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Supporting public authorities in driving the energy transition


a) Support to local and regional public authorities

The Commission considers it to be equally relevant to address one or more of the following bullet points, as appropriate:

  • Enhance decision-making processes of regional and local authorities, to deliver a higher quality, coherence and consistency of energy efficiency measures - and accelerate reaching targets. Actions should foster horizontal and vertical integration of different governance levels, joint application of the energy efficiency measures across local and regional authorities, improved monitoring and verification schemes, and more efficient use of public spending. Proposals should demonstrate political commitment and lead to subsequent institutionalisation of the improved processes in support of the Energy Union Governance Regulation.
  • Support public authorities in the development of policy scenarios and transition roadmaps that clearly outline the path to the European long-term 2050 targets and inform the ongoing implementation of SEAPs/SECAPs or similar plans and the development of future plans/targets for 2030 and beyond. Actions should link closely to the Covenant of Mayors initiative and the Energy Union Governance Regulation, where relevant.
  • Innovative ways to enable public engagement in the energy transition, developing interface capacities within public authorities to engage with civil society.
  • Deliver innovative capacity-building programmes for cities and/or regions to step up their capacity to drive the sustainable energy transition in their respective territories. Proposals should foster a sustained increase in the skill base of public authorities, adapted to their needs and challenges, and support the diffusion of the learning within participating organisations and beyond. The proposed actions should include a strategy to replicate results across Europe and a solid impact monitoring.

Proposals should build on existing initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors[[]], ManagEnergy[[]] or any other relevant initiative as appropriate.

b) Supporting the delivery of the Energy Efficiency Directive

Proposers should focus their proposed action on:

Actions assisting Member States to fulfil their obligations under the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and – where relevant to the implementation of the EED – under the Energy Union Governance Regulation. Proposals should support efficient implementation by taking into account existing effective practices and experiences from across Europe. Proposals may address, for example, the harmonisation of energy savings calculations under Article 3, the effective implementation of Article 7 including consistent monitoring and verification systems, higher efficiency of the generation under Article 14 and of transmission or distribution systems under Article 15 or an efficient development and continuous reporting of Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The delivery of the Energy Union targets requires the full engagement of the public sector at all governance levels.

Local and regional public authorities have a crucial role in setting ambitious energy efficiency strategies, for instance in the framework of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and Smart Cities & Communities or the Clean Energy for EU islands initiative. The political commitment at local level should be enhanced and the focus should turn to implementation and effective monitoring of concrete energy efficiency solutions and actions, which can contribute to modernise and decarbonise the European economy. Synergies should be sought, whenever possible, with local and regional air quality plans[[Directive 2008/50/EC]] and air pollution control programmes[[Directive 2016/2284]] to reduce costs since these plans rely to a large extent on similar measures and actions[[Second State of the Energy Union, page 13.]].

Support should continue and be reinforced in building capacity of public authorities and empowering them to take up their role of energy transition leaders at regional and local level, by permanently improving their skills as public entrepreneurs and supporters of market transformation towards more efficient energy systems.

At national level, the Energy Efficiency Directive[[To be added]] has triggered numerous positive developments in the Member States by setting targets to incentivise and enable investment in energy efficiency programmes across all sectors. However, Member States have yet to fully implement the Directive and additional support in building capacity and know-how is needed.

Proposals are expected to demonstrate, depending on the scope addressed, the impacts listed below, using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:

  • Primary energy savings, renewable energy production and investments in sustainable energy triggered in the territory of participating parties by the project (respectively in GWh/year and in million Euro);
  • Number of institutionalised collaborations on the energy transition between public authorities;
  • Numbers of stakeholders active in delivering the energy transition;
  • Number of public authorities and public officers with improved capacity/skills in delivering the energy transition;
  • Number of policies influenced through the action;
  • Number of Member States with improved implementation of the EED and linked Energy Union Governance Regulation, clearly attributable to project activities.