Below is a brief presentation of the most interesting project activities and results:

Training of Covenant Coordinators and Supporters

ENERGY FOR MAYORS consortium developed a special training programme to increase the knowledge and capacity of CC&CS – assisting them to improve their support of local authorities in the whole spectrum of actions relevant to the SEAP process. Four training events were organized, using the results of initial survey conducted to identify and analyse the needs and challenges faced by these organizations. During these training events many practical issues were addressed. These include clarifying the role of CC&CS, exploring barriers faced during their work with municipalities and possible ways to overcome these. Participants also increased their knowledge on different steps of the SEAP process. To learn more see the following documents:

Training of municipalities

The role of local authorities in developing and implementing their SEAPs is important – engaging as a community leader, service provider and as a user of energy in its own operations. In each project area at least two training seminars were organized for municipalities. Here their representatives – mostly technical staff - learned how to compile a BEI, how to develop a SEAP, how to  mobilize local society around local energy targets and how to obtain funds for energy-related projects. They also got acquainted with the potential solutions and technologies addressing energy efficiency and RES use. To learn more see the following document:

Development of an online Toolbox to centralize great resources

The online Toolbox was developed to centralize available guidance materials on local climate action. It offers resources to local governments and their partners on all steps in the SEAP process – from starting up to monitoring, including guidance on financing and stakeholder involvement, to mention but a few topics. The Toolbox is accessible online, with a basic and advanced search function and many different types of resources in different languages. To learn more see the following documents:

Fully accompanying selected municipalities in the SEAP process

Over 80 municipalities from 7 European countries were fully assisted by the project partners in the SEAP development and implementation processes. Project partners – many of them existing CC&CS - helped local governments to gather data about their energy consumption, to conduct a BEI and to develop a good quality SEAP with the active engagement of citizens and other local stakeholders. To go beyond planning, the project partners helped each municipality to implement at least three selected SEAP actions and to find appropriate financing mechanisms. To learn more see the following documents:

Organisation of Local Forums in municipalities

A local forum is an important element when developing and implementing a SEAP. To help the “fully supported” municipalities to involve their citizens and stakeholders in the process, project partners organized local energy forums with their municipalities. During these forums participants learned about the Covenant of Mayors and the commitments undertaken by their municipality on signing the CoM. The events were used to stimulate discussions on the local community energy situation and possible ways to improve it. Local energy forums helped the local authorities to develop  an inclusive SEAP, well-fitted to the local situation and supported by the citizens. To learn more see the following documents:

Organisation of Energy Days in municipalities

Other way of informing and mobilizing the local community is by organizing Energy Days. Within the ENERGY FOR MAYORS project each partner organized at least three Energy Days with its “fully supported” municipalities. These events helped to raise public awareness on issues such as energy efficiency, the use of RES and the links  between energy use and climate change. It gave the local authorities an opportunity to present their engagement in supporting the EU climate and energy goals at the local level.

Implementation of 8 pilot energy management systems

One specific highlight in the project was to test the possibility of developing a SEAP together with an Energy Management System (EnMS) according to the new ISO 50001 standard in selected pilot municipalities. The EnMS addresses the local government operations sphere, while a SEAP addresses the whole community and the municipal operations. The intention was to create a standard for a monitoring system for the local government section of the SEAP and contribute to the structuring of internal and external communication. To learn more see the following documents:

Establishment of inter-municipal working groups

The aim of the working groups was to share information and best practices related to the SEAP process at a local level.  The groups also worked on the possibility of merging common actions by involving the municipalities who signed up to the Covenant of Mayors. The common actions developed were included in the SEAPs of municipalities involved and in an overall action plan developed for the region. To learn more see the following document:

Expanding the number of Covenant Coordinators and Supporters

The ENERGY FOR MAYORS consortium used their communication channels and contacts to enlarge the network of CC&CS. This core group assists municipalities in sustainable energy planning and implementation – an many more are needed to support the engagement of the large number of cities and towns across Europe. Eligible organizations from different countries and regions were invited to join the CoM with information provided on their potential role and benefits of connecting. Project partners established National Working Groups of CC&CS to exchange experience, expertise and tools within their respective countries. To learn more see the following document:

Promoting the project and the Covenant of Mayors initiative

All partners widely promoted the CoM, helped to draw attention to offers of CoM support for local governments and mobilized mayors to sign up and commit to this important initiative.  They also widely disseminated all project materials and results to let others make use of them. To learn more see the following document:

Many more information about the project and its results may be found in a brochure entitled “Highlights of the ENERGY FOR MAYORS project”.