Energy Plan. This plan represents a strategic instrument to rule and address the synergies between energy, economy and environment. Energy efficiency and energy saving are our first choice and our first investment, while citizens and local bodies represent the main stakeholders. Starting from this consideration, the region of Emilia-Romagna has found a perfect synergy between its Regional Energy Plan and the EnercitEE project, which represents an extraordinary instrument for sharing experiences and examples of best practice, allowing us to enhance our policies and stimulate change and creativity.”


Gunnar Nordmark (Småland): “The regional council of Southern Småland and its Climate Commission is aiming to make the county the greenest region in Europe, not to compete for a title but to contribute to a sustainable future, not only for our small part of the world but for the entire planet. One single small European region cannot do everything but if we work together we can make a difference. That is why we through Energikontor Sydost participated in EnercitEE. In the county of Kronoberg regional authorities and municipalities have agreed to among other things focus on energy efficiency and sustainable transports. Giving local authorities and their citizens the opportunity to make climate smart chooses for the future is an aim. In these efforts the participating in EnercitEE has given us new knowledge, shown us good examples of best practice and is an inspiration in policymaking. EnercitEE has also helped in establishing contacts useful for the future and for being part of creating a sustainable and climate smart Europe.”


Pascal Bel (Haute-Savoie): „One of the main drivers of development in society is energy. Time is running out to make the transition to a low carbon society. EnercitEE was an opportunity to synthesize and share energy efficient experiences and know-how developed by different European regions in terms of energy efficiency. This mini-program, which drew together the strategic functions of five European regions to innovate on the topic, has allowed ambitious collective experiments. I am sure the partners will know how to take advantage of this experience in their regions in order to achieve the European targets for reduction consumption. The advantage of such an approach will benefit all.”


Werner Sommer (Saxony): „EnercitEE has been a gainful project for us. We learned a lot about the circumstances and approaches in other European regions and were able to take part in an effective exchange of experience. On one hand we were able to provide other regions with helpful energy efficiency solutions from Saxony; on the other hand we profited from our European partners and their experiences and could include their suggestions into our work.”