Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN)


Project Summary

New approaches for energy retrofits in residential areas

Energy retrofits of existing residential areas make an important contribution to achieving EU goals on CO2 emissions. The Climate Active Neighbourhoods project (CAN) focuses on underprivileged neighbourhoods that are in need of renovation in municipalities and regions of varying size throughout northwest Europe. To build relevant capacity in these participating local authorities, neighbourhood approaches and synergies based on new governance models will be introduced. A bottom-up approach will also encourage residents to find appropriate financing for the planned energy efficiency measures. In the end, a mix of exemplary refurbishments, resident investment schemes and behavioural change will contribute to a tailored set of solutions.

 

Examples of planned activities

  • Shared responsibility
    CAN will help municipalities establish shared responsibilities with various districts for example while supporting community-led organisations dedicated to improving the energy performance of the homes in the neighbourhoods. The project will find cost effective approaches to energy savings and craft programmes to help tenants understand the effect of their behaviour on energy use.

  • Financing schemes
    On the neighbourhood level, CAN will develop and launch both investment funds for residents with a focus on migrant communities and new financing schemes with focus on rental homes.

  • Neighbourhood action
    CAN will develop neighbourhood tools to promote good practice examples on the basis of retrofitting city tours, face-to-face consultations or local energy management.

 

Benefitting from transnational experiences

CAN goes off the beaten path, finding new ways to achieve sustainability and CO2 reduction goals. Strong partnership between actors aware of the barriers to uptake of energy retrofitting strategies and willing to overcome them together will paves the way. Thanks to CAN’s transnational work, various approaches can be explored and synergies leading to enhanced solutions can be created. Even public authorities outside of CAN’s direct sphere of influence can benefit from project results through a transnational coaching framework.

Project Partners

  • Amicus Horizon

    125 High Street, Grosvenor House
    Croydon
    PO Box 322
    United Kingdom

    View partner details

  • Gemeente Arnhem

    53 Eusebiusbuitensingel
    Arnhem
    6828 HZ
    Netherlands

    View partner details

  • Brest métropole

    24 Rue Coat-ar-Guéven
    Brest Cedex 2
    CS 73826 29238
    France

    View partner details

  • Energieagentur Rheinland-Pfalz GmbH

    122 Trippstadter Strasse
    Kaiserslautern
    67663
    Germany

    View partner details

  • Stadt Essen

    1 Porscheplatz
    Essen
    45121
    Germany

    View partner details

  • Liège-Energie

    2 Place du Marché
    Liège
    B-4000
    Belgium

    View partner details

  • Plymouth City Council

    Ballard House West Hoe Road
    Plymouth
    PL1 3BJ
    United Kingdom

    View partner details

  • Établissement Public d’Aménagement Public du Mantois Seine-Aval (EPAMSA)

    1 Rue de Champagne
    Mantes-la-Jolie
    78200
    France

    View partner details

  • Stadt Worms

    1 Adennauerring
    Worms
    67547
    Germany

    View partner details

  • Climate Alliance / Klima-Bündnis der europäischen Städte mit indigenen Völkern der Regenwälder e.V.

    28 Galvanistraße
    Frankfurt am Main
    60486
    Germany

    View partner details

Lead partner

Organisation Contact name Address Email Website
Climate Alliance / Klima-Bündnis der europäischen Städte mit indigenen Völkern der Regenwälder e.V. Andreas Kress 28 Galvanistraße
Frankfurt am Main
60486
Germany
j-c.keilmann@climatealliance.org http://www.climatealliance.org
Name Contact Name Email Country
Amicus Horizon Andrew Piper Andrew.Piper@AmicusHorizon.org.uk United Kingdom
Gemeente Arnhem Hans Van Ammers hans.van.ammers@arnhem.nl Netherlands
Brest métropole Anne-Marie Cabon anne-marie.cabon@brest-metropole.fr France
Energieagentur Rheinland-Pfalz GmbH Bernd Lämmlin Bernd.laemmlin@energieagentur.rlp.de Germany
Stadt Essen Kai Lipsius Kai.Lipsius@umweltamt.essen.de Germany
Liège-Energie Gün Gedik gun.gedik@liege-energie.com Belgium
Plymouth City Council Alex Midlen alex.midlen@plymouth.gov.uk United Kingdom
Établissement Public d’Aménagement Public du Mantois Seine-Aval (EPAMSA) Fabrice Levi n.tronc@epamsa.fr France
Stadt Worms Reinhold Lieser Reinhold.Lieser@worms.de Germany

Spotlight on partner activities:

Climate Alliance - Lead partner

Contact person and interviewee

Jenny-Claire Keilmann
Project lead
+49 69 717139-20
j-c.keilmann@climatealliance.org 

Climate Alliance - Klima-Bündnis - Alianza del Clima e.V.
European Secretariat
Galvanistr. 28, 60486 Frankfurt am Main
Tel +49-69-717139-0, Fax +49-69-717139-93
europe@climatealliance.org, www.climatealliance.org


What is your organisation’s key focus?

Climate Alliance is a network of European cities and towns, banded together with the objective of protecting the global climate while promoting climate justice.
We strive for a comprehensive approach to climate change policy based on partnerships as well as recognition of local level commitment and diversity.
By joining, member municipalities have committed themselves to ambitious goals emissions reductions goals. Climate Alliance has over 1700 member municipalities in more than 25 European countries; 350 of these are located in North West Europe.


What problems do you want to tackle with CAN’s help?

In carrying out energy refurbishments in the increasingly ageing residential housing stock, Climate Alliance members across Europe face the same problems as their counterparts all over North West Europe:

  • Private house owners and tenants need to act but are not sufficiently driven to do so. Emissions reduction has low priority compared to the improvement of other living conditions.
  • Incentives for landlords and tenants are misaligned: landlords decide on the energy efficiency of a building while tenants bear the energy consumption costs.
  • Growing public indebtedness limits local public investments and leaves more tasks to private stakeholders.

For this reason, Climate Alliance brought together a strong partnership to overcome these barriers by finding new ways to achieve sustainability and CO2 reduction goals while supporting members. New organisational models, innovative and viable financial schemes and tools that trigger action locally are all part of the equation.


How is Climate Alliance contributing to the project objective and what is your role?

Climate Alliance is lead partner of the CAN project and are thus managing and coordinating project partners as well as the overall implementation of the project.
We are also involved in two core project activities:

Retrofitting City Tours: Climate Alliance is developing and carrying out the Retrofitting City Tours campaign. The campaign showcases local initiatives on energy efficiency and energy savings in residential buildings. The tours, organised jointly by municipal governments and local actors, target tenants and owners in selected neighbourhoods. They give insight into how residents can save energy by retrofitting and by changing household energy use patterns. The campaign will be launched in pilot neighbourhoods in Essen and Worms, both Climate Alliance members. After the pilot stage, guidance documents will facilitate the implementation of Retrofitting City Tours in other cities.

CO2 Monitoring: Local authorities acting on the neighbourhood level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions need regular emissions inventories to verify and authenticate success in their local climate change and energy policy. Climate Alliance will develop a set of rules for monitoring CO2 emissions at the neighbourhood level. Conducting CO2 monitoring at this level is important for the creation of reference values for future mitigation measures. A reference document on the  methodology of local energy and CO2 inventories will provide an assessment framework for neighbourhood activities both within CAN municipalities and for other interested local authorities.

Gemeente Arnhem

Contact person and interviewee

Hans van Ammers
Chief officer public space.

+31263774431
hans.van.ammers@arnhem.nl

Focus on Climate adaptation, city climate, neighbourhood initiatives regarding sustainable energy, climate and environment. Previous EU-subsidy projects: Interreg IIIB NWE Urban Water (2003-2008) and Interreg IVB NWE Future Cities (2008-2014). Currently programme manager Climate Active Neighborhoods for Arnhem (2016-2019).


Please introduce your city.

Gemeente Arnhem, local authority (Municipality of Arnhem), www.arnhem.nl
Programme Energy made in Arnhem (2015-2020): 
www.arnhem.nl/stad_en_wijken/projecten/energie_made_in_arnhem

Why are you participating at CAN? Please describe the current situation and the problems you are facing.

Our society is changing. The role of governmental organisations is changing also due to the last economic recession. Citizens, more in general stakeholders, want more responsibilities and want to be involved more in their direct living and working environment. Our aim in participating in the EU-project CAN is to determine the new role of the municipality as a local authority in this process of social innovation. And the role of our shareholders like the energy cooperation and the regional grid company. The council decided (beginning of 2015) that the districts will have more power in deciding how the municipal budget will be spent. This means a mayor shift of a top-down approach to a far more bottom-up or 'grass root approach'. The shift has been achieved starting this year, 2017. The "voice of the districts' (residents, organisations and SME's) will be more decisive as before. This means a new and changing role of the municipality and an empowerement of the districts so that the districts can also decide how the budgets should be spent.


How will you tackle the problems? Please describe your approach and your tasks within the project.

It's important to monitor the neighbourhood initiatives, connect with and let them learn from each other. The municipality of Arnhem will create a hub/portal where initiatives can ask questions, ask for help. The hub/portal connects the question to relevant stakeholders of the Energy programme and other (neighbourhood) initiatives.

The hub/portal is also responsible to deliver entrepreneurs and other expertise. The municipality will help if financial support is needed, to give the initiative a good start.

Please describe your first steps.

We have also started the first 'grass root' approach in the neighbourhood Kronenburg-Vredenburg. We have started designing the hub/portal and composing a group of professionals to support the initiatives. We call it 'AANjagers', which can be translated in Encouragers. These Encouragers are now (beginning of 2017) active in 4 to 6 districts but will be active in due time in all neighbourhoods. Within the EU-project CAN this team of professionals will be co-financed and based on the best-practices the Arnhem Approach will be formulated.

What results do you expect? How can other organisations/municipalities benefit from your experiences?

We expect to find out what specific support neighbourhood initiatives need to implement, realise their own wishes and demands. Based on experiences in all neighbourhoods and their best practices we plan to determine the municipal role and responsibilities in these processes. We expect other municipalities and stakeholders involved in similar processes can benefit from our experiences.

Brest métropole

Contact person and interviewee

Gladys GRELAUD
Housing project manager

+332 98 33 52 65
gladys.grelaud@brest-metropole.fr

10 years of experience in housing and urban planning 

 

 

Please introduce your city.

Brest metropole is a public authority which covers 8 municipalities with around 240 000 inhabitants. Brest metropole has several areas of responsibilities including publics means to reduce its carbon footprint. 


Why are you participating at CAN? Please describe the current situation and the problems you are facing.

For many years, Brest metropole has planned its policies to reach sustainable development which is defined in the local urban plan that integrates: transport, energy, waste, and housing. Housing consumes 40% of local energy so it’s is a source of important energy economy either through the building (insulation for instance) or via behaviour change (way of life of inhabitants). In 2014, Brest metropole decides to launch a fuel poverty action for the people who spend more than 10% of their income in energy bills. This initiative needed to be reinforced and subject to a more detailed assessment.


How will you tackle the problems? Please describe your approach and your tasks within the project.

Traditionally in this field, Brest metropole has led a top down approach, not always based on inhabitants’ needs and existing initiatives. With CAN, Brest metropole has initiated a new dynamic, involving directly inhabitants and local associations to get a better understanding of the needs, be able to adapt the local authority response and to create a new way of tackling fuel poverty. The involvement of local stakeholders is crucial and will be organised on a different way for each of the 4 identified deprived neighbourhoods, integrating the specificities of each area.


Please describe your first steps.

In 2016, Brest metropole has worked on Haut-de-Jaures neighbourhoods.
The first steps have consisted in identifying and meeting the main NGOs and local stakeholders already involved at neighbourhood scale.
Specific tools have been developed in cooperation with the sub-partners Energence, and the main operator Compagnons Bâtisseurs : DIY workshops, cafés energies, specific games for children, Watt Watcher… These meetings represent opportunities to establish links with inhabitants and, in a second step, invite them to organise a home visit.


What results do you expect? How can other municipalities benefit from your experiences?

CAN will reinforce the fuel poverty initiative, being more efficient and closer to the people’s needs in the most deprived neighbourhoods. 
Thanks to this project, the action coordinated by the local authority will be focused on the neighbourhoods with higher expectations – both from a energetic and social point of view. Finally, the project will bring more interactions within the local authority (between the concerned policies and departments) and with local stakeholders and inhabitants.
Brest metropole will spread the results of these experiences through different networks, at local, regional, national and European scales. The main project conclusions will be gathered and broadcast via the coaching framework.

Energieagentur Rheinland-Pfalz GmbH

Contact person and interviewee

Mathias Orth-Heinz
mathias.orth-heinz@energieagentur.rlp.de
+49 (0)631 20575 7120

Could you please introduce yourself to our readers? 

My name is Mathias Orth-Heinz, and I am a project advisor at Energy Agency Rhineland-Palatinate. Before managing our CAN-activities I worked as region officer for West-Palatinate. My professional background is municipal consulting as well as research management in the field of spatial development. I hold a TU Berlin Diplom-Ingenieur degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

Please introduce your organisation.

The Energy Agency Rhineland-Palatinate is a federal state-owned limited company, operating state-wide. Our mission is to support our partners in springing into or perpetuating action for energy transition. We provide municipalities and public institutions, companies and citizens throughout Rhineland-Palatinate with information and knowledge on energy transition issues. We manage related networking activities, and help to give birth to projects in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energies and mobility.

Why are you participating at CAN? Please describe the current situation and the problems you are facing.

In Rhineland-Palatinate we are facing a lateral moving or declining trend in energy refurbishment rates, already starting at a low level of rather less than 1 percent. To meet regional, national and European goals, not to mention post-Paris COP21 requirements, it seems necessary to raise again and speed up climate mitigation and adaptation action, while at least partly stepping off the beaten track.
In this perspective, we consider neighbourhood approaches being appropriate and conducive.
Unfortunately, even the already institutionalized and considerably state funded neighbourhood-level energy refurbishment projects are challenged by seemingly insurmountable obstacles when they actually had to pass from planning to the implementation phase: a state-wide 97 percent of all processes, after finishing an integrated refurbishment concept successfully, are being slowed down or stopped as the follow-up neighbourhood implementation management is disagreed by the local authorities – despite being offered similarly high funding rates.
Hence we consider a need for “new” policy approaches at the neighbourhood level, a wider range of instruments and more participative, more specific processes on the local ground.
We take part in the CAN project because we’re convinced about its fruitfulness in mutually revealing respective new lines of thought and intelligently combining the familiar to create innovation.

How will you tackle the problems? Please describe your approach and your tasks within the project.

Since Energy Agency Rhineland-Palatinate is an enterprise operating at state resp. regional level our focus within CAN is on generating and transferring knowledge and information valuable for the variety of towns and cities throughout Rhineland-Palatinate. This will be done through desk research, interference with the other project partners and a dedicated pilot neighbourhoods approach. Seeking for an alternative intervention path, but being “too far away” from local citizens we follow the multiplicator approach, thus widening our perspective to the non-governmental sector in favour of more effective access to the neighbourhood, but still integrating local authorities and administration as our company’s priority target group.
Within CAN our major outcome will be a guidance on participatory approaches to involve (rather institutionalized) neighbourhood actors with the integrated, sustainable energy development of their urban district, comprising appropriate participation approaches, training methods and financing instruments. With this outcome we will contribute both to the regional demand and the proposed coaching framework at European level.
To develop and test our approaches we refer to a small set of pilot neighbourhoods in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Please describe your first steps.

We started into the topic with desk research both on financing instruments and participative approaches to the neighbourhood and a survey of suitable methods within our company’s own service portfolio. Simultaneously we commenced our search process for pilot neighbourhoods, so far leading to the selection of the metropolitan neighbourhood of Ludwigshafen Süd and the suburban neighbourhood “Gumschlag” of Vallendar. Right now we’re building up the cooperation structures with our pilot neighbourhoods and prepare our first workshops and trainings.

What results do you expect? How can other organisations/municipalities benefit from your experiences?

We hope to find appropriate ways for Rhineland-Palatinate, to attract new alliances and to describe alternative financing to get climate mitigation action at neighbourhood level back on track. Our immanent focus is on heat provision, insulation and behavioural issues, but the initial feedback shows need for addressing the fields of climate adaptation, mobility and demographic change as well.
We will aggregate our lessons learnt into the above mentioned guidance, and, in the meantime, cast portions of it into conference agendas and training concepts, hence transferring knowledge and information to a wider public.

Stadt Essen

Contact person and interviewee

Kai Lipsius

+49 201 88 59200
Kai.Lipsius@umweltamt.essen.de
www.klimawerkstadtessen.de

Since January 2012 Mr Kai Lipsius is Commissioner for climate protection of the City of Essen. Previously he worked for 5 years as a senior scientist for the German Federal Environment Agency in the climate and energy department. Kai Lipsius holds a degree in Geoecology from the TU Braunschweig and graduated as Master of Science in Environmental Sciences at the Nottingham University. 

 

Please introduce your city.

Essen is a modern business, commercial and service metropolis with 590.000 inhabitants in the heart of the Ruhr Metropolis with 5.4 Million people. The successful 150-year transformation story, from a city of coal and steel to the European Green Capital 2017, is a role model of structural change for many cities in Europe.
Essen is home to the headquarters of some of Germany’s biggest companies, e.g. RWE AG, Thyssen-Krupp, E.ON, Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH, Evonik Industries AG, and Hochtief AG. What confuses many visitors who see the modern skyline of Essen is that the history of the city is older than that of e.g. Berlin, Dresden or Munich. In 2002, Essen celebrated the 1150th jubilee of the convent and City of Essen.

Being European Green Capital 2017 Essen will showcase sustainable urban development, to share and promote best practices that have been tried and tested. In this context Essen over 300 citizens’ projects and events will be realised in 2017.


Why are you participating at CAN? Please describe the current situation and the problems you are facing.

Essen wants to be a blueprint for NWE cities that can achieve great things under difficult budget conditions and with limited financial resources.
Realising energy savings, increasing energy efficiency and expand use of renewable energies and cogeneration are the central components of the climate mitigation strategy of the City of Essen, under the aegis of klima|werk|stadt|essen. The CAN projects helps to address all three issues.
The success of local climate mitigation action is substantially dependent on the participation of building owners, companies, and the population. In CAN Essen can learn from other NWE Cities approaches and implement and test programmes to empower the citizens towards more climate-conscious behaviour by developing a culture of climate mitigation.
With low rates of new construction, the retro-fitting of existing buildings is of decisive importance. The specific objective for retrofitting Essen enunciated in its successful application for European Green Capital 2017 is to achieve a quotient of 2.5%-3% p.a.. Of the various obstacles to renovation in Essen, the landlord/tenant dilemma is of particular importance, due to the very high proportion of rental housing. Particularly in the structurally weak districts of North Essen, owners are seldom able to raise basic rent levels and realise a return on their investments. Thus Essen is trying to develop new instruments to support decisions for energy efficiency investments of private house owners.


How will you tackle the problems? Please describe your approach and your tasks within the project.

Essen uses the aegis of klima|werk|stadt|essen to pursue integrated, sustainable and climate-friendly urban development through the dual strategy of "mitigation and adaptation". We take climate mitigation action as an opportunity to develop the economic core of the Ruhr Metropolis in an exemplary and sustainable manner. As „European Green Capital 2017“ Essen empowers the citizens to establish a new „ culture of local climate action“ and collaborates with bottom-up-initiatives, local science and business as well as politics and authorities. The key to achieving climate mitigation targets is the comprehensive participation of the urban community. In order to network the many different stakeholders for a new culture of local climate action, the Essen Climate Agency was founded in 2012. In CAN it provides advisory services, supports projects, organises information campaigns and events, and builds networks. By connecting people and ideas and bringing together all climate-actions of the urban community, it supports stakeholders on every level. One central service of the Climate Agency is the energy efficiency partner system (partnership project with Kreishandwerkerschaft Essen) to help landlords to get around prevalent reservations. As another practical approach, Essen is going to merge the creative potential (artists and creative-business) and the urban development-activities with the dynamic and the targets of a growing „European Green Capital 2017“-movement in in the City-North-quarter, a deprived but highly pulsating district. New ideas for local climate action will be actually tried out in “Living Labs”.


Please describe your first steps.

The CAN Project will concentrate on one or two districts in Essen. The key to achieve the projects targets is the comprehensive participation and empowerment of the neighbourhoods. As a first step Essen analysed possible neighbourhoods and selected the City-North. Not only the building and social structures were analysed, but especially the needs and engagement potential of bottom-up initiatives. In order to do so we organised events to get in close touch and engage with neighbourhood and residents groups (incl. migrants associations) and muliplicators already in the analysis phase, to find initiative triggers and identify areas of highest need.
A new form of collaboration between the local authority and the various stakeholders requires the development of new and optimised organisational models to share more responsibility. We co-create this governance with bottom-up initiatives as well as energy and housing agencies. The challenge is the empowerment of local neighbourhoods while securing coherence of bottom-up activities and city-wide strategies. We try to form strategic partnerships between the local authority, identified neighbourhood groups and private and public services.
At the moment we are developing detailed plans and scheduling of behaviour change programmes, especially to comprise the neighbourhood as a Living lab for GHG reduction.


What results do you expect? How can other municipalities benefit from your experiences?

With the target of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% before 2020, Essen goes significantly beyond the EU targets, and wishes to be a role model. By 2050, Essen will be a low-carbon city, and will have reduced emissions by 95%, thus exceeding the German national targets.
I feel that the comprehensive empowerment of the local stakeholders is a common challenge in NWE cities. I expect we will have created viable financing schemes and activation tools to empower bottom-up initiatives in delivering GHG emission reduction at the end of CAN.
Especially the activation tools for behaviour change that will be developed, implemented and evaluated, such as the living lab in Essen will help to deliver improved energy standards and GHG emission reduction in deprived neighbourhoods - not only in Essen and the partner locations but throughout Europe.
I think it is key to understand climate mitigation as a shared task between neighbourhoods and local authorities and a contribution for improvement of quality of life. CAN will contribute to develop this new culture of local climate action in Essen and NWE.

Liège-Energie

Contact person and interviewee

Gün GEDIK (B.Ec.)

+32 4 221 56 47
gun.gedik@liege-energie.com

 

Gün GEDIK (B.Ec.) is the Manager of Liège-Energie NPO. For nearly 10 years now, through his work at Liège-Energie, he has been helping people access financial aids to renovate their house and has been giving out information on energy saving.

 

Please introduce your organisation

Liège-Energie is the Local Energy Agency of the City of Liège dedicated to the implementation of the municipal energy strategy toward the housing sector. This organisation is fully public and the board of directors is constituted of the City of Liège, the Public Centre for Social Action (CPAS) of Liège, the 2 Public Housing Companies (“La Maison Liégeoise” and “Le Logis Social de Liège”) and the Social Estate Agency (Liège-Logement NPO).
Liège-Energie has been created in 2009, as part of the priority action plan of the “City Project”, in order to become the Local Entity of the Federal Found for Energy Costs Reduction offering 0% energy loans to help households to finance their energy investments.
In 2015, the federal facility has been transferred to the Walloon Region and Liège-Energie is now recognized as Local Entity for Wallonia in charge of the front office of the energy grants and loans (Ecopack/Renopack).
On another hand, Liège-Energie received the role of operator of the Preventive Action Program in the Energy field (PAPE) financed also by the Walloon Region.
Liège-Energie is located inside the “Maison de l’Habitat” – Central point of contact between the citizens and the different public services related to housing and energy.


Why are you participating at CAN? Please describe the current situation and the problems you are facing.

The City of Liège is an early signatory of the Covenant of Mayors and the Baseline Emission Inventory showed that about 50% of the CO2 emissions at territory scale is related to the housing sector.
Furthermore, Liège has one of the oldest building stock of the whole Belgium and counts several precarious neighbourhoods where needs are huge, both in energy investments and in energy guidance.
The challenge is complicated by the sociologic profile of the population:
23% of households belong to precarious categories;
45 % of the population is older than 60 years old;
50 % of households are tenants;
30 % of households live in condominium;
more than 120 different nationalities are present;
more than 10.000 households are under procedure for energy depts.
A lot of households are 1 person or 1 parent ones.Despite of the efforts deployed from the beginning of the century both in general information, awareness rising and mobilization campaigns and in social accompanying, we can observe that the energy retrofitting rate is not higher than 1% per year and that the main part of the existing building stock stays inefficient.


How will you tackle the problems? Please describe your approach and your tasks within the project.

The analyses of the situation brought under the frame of the URBISCOOP observatory process and through the participative approaches of the “City Project” drove us to develop the concept of the “Maison de l’Habitat” as a central place of information and help about all energy and housing issues. This dispositive gathers different kind of public actors in order to apply the integrated step-by-step approach of the Covenant of Mayors at individuals and housings scale:

1. Inform citizens about energy savings and opportunities;
2. Help to compare the energy suppliers and to choose an adequate one;
3. Help to establish and follow households’ “Energy Balance”;
4. Help to analyze and adapt habits and behaviors at family scale;
5. Help to invest in small efficient equipments;
6. Help to invest in structural energy refurbishment ;
7. Mobilize around energy and climate issues.

These different steps are assorted with dedicated helping tools and developed through face-to-face consultations between citizens and specialised public advisers who can deliver up to date information about technical, financial or behavioural aspects of the situation which bring citizens to come and consult.

In the long run, it became proved that a lot of people never make the trip from their surrounding neighbourhood to the City Centre to ask for these kind of advices and so we have imagined to develop a concept of mobile face-to-face consultation office: the Energy-Van, dedicated to meet people inside their own neighbourhood during every kind of local events.

Another important aspect coming from the URBISCOOP analysis is to change the view about energy guidance from a binary approach "Poor / Not poor" to a new form of multi criteria coaching mode adapted to meet and lever every kind of brakes and barriers which limit the access to an energy efficient housing and which are related to different social situations of households. If the step-by-step approach described here upper stays the same, the coaching mode has to be adapted to these different social realities that impact the households' capacity to commit successfully in the energy transition. 

Indeed, elderly people don't relate to the climate and energy challenge in the same way than younger active households. Tenants are not in the same decision frame than owners and the decision frame is still more complex for condominiums. Immigrants and newcomers have specific coaching needs, etc.


Please describe your first steps.

Through its agreement by the Belgian financial markets and services authority, Liège-Energie has got a large experience as Energy Grants and Loans provider for housing retrofitting with more than 10 million euros of opened credit files.

It's an important stone in an integrated strategic intervention frame to be able to act on the financial obstacles.

The Agency develops also its ability in the development of accompanying relationships focused on rational energy uses between the Public Housing Companies and their tenants.

The "Maison de l'Habitat", with its unit of "Walloon energy office" delivers also hundreds of individual technical advices about energy works choice, comparison of offers, expertise and audit for social grants, ...

Together with the Housing Department of the City, a lot of events are also organised as the "Energy Thursdays" thematic conferences, the "Energy Village", the "Dare to Compare” (the Energy Suppliers) campaign, the "Energy Week", etc.


What results do you expect? How can other organisations/municipalities benefit from your experiences?

We developed our application form for the CAN project so as to improve our step-by-step approach and enable us to test new tools / approaches with the final objective of encouraging our citizens to reduce their energy consumption, in strong relation with our social reality as described above (energy poverty).

We hope to reach out to some target groups that we could not/ failed to reach before (“target groups and target neighbourhoods”).

Those new methods and new tools should enable us to ensure all citizens receive the best information concerning energy consumption.

At the end of the project, we should be able to analyse our tools and approaches so as to give feedback to what was a success and what was a complete / partial failure. We will also need to analyse what has to be still improved.

This feedback could be helpful for other municipalities with the same objectives and preoccupations: they could benefit from our experience, our successes but also from our failures.

Plymouth City Council

Contact person and interviewee

Paul Elliott
01752 307574
Paul.elliott@plymouth.gov.uk

Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Paul Elliott and I’m a low carbon city officer for Plymouth City Council. I have been working on domestic energy efficiency schemes with the council for the last 8 years and am now project manager for the CAN project. 

Please introduce your city.

Plymouth City Council is a unitary local authority in the South West of England. We provide services and governance for our a population of 256,000 residents, who live in approximately 115,000 dwellings.


Why are you participating at CAN? Please describe the current situation and the problems you are facing.

The CAN project allows us tackle housing related issues concerning a reduction in carbon emissions. Plymouth has a large number of older properties that are thermally inefficient and costly to insulate (approx. £8,000 on average). There is also a lack of awareness within the community around what action residents can take to reduce fuel poverty, poor energy efficiency, and domestic carbon emissions.

15,000 households in Plymouth are suffering from Fuel Poverty. Fuel poverty in England is measured using the Low Income High Costs (LIHC) indicator. Under the LIHC indicator, a household is considered to be fuel poor if:

  • they have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level)
  • were they to spend that amount, they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.

Households suffering in fuel poverty are at greater risk to health conditions such as Asthma, Cardiovascular problems, mobility issues, and mental health issues. There are also strong links between low educational attainment for children and houses in fuel poverty. Plymouth also suffers an average of 140 excess winter deaths each year – that is deaths that can be solely attributed to the colder temperatures in the winter.
Previous ‘top down’ approaches to tackling energy efficiency have had limited success. The UK government’s energy company obligation (ECO) insulated some lofts and cavity walls but was costly to administrate and did not give householder a good level of customer service/satisfaction. The most recent policy vehicle ‘ the Green Deal’ was withdrawn after it received very little interest from householders. This leaves a policy vacuum in terms of financing and delivering energy efficiency.
It is hoped that the CAN project will play a part in addressing address the above issues.


How will you tackle the problems? Please describe your approach and your tasks within the project.

We hope to engage our communities and make them more aware of their energy use and carbon emissions. We will do this by providing them with an in home assessment which will detail the measures and behaviour change they can implement in order to see a reduction. We will also offer free simple measures to the householder such as LED lights, heating controls, and draft proofing as a method of engaging them in the first instance. The project will also recruit and train upto 30 volunteers who will receive training to increase their skills and knowledge around domestic energy reduction.


Please describe your first steps.

We have identified our target areas of the city. We have also commissioned a report to help understand the key messages that households are likely to respond to around an energy efficiency scheme. This report also identifies the key points we need to record to successfully evaluate the programme. We have written the procurement in order to procure a delivery partner and are expecting to award that contract in the spring.


What results do you expect? How can other municipalities benefit from your experiences?

We hope to see 1,000 households engage with the programme and benefit from the simple measures we are offering. The learning from this for other organisations will be focussed around how best to engage with communities over matters of carbon reduction and energy use. This will also include which groups of people respond best to certain messages, as well as which routes are best to get those messages across.

Stadt Worms

Contact person and interviewee

Katharina Reinholz
+49 (6241) 853 – 3507
Katharina.reinholz@worms.de

Katharina Reinholz studied Environmental Sciences (B.Sc.) and Sustainable Economics (M.A.) and since 2015 she works as climate protection manager in Worms.

 

 
 


Please introduce your city.

The city of Worms is a local authority for 80,000 inhabitants. The mainly in CAN involved department ‘environment and agriculture’ cares about the governmental protection of species, water, soil and air, the organisation of the agricultural areas as well as environmental consulting and climate protection measures. Worms is highly engaged in local climate protection and adaptation and developed the climate protection and energy efficiency concept “KLIK” in 2010, which is the basis for the participation in CAN.


Why are you participating at CAN? Please describe the current situation and the problems you are facing.

In the years 2012 to 2014 the City of Worms participated in the EU Interreg project „RENERGY - Regional Strategies for Energy Conscious Communities“ and was impressed by the effective exchange of experiences. To this exchange the City of Worms wants to contribute with its wide experiences in local climate protection. Furthermore, the main topic of CAN, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in existing residential building stock, is highly relevant for the city of Worms, which has several quarters with buildings from the 1950 and 1960. These quarters were built after the Second World War when more housing space was needed. The buildings there have a poor energy efficiency and use many times more energy than modern buildings. Insulation, new windows and doors or new heating systems as well as energy-saving behaviour could improve the living standard of the habitants and reduce CO2 emissions. But often people in these neighbourhoods don’t know anything about the poor conditions of their homes. With our project “Energy Caravan Plus” we focus on this problem and try to make people aware of their possibilities.


How will you tackle the problems? Please describe your approach and your tasks within the project.

With its project “Energy Carvan Plus” the city uses an effective face-to-face approach to inform house owners about their energy-saving potentials. After choosing an appropriate neighbourhood, energy consultants offer a free one-hour energy advice to the house owners. They get information about the energetic condition of their homes and the potential measures. Additionally, information about government-funded incentives is given. To develop the project further it is envisaged to give also recommendations on energy efficient behaviour for interested house owners, like saving hot water or reasonable heating and airing.


Please describe your first steps.

The “Energy Caravan Plus” will be repeated annually and each year we start with an analysis of the previous campaign. We analyse the outcome and think about potential changes. To come in contact with people from the quarters, we send out an invitation letter from the mayor, put up posters in the streets and organise a kick-off event for all interested house owners. During this event also the neighbours can come in contact with each other and talk about the topic of energetic building refurbishment. After that, the energy consultants start their work and get in contact with people by a phone call and organise an appointment. In the next 2 years we will expand our activities for the Energy Caravan and try out different tools like thermographic pictures and behaviour changing methods.


What results do you expect? How can other municipalities benefit from your experiences?

As our annual evaluation points out, 16.9 % of the habitants make use of the free energy advice and 77 % of the advised house owners implemented measures in the year after the consultation or planned to do so. We expect that with new concepts for the “Energy Caravan Plus” more house owners are interested in the advice and that still more of them put measures into effect.
Other municipalities can benefit from our long year experience in this field of face-to-face approach.

Events


4th CAN Project Meeting

, Arnhem

During their 4th project meeting, the partners discussed their work progress concerning the development of activation tools for behavioural changes as well as the legal and design support they offer to their neighbourhoods. In the course of the meeting, more than ever before, the importance of transnational exchange and support for the achievement of the project's objectives became clear.
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CAN at International Climate Alliance Conference

, Haus der Technik, Essen (Germany)

Like every year, Climate Alliance hold its International Conference and General Assembly. This gathering of Climate Alliance members and other interested parties is the highlight of the year. Over 200 representatives of local authorities from across Europe gathered to delve into hot topics in the field of climate action and climate justice while sharing experiences on local level projects and initiatives. This year CAN was also part of it.
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First „Transition Tour“ in Worms

, Worms (Germany)

During the first "Transition Tour" in Worms, energy consultant Frank-Andy Petry used the example of a multiple dwelling renovated in 2014 to inform a large number of citizens about how to actively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He was supported by Jörn Klein (Climate Alliance) and Katharina Reinholz (climate protection manager, City of Worms).
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