Act Now: Action for Energy Efficiency in Baltic Cities
Act Now
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
2 Natural resources
objective
2.3 Energy efficiency

Act Now

The Interreg project Act Now tackled energy efficiency in the existing building stock in cities across the Baltic Sea region and applied self-assessment and customisation of capacities in energy management to ensure increase in energy efficiency.
The challenge

Europe’s biggest energy resource is energy efficiency. Reduction in energy consumption to heat buildings is a precondition for an increase in energy efficiency. Energy efficiency measures in the existing building stock compared to newly constructed buildings are vital for reaching the energy efficiency targets. The decentralised heat supply is highly inefficient in parallel with the extensive energy consumption caused primarily by private households. In addition, 70% of the heating installations are outdated while investments in heating systems are delayed.

Above that, insufficient resources, undeveloped structures and limited knowledge, especially vulnerable in smaller municipalities, deteriorate the situation. The existing strategic energy action plans (SEAPs) and concepts for climate protection proposed by many municipalities are still not enough.

For reaching the energy saving objectives, municipalities need a holistic approach in increasing energy efficiency as well as targeted solutions. They need new knowledge and tools to turn their SEAPs into action. Especially smaller local authorities suffer from insufficient capacities related to resources, structures and knowledge. They do not have sufficient information about the most effective measures and investments related to energy saving due to poor monitoring data and insufficient energy management systems. Smaller local authorities lack capacities to initiate and plan investments to increase energy efficiency among the involved staff of municipalities and cooperating institutions, for example housing companies and utilities.

Budgets

Act Now
in numbers
  • 3.58
    Million
    Total
  • 2.75
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.10
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

Valuable tools developed

Aimed at increasing energy efficiency in municipalities, the project introduced a new approach for assessment and customisation of existing capacities in energy management. By analysing commitment and management, energy planning, implementation, available resources, infrastructure and home-owner segment, the municipalities got a better understanding of concrete gaps. Once completed, the self-assessment tool suggests what aspects in energy management and capacity building should be improved, for instance in policy, communications, human resources, monitoring or documentation.

Furthermore, a learning platform on energy efficiency in the building stock developed by the project, provided municipalities with the needed tools in enhancing capacity building. With hands-on guidance on establishing working groups and setting up the process, the platform enabled to ensure a holistic approach to gathering, accessing and applying information to tackle concrete gaps. The platform collected all the knowledge the project has developed and tested in participating municipalities. Furthermore, to inform other municipalities about the collected knowledge the partners arranged several national and reginal workshops for municipalities in nine countries across the Baltic Sea region.

Municipalities tested the new approach

Nine municipalities participating in the project, Bremerhaven (Germany), Elva (Estonia), Gdynia (Poland), Gulbene (Latvia), Kaliningrad (Russia), Mönsterås (Sweden), Sievi and Ylivieska sub-region (Finland), Šilutė (Lithuania), and Sonderborg (Denmark) succeeded in setting up local energy efficiency groups (LEEG) by involving representatives of municipalities, public organisations like schools, transport agencies as well as businesses, home owners and residents. The LEEGs enabled to coordinate and streamline knowledge scattered across different municipal departments and other organisations.

Thanks to the project, the participating municipalities started the revision of their sustainable energy action plans by including the climate dimension. In some cases, the LEEGs were expanded by involving political representatives and setting energy efficiency on the political agenda.

With EUR 3.4 million invested by the European Union, the Interreg project Act Now has strengthened capacity building in municipalities, streamlined the scattered knowledge and invested in improved monitoring. New approaches in self-assessment and monitoring have been put into practice by piloting in the participating municipalities. To continue the successful work even more investments for a minimum of seven million euros after the project ends are foreseen.

Outputs

Manual: from the sustainable energy action plan to investment

This manual helps municipalities act now to increase energy efficiency. It explains how to assess the existing capacities in municipalities and other organisations, and guides what still needs to be done. It describes the idea of local energy efficiency workgroups (LEEGs): a network of local stakeholders aggregating the knowledge, perspectives and capacities for effective and sustained implementation of energy efficiency measures.

Capacity self-assessment tool for municipalities

This tool helps municipalities assess the exact needs for capacity building in energy management and increase of energy efficiency. It includes assessment of the following aspects: commitment and management, energy planning, implementation, resources, infrastructure, and home-owner segment. Once completed, the tool suggests what aspects in energy management and capacity building should be improved and strengthened: for example, policy, communication and engagement, human resources, monitoring or documentation.

Learning platform on energy efficiency in the building stock

The online learning platform offers municipalities hands-on guidance on planning and implementing energy efficiency projects in their building stock. This guidance is useful for municipality staff directly involved in energy topics (urban planners, staff of construction departments, collaborators from property management and financial departments, energy management and local development) as well housing companies, utilities, energy service companies, engineering companies. The platform includes guidance how to create local energy efficiency groups (LEEG), customise capacity building of municipal staff, set up a strategy for municipal buildings and pick up energy efficiency measures, find out appropriate financing and engage the private sector.

Project Stories

Partners

Magistrate of the City of Bremerhaven

  • Town
    Bremerhaven
  • Region
    Bremerhaven, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
672,122.70
53.55222648.5865509

Leuphana University Lüneburg

  • Town
    Lüneburg
  • Region
    Lüneburg, Landkreis
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
136,485.00
53.24870610.407855

Renewable Energies Agency (AEE)

  • Town
    Berlin
  • Region
    Berlin
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
142,485.00
52.517036513.3888599

Energy agency for South East Sweden

  • Town
    Växjö
  • Region
    Kronobergs län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
297,954.50
56.878718314.8094385

Trolleybus Communication Enterprise Ltd.

  • Town
    Gdynia
  • Region
    Gdański
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
117,540.00
53.255277819.3958333

Centria University of Applied Sciences Ltd.

  • Town
    Kokkola
  • Region
    Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
208,534.13
63.839142123.1336845

ProjectZero

  • Town
    Sonderborg
  • Region
    Sydjylland
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
313,388.93
56.038886512.4057049

Municipality of Gdynia

  • Town
    Gdynia
  • Region
    Gdański
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
78,330.00
53.255277819.3958333

The Szewalski Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery Polish Academy of Sciences

  • Town
    Gdansk
  • Region
    Gdański
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
278,503.22
54.3611928518.62860883362069

Silute District Municipality Administration

  • Town
    Silute
  • Region
    Klaipėdos apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
181,980.00
55.347172321.4843225

Riga Technical University

  • Town
    Riga
  • Region
    Rīga
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
255,971.00
56.949397724.1051846

Gulbene Municipality Council

  • Town
    Gulbene
  • Region
    Vidzeme
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
172,881.00
57.1744328526.733954972447822

Elva Municipality

  • Town
    Elva
  • Region
    Lõuna-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
172,881.00
58.223337926.4131027

South-Estonian Centre of Renewable Energy (MTÜ LETEK)

  • Town
    Märja village, Tähtvere, Tartu County
  • Region
    Lõuna-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
136,485.00
58.363032226.6504116

Association of Ylivieska Region

  • Town
    Ylivieska
  • Region
    Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
146,405.00
64.072890324.5327326

CivittaUAB

  • Town
    Vilnius
  • Region
    Vilniaus apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
149,050.00
54.687045825.2829111

Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University

  • Town
    Kaliningrad
  • Region
    Kaliningrad Oblast
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
121,160.00
54.71012820.5105838