Baltic Smart City Areas for the 21st century
AREA 21
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
2 Natural resources
objective
2.3 Energy efficiency

AREA 21

The Interreg project AREA21 involved local and regional public authorities, energy providers, public property owners and citizens from six countries and improved cooperative planning processes by applying ICT-based tools for visualisation of energy consumption and upscaling good practices in energy saving to a district level.
The challenge

A collaborative approach is needed in saving energy and thereby decreasing CO2 emissions in the Baltic Sea region. A radical change in behaviour of property users in increasing energy efficiency and engagement of citizens in energy planning and consumption are preconditions for energy saving.

Besides structural, technical and organisational inefficiencies, there is a lack in integrating the behavioural perspective into the holistic approach. More efforts are needed to identify incentives for a behavioural change of energy consumers as 20% of energy savings can be reached by targeting individual behaviour, according to European Environment Agency, 2013.

As key players in reaching European energy efficiency targets, cities are facing challenges to reach a greenhouse gas emission reduction. Modernisation of urban structures, infrastructures, ownership which represent the majority of the existing settlement patterns in the Baltic Sea region and entire EU represents an unveiled potential. Sectoral fragmentation as well as lack of cooperative integrated approach between public authorities, energy utilities and property owners are obstacles to overcome.

Budgets

AREA 21
in numbers
  • 2.55
    Million
    Total
  • 1.89
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.10
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

The project established Energy Improvement Districts (EID) in Hamburg, Helsingborg, Tamprere Tartu, Kohtla-Järve, St. Petersburg and Lublin where local and regional public authorities, energy utilities, public property owners and users worked together. The stakeholders applied the collaborative approach to property users' behavioural change to increase energy efficiency. The partners used upgraded ICT-based tools for visualization of energy consumption and thus providing incentives for the property owners to lower their energy consumption.

AREA 21 partners succeeded in upscaling energy efficiency in buildings from the level of a single house up to the level of entire city districts. In addition, the partners introduced new policy recommendations and guidelines on collaborative processes in strategic planning.

New Guidance for Cooperative Energy Planning

The project developed a holistic guideline that helps understand and follow the process of planning and establishing an Energy Improvement District. The guideline contains information on setting up a context-specific concept, developing a strategy, as well as implementing the EID. It addresses local, regional and national actors in energy planning aimed at reduction of CO2 emissions and increase of energy efficiency at the district level. Clearly defined features of the EID concept can be transferred to other context-specific cases. Such features as initiation of an EID, area identification, definition of boundaries, understanding of cooperative formats, financing and incentives are concrete steps to be taken into consideration.

Energy consumers empowered in energy planning

Three different ICT tools were developed and tested in seven piloting regions. The tools can monitor energy (electricity and heating) and water consumption in buildings as well as single apartments. Thus, the web-based tools helped the owners of apartments and buildings to display the energy consumption of single housing units and measure saving potentials. Similarly, the tools could be applied at the district level in order to quantify smart energy solutions with a reduced cost and climate footprint. Thus, these tools were tested in the Helsingborg Hospital Area in Sweden and indicated an annual saving potential of EUR 18,700 and 160 tons of CO2 emissions.

Continued efforts in a new format

The lessons learnt within the partnership have been taken further in a new format of the project AREA 21+ action which introduces measures from the selected EIDs and demonstrates the potential of the EID concept of supporting integrated energy planning and emission reductions. Furthermore, a continued transfer of ICT tools to other cities and regions in the Baltic Sea region is planned.

The project AREA 21 used EUR 2.17 million and improved planning processes by bringing together local and regional public authorities, energy utilities, public property owners and users. The new holistic approach enabled to upscale energy efficiency in buildings from the level of a single house up to the level of entire city districts.

Outputs

Energy Improvement Districts – Conceptual and Technical Guidance for Implementing Cooperative Energy Planning

This document is a holistic guideline that helps understand and follow the process of planning and establishing an Energy Improvement District from the starting point, via the set-up of a context-specific concept and strategy, to the implementation of the EID in practice. It addresses local, regional and national actors in energy planning that are searching for instruments to reduce CO2 emissions and increase energy efficiency at the district level. The main EID concept features are defined and condensed to form the central pillars of the concept that can be easily transferred to other cases. The pillars are (1) initiation of an EID, (2) area identification and definition of boundaries, (3) organisation and cooperative formats, (4) financing and incentives and (5) the time frame.

ICT-based tools for involving citizens and property users in energy planning

It is a set of ICT tools that help can monitor energy (electricity and heating) and water consumption in single buildings as well as single apartments. Thus, the dwellers and owners of apartments and buildings can get a better overview of the energy consumption of single housing units. This allows them to conclude on saving potentials. One of the tools can be applied at district level and quantify smart energy solutions with a reduced cost and climate footprint. These tools were tested in the Helsingborg Hospital Area (SE) and indicated an annual saving potential of EUR 18,700 and 160 tons of CO2 emissions.

Project Stories

Partners

HafenCity University Hamburg

  • Town
    Hamburg
  • Region
    Hamburg
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
569,800.00
53.55034110.000654

Tampere University of Applied Sciences Ltd

  • Town
    Tampere
  • Region
    Pirkanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
183,055.00
61.498021423.7603118

Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University

  • Town
    St.Petersburg
  • Region
    City of St. Petersburg
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
118,435.00
59.93873230.316229

Kohtla-Järve Town Government

  • Town
    Kohtla-Järve
  • Region
    Kirde-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
250,000.00
59.396958227.2867861

Tartu Regional Energy Agency

  • Town
    Tartu
  • Region
    Lõuna-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
212,000.00
58.39564534999999526.630885501668523

City of Tampere

  • Town
    Tampere
  • Region
    Pirkanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
268,616.80
61.498021423.7603118

Region Skåne

  • Town
    Lund
  • Region
    Skåne län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
219,757.50
55.702929613.1929449

Öresundskraft AB

  • Town
    Helsingborg
  • Region
    Skåne län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
250,250.00
56.044198412.7040684

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

  • Town
    Hamburg
  • Region
    Hamburg
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
279,575.28
53.55034110.000654

City of Lublin

  • Town
    Lublin
  • Region
    Lubelski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
199,370.00
51.25055922.5701022