Towards sustainable energy communities – delivering on the Covenant of Mayors

Thon Hotel, Rue de la Loi, 75 (Metro Station: Maelbeek)

Target audience

Representatives from local and regional authorities • Covenant of Mayors signatories • Territorial coordinators and supporters • Representatives from the European institutions

189 communities say ‘YIMBY!’

Representatives from cities leading on sustainable energy actions gathered in Brussels at a European Commission forum organised by Intelligent Energy Europe and delivered their Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) to the Commission. The event, titled Delivering on the Covenant of Mayors, marked the commitment of 189 communities in going beyond the EU’s 2020 climate and energy targets. The cumulative results of these sustainable energy action plans are projected to be 2,475,080 MWh per annum of RES production and 5,327,473 MWh per annum of primary energy savings.

The director of the European Commission Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI), Patrick Lambert, presented the results of the threeIntelligent Energy Europe projects supporting theCovenant of Mayors initiative; ENNEREG, whose strategy in twinning regions has proved successful in the collection of more than 150 good practice case studies; CITY SEC (Sustainable Energy Communities), whose project consortium of regional development agencies and energy agencies, has succeeded in bringing 50 municipalities to the Covenant of Mayors and completion of their SEAPs; and Energy for Mayors, which produced the first regional SEAP (Valli SOL) where targets for energy and C02 reduction are formed collectively.

Jan Panek, DG ENER gave a very positive message of how energy policy and financing could work together to the benefit of public authorities within the new Multi-Annual Framework. Gérard Magnin, Executive Director of Energy Cities, described the remarkable progress since the launch of the Covenant initiative in 2008 in a single word: YIMBY—“Yes, in my back yard!” He noted the increasing political importance of the role of local authorities in tacking climate change, citing the acknowledgement of this during international climate negotiations.

William Gillett (EACI) commented on the important role of national energy agencies in coordinating SEAP activity. The City of Eger, was cited as an example of a city with ambition where a dedicated energy and climate office was set up.

Patrick Boucneau of the Province of Limburg (BE) described their decision to become climate neutral by 2020. Currently, 31 out of 44 municipalities have SEAPs accepted. Exciting developments include a new MLEI / ESCO project with a planned EUR 19 million investment in municipal buildings over the next three years, and a Limburg Climate Fund, whereby citizens can contribute to project funding.

In response ‘How ambitious do you want to be?’ Marijan Maras, City of Zagreb (HR) said “Good preparation is essential for success – in this case, we really understand the dynamics of our city, thanks to close cooperation with energy suppliers, institutions, citizens and stakeholders”. The City of Zagreb, one of the first to sign up to the Covenant of Mayors, has succeeded in attracting MLEI funding from the European Commission. The money will be used to renovate 87 public buildings throughout the city; this will deliver 50 – 60 % energy savings.

In wrapping up, Adam Szolyak, Directorate-General for Energy noted that the monitoring framework and template would be available before the end of the year as well as guidance on innovative financing tools and webinars that are being organized regularly for stakeholders.

View all photos from the day here .

Watch the two videos from NETCOM and Energy for Mayors .



Brussels, Belgium

Organised by: ManagEnergy

Location details: Thon Hotel, Rue de la Loi, 75 (Metro Station: Maelbeek)

Event website:


Name: Ms Valérie Bénard
Telephone: n/a