energy efficiency

As a key factor in the fight against climate change and a reliable means of reducing energy costs for citizens and cities, energy efficiency is a priority for our members.

Cities are continuously working towards improved energy efficiency by:

  • refurbishing public buildings

  • incentivising renovation of private buildings where possible

  • improving public transport and overall urban transport management

  • investing in more energy efficient heating and cooling, such as through district heating and cooling, and seasonal thermal storage

  • increasing energy efficiency of public lighting, for instance through the installation of LED lighting

  • supporting, developing and installing renewable energy within city boundaries, such as energy from waste, biomass, solar, ground/air/lake/sea source and more

Energy efficiency is also one of the priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and for the transition to a resource efficient economy.

Better efficiency helps ensure security of energy supply, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. By 2020, the EU wants to reduce primary energy consumption by 20%.

Cities recognise the central role they play in achieving this goal. On the one hand, 80% of energy in Europe is used in cities. On the other hand, a well-managed urban concentration reduces transport distances for people, goods and energy, and provides potential to increase the energy efficiency of heating and cooling.

We support our members in achieving their energy efficiency goals by providing a platform for cities to exchange best practice, input into EU energy efficiency policy and play a key role in a number of European initiatives, such as the Covenant of Mayors, our CASCADE and NiCE projects, EPOMM-PLUS and CIVITAS.

Our Declaration on Climate Change outlines cities’ commitment to reducing emissions, including through energy efficiency. Driven by our members’ ambition, we also launched our Green Digital Charter, which provides a framework for cities to use ICT as a main driver to improve energy efficiency.

  •  environment

Cities in action: Utrecht's City Talks on Sustainable Energy

Utrecht initiated a democratic experiment to share and broaden responsibility for creating an energy plan to help it become climate neutral by 2030. Entrusting this task to citizens has shaken up traditional thinking, generated novel ideas and created ambassadors for sustainable energy.

case study

publication date: 01-03-2016

  •  environment

Cities in action: The Bristol Method

Bristol has created an online toolkit enabling cities around the world to understand and apply the lessons it has learned in becoming a more sustainable city. With guidance on everything from creating a vision to measuring success, The Bristol Method represents a valuable legacy of the city’s year as European Green Capital.

case study

publication date: 30-11-2015

  •  environment

Cities in action: Masterplan Energy Transition Dortmund

Dortmund has responded to Germany's energy revolution by implementing a city-wide plan that has achieved far more than acceptance of the need for change. It has also inspired participants to generate fresh and relevant ideas for energy systems and savings.

case study

publication date: 30-09-2015