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Municipal Energy Efficiency Planning

Imany municipalities there is a significant potential for increased energy efficiency in public utilities, street lighting and buildings such as schools, hospitals, kindergartens, offices, apartment buildings, etc.

The energy costs constitute a substantial part of the municipal budget. To reduce the energy consumption and costs, and to improve the municipal services, it is necessary to renovate, and implement energy efficiency measures. Reducing the energy consumption will also reduce the emissions to the air from the local and district heating systems.

Often there are several barriers to energy efficiency in municipalities. Examples could be a subsidised energy tariff structure, lack of metering, lack of local capacities and skills on how to identify, develop, finance, implement and monitor energy efficiency projects, lack of mechanisms allowing savings from energy efficiency investments to be used to repay loans, etc. Several barriers are connected to legislation and policy. Experience from a number of cities in several countries has shown that solutions to overcome these barriers are available.


In addition, to overcome the barriers, it is beneficial to develop a mid-term strategy with corresponding action plans for energy efficiency in the municipal sector. An overall Municipal Energy Efficiency Programme (MEEP) includes all energy consuming sectors owned, operated or subsidised by the municipality (buildings, street lighting, water supply, etc.). However, the capacity to organise and develop Municipal Energy Efficiency Programmes in a structured and efficient way is limited in many municipalities.

Due to this fact, ENSI has developed a capacity building programme on Municipal Energy Efficiency Planning, supporting municipalities in developing a tailored Municipal Energy Efficiency Programme and starting its implementation. Sustainability is secured by using the interactive “learning by doing” approach as for other ENSI capacity building programmes. 

Municipal Energy Efficiency Programme objectives

  • To develop capacities and skills on Municipal Energy Efficiency Planning within the Municipal/City Administration and the local partner institution
  • To identify, describe and present solutions to the main barriers to energy efficiency in Municipal facilities
  • To develop a Municipal Energy Efficiency Programme, and support the start up of its implementation

Target groups

  • Municipal decision makers, managers and specialists;
  • Relevant National Associations for Municipalities;
  • Local consultants on energy efficiency and municipal planning.

Programme in three stages

The full ENSI Capacity Building Programme on Municipal Energy Efficiency Planning is implemented in three main stages, corresponding to the main stages in the process of energy efficiency planning, as illustrated.

Stage 1. Training of municipal personnel (Energy Efficiency Team) and the local partner on energy efficiency in municipal facilities and municipal energy efficiency planning. Assisting the participants in developing a Municipal Energy Consumption Database, assessing the existing situation, and in preparing the MEEP Concept Paper.

Stage 2. After Mayor’s endorsement of the MEEP Concept Paper, the programme continues with further training through interactive development of the Municipal Energy Efficiency Programme. 

Stage 3. After approval by the City Council, the implementation of the MEEP should be started. ENSI can provide guidance and support (technical assistance) to ensure efficient organisation and implementation during the first year.

Main programme activities

  • Providing technical assistance and training of municipal personnel and Centre/Consultancy/Institution through interactive capacity building, including:

          - Identification and description of solutions for the main barriers to energy efficiency in public facilities
          - Development of a Municipal Energy Consumption Database
          - Identification of suitable schemes for financing municipal energy efficiency projects

          - Development of a Concept Paper for a Municipal Energy Efficiency Programme

          - Development of Municipal Energy Efficiency Programme

          - Establishment of Energy Monitoring Programme

          - Development and implementation of demo-project(s) (optional, depending on available resources)

  • Start-up advice, guidance and support (technical assistance) to ensure efficient organisation and implementation of the Municipal Energy Efficiency Programme
  • Reporting on results and lessons learned

The results can be summarized as follows

  • The major programme results are the developed MEEP Concept Paper and Municipal Energy Efficiency Programme, which are ready to be implemented
  • Developed Municipal Energy Consumption Database is another result with lasting importance
  • Trained local specialist and key personnel of the Municipality
  • By implementing the proposed programme, the Municipality will be able to develop a systematic approach to energy efficiency in their facilities, resulting in a number of projects being developed and implemented
  • The long term effects of the programme would be reduced emissions of greenhouse gases, health benefits from reduced use of fossil fuels, improved economy in the municipalities, reduction of energy cost burden on population, demonstration of viability of energy efficiency measures and increased interest in these types of measures

ENSI Toolbox

In addition to the ENSI Municipal Energy Consumption Database, the ENSI Toolbox provided under “Municipal Energy Efficiency Planning” includes manuals and several templates (Data collection, Concept paper, MEEP, etc.), examples and exercises.

The ENSI templates and tools for Municipal Energy Efficiency Planning are being adjusted and translated for each new country, and further developed, based on experience and lessons learned from implemented programmes.



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