Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Creation of regional and urban energy management agencies in the European Union

The European Commission, DG XVII, has published an invitation to tender for assistance in setting up local and regional agencies concerned with energy management, within the context of the SAVE II Community action on regional and urban energy management.

The main objectives of the SAVE II Community action are to improve energy efficiency, to make the most of local energy resources and to seek optimum energy-supply conditions for regions and urban areas. This involves, first and foremost, enabling or improving the ability of local decision-makers to take appropriate decisions and to address these directly to consumers. For this reason, this concept, which is complementary to the 1992-1994 pilot planning phase, has been proposed to be developed and integrated within the SAVE II programme.

Subject to the formal adoption of the SAVE II programme, activities eligible for support under this invitation to tender focus on the provision of assistance in setting up local and regional agencies concerned with energy management. Each proposal of this type must include all of the following:

- A work programme, covering a minimum of three years, for the implementation of specific energy-management projects including, in particular, the production of assessments and energy plans for regions, towns or cities still without them;
- A forward financial plan for a period of three years;
- A declaration by the proposers that the agency will be financially and administratively autonomous. The absence of local or regional agencies with similar responsibilities must be certified. The proposers should undertake to pursue specific energy objectives and complete a clear cost-benefit analysis. They must further confirm that they do not already have specialist energy departments or agencies and undertake to set up such agencies and to provide them with suitably experienced staff;
- An administrative framework providing clear proof of financial and decisional autonomy of the future agencies while maintaining the effective involvement of local authorities and elected officers in project management, in order to guarantee greater subsequent utilization of the results and their inclusion in municipal or regional policies.

The following proposals only are concerned:

- Proposals bringing together regions, cities or towns in different Member States, provided the activities are shared evenly between them, particularly projects involving regions, cities or towns which already have conducted the exercise in the fields covered, with a view to transferring know-how, expertise and technologies and achieving economies of scale.

Geographical priorities under this invitation to tender include:

- Frontier regions, cities or towns (on either side of a land or sea frontier) close enough to generate joint energy projects with a view to more rational use of local energy resources and systems,;
- Outlying, rural or isolated regions and towns or cities in such regions, particularly where they display considerable potential in terms of renewable energy sources and energy-saving or a sharp increase in energy consumption;
- Objective 1, 2 and 5b priority regions or regions and cities in areas with a very low-density population (objective 6);
- Regions, cities or towns demonstrating serious environmental-conservation problems;
- Regions, cities or towns demonstrating serious economic conversion problems.

Other priorities include:

- Providing a transfer of know-how from at least one agency having more than three years' experience;
- Proposals bringing together three regions, cities or towns in different Member States;
- Proposals including a study of the socio-economic impact of energy management, particularly in terms of improving living conditions and combating factors leading to exclusion in underprivileged sectors;
- Proposals connected with plans, in particular for towns, aiming at sustainable development.

Only regional or local public authorities may submit proposals. The Commission is able to grant up to a maximum of 50% of total costs in support of the proposals selected, up to a maximum amount of ECU 200,000 per agency set up and a maximum of three new agencies per proposal.
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