To deal with the ongoing energy crisis and accelerate climate action, many cities are sustaining some of the emergency measures that they put into place to immediately reduce energy consumption, as part of the Cities Energy Saving Sprint.
Are you one of these cities, looking to pursue the Sprint and to keep saving energy to confront the upcoming winter? Are you already working on retrofitting buildings and lowering temperatures in buildings, but wish to take your energy savings a step further and expand its scope? You want to make sure you are saving energy across all sectors?
Beyond last winter's Cities Energy Saving Sprint
Before the summer, we organised a webinar that took a closer look at the actions that could be sustained beyond last winter’s Cities Energy Saving Sprint. After taking stock from cities’ experience from the Sprint, we wanted to delve deeper into more structural measures that could contribute to cities’ long-term climate action. In this webinar, we explored potential next steps to reinforce energy sufficiency and efficiency in cities, beyond retrofitting buildings and lowering temperatures in municipal buildings, in different fields, from mobility to tourism.
Now, we are launching a new phase of the Cities Energy Saving Sprint, encouraging cities to sustain and build on last winter’s success, as a way of comprehensively tackling the energy and climate crises as one. Here we revisit webinar to highlight some examples and resources that can inspire you to pursue your efforts beyond the Sprint.
Broadening the scope of energy savings
Many mobility-related actions can contribute to saving energy. Subsiding public transport, promoting soft mobility, lowering speed limits, closing areas to cars and implementing car-free days: these were some of the tips from our Sprint Toolkit. These actions can easily be sustained beyond the energy crisis and become part of a city’s mobility policy.
European Mobility Week will soon release a set of guidelines on public transport, active mobility, minimising car dependency, infrastructure solutions and mobility management. This year’s EuropeanMobilityWeek, happening from September 16-22, is focused on the theme 'Save energy'. You can register to participate now. (Get more insights on mobility actions from the webinar here).
Find inspiration from the actions of the Metropolis of GZM in Poland, the 2022 winner of the Mobility Action award, who implemented a “Road diet” and focused on University Campus Actions. (Find out more here).
Another area addressed in the webinar where considerable energy saving can be sustained on the long run is the tourism industry. The summer season put a high burden on energy consumption for many municipalities. Projects such as the EchoTourism project support tourism professionals in their ecological transition. You can find some learning tools on their website and get inspired by best practices of the EcoHosting and ATRE projects. (Get more insights on sustainable tourism actions from the webinar here).
These actions can be integrated into your city’s overarching climate change strategy. The city of Valencia in Spain for example developed a 2023 sustainable tourism strategy, focused primarily on the carbon and water footprint, through a series of mitigation activities. (Find out more here).
Saving energy in public buildings is an important first step to lower energy consumption. But for wider-reaching action, it’s essential to get the community involved. The urgency and social implications of the energy crisis gave many cities the impetus to give citizens the tools to control, own and manage their own energy supply. Municipalities embraced their role as facilitators in the creation of energy communities in their territory. This for example became a focal point during the energy crisis in the Energy Saving Sprint of Pedreguer, a small city in Spain.
Projects such as the SHARES project are also helping to share some good practices and tools to support the creation of energy communities. The project addresses challenges like the lack of resources, know-how, and time taking advantage of the early adopters’ knowledge. You can also consult the SCCALE 20-30-50 project’s Municipal Guide for energy communities, outlining more concretely the role municipalities can play across the EU to encourage the creation of more energy communities. (Get more insights on energy communities from the webinar here).
And many more...
The examples presented in the webinar are just a few illustrations of how cities can embed the emergency energy saving put in place with the Sprint for more structural energy saving that will have a long-term impact.
Rewatch the webinar to draw inspiration and know where to start in the coming months, to stay on the path of structural energy-efficiency and sufficiency measures, that will help you for next winter and beyond.
Sustain your Sprint: keep saving energy!
Follow us closely to learn how you can build on the Cities Energy Saving Sprint, whether you took part last year or not. It’s not too late to join the race. Draw inspiration from the Sprint’s success stories and keep saving energy in your city, to prepare for the upcoming winter while accelerating progress towards climate neutrality.
Share your experience: what is your city doing to save energy on the long-term?
Which measures from last winter’s Sprint is your city upholding? Has your city taken some more structural energy saving measures?
Share your experience with other cities by sending us an email at email@example.com
Follow the campaign: #EUCitiesSaveEnergy #FromSprint2Resilience #FromSprint2Sufficiency
- Publication date
- 31 August 2023