a) Support to local and regional public authorities
Proposers should aim to focus their proposed action on one of the following points:
- Deliver higher quality and consistency of energy efficiency measures implemented through enhanced coordination of different administrative levels. Actions should lead to politically approved and jointly applied monitoring and verification schemes of energy efficiency measures across local and regional authorities, enhanced and better coordination of the energy efficiency measures implemented and more efficient use of public spending in energy efficiency;
- Support public authorities in the development of 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 and/or Smart Cities and Communities initiatives;
- Innovative ways to enable public engagement in the energy transition, developing interface capacities within public authorities to engage with civil society;
- Deliver large-scale and action-oriented peer-to-peer learning programmes targeting cities and/or regions, with a strong replication potential European-wide. Proposals should develop transparent, effective and compelling programmes, building on existing initiatives and real needs and ensure embedded conditionalities such as institutionalisation of the skill base and impact monitoring. Programmes should deliver public entrepreneurs able to drive the sustainable energy transition in their respective territories within the Covenant Mayors and beyond.
b) Supporting the delivery of the Energy Efficiency Directive
Support will be provided to actions that are assisting Member States to fulfil their obligations under the Energy Efficiency Directive and help with its efficient implementation taking into account existing effective practices and experiences from across Europe. Actions may address, for example, the harmonisation of energy savings calculations under Article 3, implementing Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes or alternative measures and setting up effective and consistent monitoring and verification systems under Article 7 or the removal of barriers to higher efficiency of the generation, transmission, distribution systems including demand response under Article 15.
Proposals should link into existing, relevant initiatives such as ManagEnergy and target a specific sector with high energy saving potential such as buildings, transport mobility, heating and cooling, or water infrastructure operation etc., as seen relevant by applicants.
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 All 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 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 public officers with improved capacity/skills;
- Number of policies influenced through the action;
- Number of Member States with improved implementation of Art 7. (Energy Efficiency Obligation schemes or alternative measures) / Energy savings achieved through successfully implemented Energy Efficiency Obligation schemes or alternative policy measures;
- Number of Members States with improved and consistent monitoring and verification systems for energy savings across governance levels.