Get the decision
As in any organization the process of developing an Energy Efficiency Action Plan (EEAP) for a city officially starts when there is a decision, political or management, to do so. What leads up to this decision? Here is a list of advice that can improve the chances of a positive decision to develop an EEAP.
Get political support
Engaging politicians who preferably have the will to set targets exceeding the national and European goals for energy efficiency is crucial. A strong political support sends a message that energy efficiency is a prioritized area which will facilitate the development and the implementation of the EEAP. It is equally important to make energy efficiency into a topic that stretches over political boundaries to avoid the risk of being deleted if the political governance changes. The strong communication to decision makers need to be continuous during the process to develop the EEAP.
Co-operate across departments
Energy efficiency crosses over technology, city planning and behavioral change and to reach optimum effect the process in developing the EEAP should stretch over departments. By working across departments different competences will influence the EEAP and the actions will be anchored in the organization as a preparation for the implementation. A broad will from to develop the EEAP from the municipal organization sends a strong message to the decision makers to give a positive decision.
Give strong arguments
Getting a positive decision to develop an EEAP means motivating why resources should be directed to this instead of something else. What are the benefits for the city to develop the plan? Is there European, national and regional targets to lean against?
Find a place for the EEAP
Sometimes it is easy to get lost in the jungle of action plans that one has to take into account when working in a municipal organization. Therefore an understandable objection to developing and EEAP is that there is no room for “another action plan”. Energy efficiency is not necessarily a secluded area since it affects energy production, transportation, consumption, buildings, etc. The solution can be to integrate the EEAP in an already existing plan. If this is possible consider that many strategic plans are renewed every x years which might provide a good opportunity to develop the EEAP.
In the slideshow below Santiago de Compostela tells their story of how they initiated their EEAP.
Santiago de Compostela tells their story
of how they initiated their EEAP
“Resource wisdom” is the strategic plan for a sustainable society in for Jyväskylä City. Focus is on using all resources more efficiently, including energy. Jyväskylä City chose to integrate the EEAP in their ”Resource wisdom”. This simplifies the decision making process and gives the EEAP a clear position in the set of strategic plans.
In the City of Eskilstuna the “Climate plan” set the strategy to approach a carbon dioxide neutral municipality by 2050. The climate plan already includes activities to improve energy efficiency. Eskilstuna wrote their EEAP as a sub chapter to the existing plan intensifying the focus on energy efficiency.