eea Gold municipalities (re)certified in 2014

Arnoldstein (AT)

6,907 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

Arnoldstein (Carinthia) is situated on the boarder triangle between Austria, Italy and Slovenia. The municipality’s economic development was predominantly shaped by the Bleiburg Bergwerks-Union (a lead producing company). After the mining industry closed down in the early 1990s, Arnoldstein committed itself to taking responsibility for sustainable development. The municipality believes that the implementation of a sustainable municipal energy policy makes a significant contribution towards securing its citizens’ quality of life in the long term.

One of the first activities in this context was the development of a district heating system supplied with waste heat. Currently, all municipality-owned residential buildings in Arnoldstein are connected to the municipal district heating system. The most recent highlight was the successful refurbishment of a primary school building from the 1960s to the passive house standard (14 W/m² heating load). As all parties involved (municipal authorities, construction companies etc.) gained a lot of expertise, this project will support the further development and dissemination of the green building standard in Arnoldstein and its surrounding region.

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Eisenkappel-Vellach (AT)

2,717 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

In 2009, the council of the municipality of Eisenkappel-Vellach (Carinthia) adopted a policy to phase out the use of fossil fuels and at the same time replace these sources of energy with environmentally acceptable, renewable forms of energy. The municipal council also launched an initiative for establishing an energy and climate model region in the same year.

In addition to these policy decisions, Eisenkappel-Vellach’s progress towards becoming a model energy municipality has been supported through numerous individual measures. Energy has, for example, been integrated into the local development plan; refurbishment plans have been created for facility management, a new traffic plan has been resolved, and decisions about awareness-raising measures and energy consultancy have been taken. Through its recent successes, the municipality has gained a great deal of experience and created new structures within the community that have been given specific powers and responsibilities regarding energy-related issues. One of many results of these efforts has been that, in recent years, not a single oil-operated heating system has been installed in any new or refurbished buildings.

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Langenegg (AT)

1,081 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2004

The fact that Langenegg (Vorarlberg), with a population of just above 1,000, has such a wide portfolio of implemented measures and commitments in different areas is due not least to the fact that the village employs a dedicated, full-time energy officer and has a committed e5 team (whose leader has been mayor since 2006). This is certainly an extraordinary commitment, given that the municipality only employs five public servants.

The municipal authority's energy policy is visibly implemented even beyond the municipal territory through numerous cooperation projects with schools and pre-school associations, residents, local businesses and local authorities, both nationally and internationally. The energy issue has been thoroughly integrated with all aspects of village life, and Langenegg is now able to present itself proudly as a model local authority beyond national boundaries. Numerous national and international awards are testimony to this fact. The new village centre, which was completed in 2008, includes a passive design shop and pre-school, and a refurbished, passive design municipal council building. The village is committed to making energy visible through so-called energy portals and widely displays its motto, “Energie.bewusst leben” (Energy-conscious.Living) as an additional highlight of its dedication to living sustainably.

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Mäder (AT)

3,547 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2005

Since the Local Agenda 21 municipality of Mäder (Vorarlberg) resolved its Municipal Development Plan in 1991–1992, it has heavily committed itself to sustainability, aiming to become a role model in municipal environmental matters. Sustainable energy use and climate protection have been treated in an exemplary manner, defined in a climate protection plan, backed up by decisions on fundamental principles and then implemented in practice. By contributing its knowledge and being prepared to conduct a pilot project, Mäder has actively contributed to the development of the e5 programme and the e5 network in Austria.

The authenticity, professionalism and creativity which the municipal authority has contributed to the issue of sustainability deserve particular mention, and the municipal authority has additionally undertaken a very high level of co-operation and networking activity. As a result, Mäder has initiated or co-initiated many statements on energy policy and acted as a pilot community in the e5 programme, the Ecological Procurement Network, in the local supply programme “Lebenswert Leben” (a programme related to quality of life) and the “Unternehmen-V” sustainability platform (a programme to foster sustainable development).

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Weiz (AT)

9,000 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

The city of Weiz (Styria) has a long track record in promoting renewable energies. According to its motto “Weiz - die Stadt voll Energie” (Weiz – a town full of energy), Weiz is working on the municipality and its citizens changing their way of living towards increased sustainability. Weiz has successfully connected all municipally owned buildings to the renewables-based district heating grid, promotes public transport connections and has established the municipality as a strong location for research in the field of renewable energy systems.

The district heating plant already supplies more than 60% of households with heat and thus creates substantial added value for the region. Resources for heat production are purchased from local farmers within a radius of 16 kilometres. In addition to the district heating grid, Weiz has implemented a cooperative project with local enterprises to build one of Europe’s largest waste water heat recovery plants. This plant allows several enterprises to utilise heat from waste water for heating and cooling.

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Wolfurt (AT)

8,171 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2009

The market town of Wolfurt is situated on the edge of the Rhine Valley in the Alps in a very prosperous region of the province of Vorarlberg. A central priority in Wolfurt’s local politics is residents’ active participation, resulting in a high level of identification of citizens with their home town. This comprehensive identification is seen particularly in the areas of the environment and energy, which have been characterised by substantial commitment from private initiatives in the past 20 years. Waste prevention initiatives, partnerships with Africa, climate associations, eco-partnerships etc. have all been very successful and reached wide areas of the population.

Membership in the Climate Alliance and the e5 programme, and the recent signing up for the EU’s Covenant of Mayors are expression of the municipal authority’s clear commitment to a sustainable energy and climate policy. This commitment is implemented through specific projects and activities. Examples include the construction of the new fire station as a passive building, the refurbishment of the primary school in Mähdle with passive building components, the purchase of green power for municipal facilities, the wide-ranging energy efficiency support programme and the construction of a new bicycle bridge over the main road.

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Zwischenwasser (AT)

3,106 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2005

Zwischenwasser is a pioneer in the areas of alternative energies and climate protection and has been an early adopter of progressive strategies. For example, Zwischenwasser had the first school with a photovoltaic system in Austria, and a boiler-room open day has been run for a number of years with corresponding further training courses. In addition, virtually all of the campaigns related to the environment and renewable energies undertaken jointly in the Vorderland region (eleven local authorities) were initiated by Zwischenwasser.

The most recent major milestone in energy policy has been the preparation of a detailed energy and C02 assessment and a comprehensive energy mission statement with a multi-faceted catalogue of actions and a potential study regarding renewable energies. Aspects such as the plan to make municipal buildings compliant with the passive house standard, green office and construction procurement, school projects, public relations (homepage, photo competition), energy saving activities involving households, improvements in the local public transport system and improvements in the bicycle path and footpath network have all been addressed.

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Bad Waldsee (DE)

19,764 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

Bad Waldsee, a city best known for Kneipp spa applications, bicycles, fair trade and last, but not least, energy and climate protection, has about 20,000 inhabitants and is located between the regions of Oberschwaben and the Allgäu, about 40 kilometres to the north of Lake Constance. The town has given the issues of energy efficiency, climate protection, energy self-sufficiency and mobility high priority for many years, and it has achieved particularly pleasing successes in recent years. The municipal spa operator’s energy bill alone would, for example, be about a million Euros higher per year if it wasn’t for the city’s sustainability efforts.

Within the framework of the European Energy Award, clear energy policy targets that go beyond European, national and state goals have been set in all spheres of activity. By establishing a municipal energy supplier, Bad Waldsee took a clear step towards a new approach to energy. The primary goal is to increase the use of renewable power and heat generation. At present, a geothermal project is under analysis that may supply 10% of the heat demand from thermal water. Electricity will be produced by several wind power stations.

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Bielefeld (DE)

323,000 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2010

Bielefeld was one of the pioneering eea municipalities in Germany. As one of three German pilot communities, it committed to the eea programme as early as in 2001 and achieved eea certification in 2003. In 2010, Bielefeld obtained the eea Gold award for the first time. In 2008, an energy action plan with targets for reducing carbon emissions and increasing renewable energies was enacted. In this action plan, Bielefeld set itself the goals to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% between 2008 and 2020 and to increase the proportion of renewable energies in total final energy consumption to 20%.

Bielefeld has been pursuing its goals with a very active advisory network for retrofitting old buildings and numerous other climate protection working groups with different stakeholders. In order to increase the attractiveness of the public transport network, Bielefeld has been working on an effective schedule for all users. Bielefeld has been cooperating with various public and private institutions such as schools, companies, churches, non-governmental organisations and many other others on an ongoing basis in order to motivate all community members to reduce energy consumption and increase the usage of renewable energies.

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District of Böblingen (DE)

360,000 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

For several decades, the district of Böblingen has been committed to a leadership role for successful climate protection and energy savings. In 1999, Böblingen was the second district in Germany to be awarded Eco Audit EMAS certification. In 2002, the district was also the first administration to be certified under DIN ISO 14001. Böblingen employed an energy manager as early as in the 1980s in order to establish the best possible energy conservation practices in over 100 municipally-owned properties. Since then, Böblingen has regularly compiled energy reports and, in 2012, set out energy guidelines for these properties.

Böblingen has successfully implemented innovative transport policy objectives for many years. In spring 2013, the district commissioned an external agency to draft an integrated climate protection concept, which will involve energy and transport for Böblingen as well as 15 other participating municipalities. Since the beginning of 2014, a dedicated climate manager has been responsible for implementing municipal decisions relating to energy, including local public transport services in the district, which comprise a system of local and suburban railways.

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Bremen (DE)

544,043 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2010

As early as in the 1980s, the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen became proactive in energy policy, with activities including the establishment of the Bremen Energy Advisory Council and the adoption of the Bremen Energy Law, which is aimed at promoting the more economical, ecological, resource-efficient and low-risk generation, distribution and usage of energy. In 2009, Bremen approved the Climate and Energy Programme 2020 with the ambitious goal to reduce C02-emissions within the municipality by at least 40% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels.

Bremen has participated in the European Energy Award  programme since 2005 and was first awarded the eea Gold Award in 2010. Bremen's relevant activities focus on renewable energies, internal organisation, communication and cooperation as well as non-motorised mobility and car-sharing, and the city’s relevant efforts even gained worldwide attention. The city of Bremen has made great progress in expanding its renewable resource capacities in wind and solar energy production, in the energy efficiency of housing as well as in urban planning, which gives priority to decentralisation, in-fill development and stringent energy standards in new public buildings.

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Isny (DE)

13,227 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

Isny, a lively town with a rich history, lies in the midst of a number of scenic villages in the Allgäu mountains near the south-eastern border of the state of Baden-Württemberg. Since 2008, lsny's local government and citizens have been actively transforming the town into an “independent energy city”. In the context of guiding principles and a climate protection concept, climate protection goals have been defined for the periods until 2020, 2035 and 2050. A central aspect is the transformation of the municipal energy supply to renewable sources by 2020.

Numerous projects and events for implementing a turnaround in energy consumption have been initiated in all areas of energy and climate policy. These innovative projects have resulted in the town achieving an aggregate portion of 36% renewable energy and 35% renewable heat of its total consumption. Many flagship projects were developed by active citizens, teachers, students, experts, local companies and local government, including a biogas grid with several decentralised heat and power cogeneration plants, solar rooftop auctions, subsidised fees for city and regional bus transport for local residents and employees and an annual Energy Summit.

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Jena (DE)

105,278 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2007

The city of Jena, a university city with over 100,000 inhabitants, is situated in eastern Thuringia. Jena is inseparably linked with the names of Carl Zeiss, Otto Schott and Ernst Abbe, who developed the optical industry in the city from the second half of the 19th century onwards. Effective cooperation between research institutions and industry has stood the test of time since and has remained at the root of Jena's reputation as a high-technology location. In 2007, Jena was the first city in eastern Germany to be awarded eea Gold certification.

Since 2005, the city has developed biannual energy action plans, which are adopted by the Municipal Development Committee and implemented on an ongoing basis. Activities are analysed and assessed as part of yearly internal audits. The action plan itself comprises 54 measures for the years 2014 and 2015. Thanks to this course of action, Jena has a lot of achievements to show for recent years, including the purchase of 100% green power for all public buildings, the construction of a new tram line, the conversion of street lighting to energy-saving lamps and several energy-saving campaigns of the public utility.

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District of Karlsruhe (DE)

427,106 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

The district of Karlsruhe, with its 32 municipalities and about 430,000 inhabitants, is situated in the state of Baden-Württemberg in the south-western part of Germany. In the 1990s, the district of Karlsruhe pioneered the development of a modern local public transport system, widely known as the Karlsruhe “tram-train” model.

In 2008, a regional energy agency was founded in order to promote the energy efficiency and development of renewable energies in the district. In 2010, the elaboration of a climate plan identified great potential for renewable energies. An implementation strategy was soon worked out, and the district council resolved to commit to an energy supply consisting of 100% renewable energies by 2050. Even today, buildings owned by the district administration are powered with green electricity. Renewable energies and efficient building standards are being promoted through local programmes in 10 municipalities, including free consultancy services for private building owners. Several more networking and communication projects have been launched, among others within the EnergieRegion Karlsruhe.

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Kiel (DE)

240,000 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

The City of Kiel is the model local authority running for the eea in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Kiel's strategic focus on the area of energy provision is based on expanding existing district heating networks and highly efficient decentralised energy production with the aid of combined heat and power technologies. It assists various homeowners in the city's residential districts through initiatives including the EU project Co2ol Bricks, district redevelopment projects in Gaarden and energy-efficient retrofitting projects in Elmschenhagen-Süd, providing comprehensive advice and promoting exemplary renovation works.

Under the brand name of “Kieler Wege” (Kiel routes), the City of Kiel organises the ever increasing share of the total transport system made up by bicycle, pedestrian and bus traffic. The “Umsteiger'' (transit station) is a successful example of a central transport hub. Around 1,500 of Kiel's inhabitants use car-sharing services; electric mobility is on the city's agenda, and new routes and streets are continuously being opened up to bicycle traffic.

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Leutkirch (DE)

21,849 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

Leutkirch im Allgäu, a town of about 22,000 inhabitants, is a former free imperial city, located in the District of Ravensburg in the southeast of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Climate protection has always played an important role in Leutkirch’s municipal policies. Leutkirch has employed a dedicated municipal environmental officer since 1988, and citizens of Leutkirch had twelve photovoltaic systems built as early as in 2001.

Leutkirch started to participate in the European Energy Award programme in 2009. Climate protection goals were soon set, and projects and activities were advanced and implemented. An outstanding example of Leutkirch’s commitment is the pilot project “Nachhaltige Stadt Leutkirch” (Sustainable City of Leutkirch). As part of this project, the citizens of Leutkirch and the local power utility developed an energy supply plan for the municipality through a series of workshops, with the aim of increasing the sustainable energy production within the municipal territory. Other best practice examples are the information centre in the Leutkirch train station “Bürgerbahnhof”, civic participation in the local Citizen Energy Alliance and Citizen Energy Cooperative, a 5 MW solar park, renewable district heating supply systems, a combined train and bus transport hub together with energy-efficient and energy-self-sufficient companies.

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Ludwigsburg (DE)

89,510 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

The city of Ludwigsburg started its intense urban development process, which included an important process of participation, in 2004. A vision for the future has been developed in a joint effort between the administration, the municipal council and Ludwigsburg citizens. The first conference on the future, held in 2005, was a participation milestone. As a result, the urban development plan Opportunities for Ludwigsburg (Stadtentwicklungskonzept SEK}, which sets out principles and strategic objectives for eleven fields (including energy, mobility etc.} was approved by the town council in 2006.

The principles and strategic objectives of the Urban Development Strategy are being implemented via master plans for the different fields. The master plans consist of concrete actions, with clearly defined responsibilities and schedules for each measure and allocated funds from the municipal budget. Throughout the process, the strategy has been continuously adjusted, developed further and updated, and the fourth conference on the future will take place in 2015. In order to secure ongoing progress of the urban development process, a dedicated management system was developed for the administration. The entire municipal administration was reorganised for the implementation of the integrated Urban Development Strategy, and an interdepartmental unit for sustainable urban development (Referat Nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung) was established.

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Oldenburg (DE)

157,706 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2011

Energy and climate protection are essential topics in ecological and economic policy in Oldenburg. The city of Oldenburg is fully committed to local, regional and international networking and engagement with science, research, commercial enterprises, administration and associations as a basis for the wide dissemination of information and knowledge, as well as shared projects. In 2012, the municipal council passed the current integrated energy and climate protection plan with a wide majority. Based on this concept, Oldenburg has committed to the goal to cut CO2 emissions per capita by 28% by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.

Flagships of success are the energy saving project “abgedreht” in schools and pre-schools, which resulted in energy savings of nearly EUR2 million over 13 years; stringent energy standards for urban planning contracts; exemplary energy efficiency ratios of municipal water supply facilities; one of the largest solar parks in northern Germany and long-standing efforts and measureable success in the sector of environmental education. Not to forget the mobility sector, which is characterised by an extraordinarily large portion of bicycle traffic, an area-wide speed limit of 30 km/h, car sharing options and financial adjustments for the bus fleet running on natural gas.

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Telgte (DE)

19,300 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

Energy and climate protection has a long tradition in the city of Telgte. The city of Telgte has consistently demonstrated its commitment to the establishment and implementation of energy and climate protection activities within the municipal area. To date, the major purification plant, street lightning and municipal buildings have been optimised regarding energy consumption. In connection with the preparation of an integrated climate protection plan, the city of Telgte has set itself the goal of becoming a climate-neutral city council by 2020, amongst others.

Under the coordination of the climate manager of the city of Telgte, an extensive network of actors has emerged in the last three years. Many private projects in the urban area have resulted in a substantial expansion of renewable energies. The city of Telgte is well on its way to achieving the quantitative objective it set itself for the expansion of electricity generation from renewables (50% share by 2020). About 30 CHP plants are already in use within the municipal area, and a community energy cooperative operates PV systems on urban rooftops. Close cooperation with neighbouring municipalities (especially with the municipality of Ostbevern, the District of Warendorf and the Munster municipal region) frequently results in positive outcomes by implementing inter-municipal approaches to various projects.

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Wildpoldsried (DE)

2,500 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

The small municipality of Wildpoldsried, with approximately 2,500 inhabitants, is located in the Allgäu, a rural region close to the northern edge of the Alps. For more than ten years, Wildpoldsried has enjoyed a reputation as a model energy municipality – not only on a regional scale, but also on a national and international level. Groups from all over the world regularly visit the small town to find out more about how the transformation from fossil to renewable energy sources can be managed successfully.

Major achievements include a high diversity of renewable energy production technologies such as wind energy, solar energy, hydropower, biogas, biomass and heat-power cogeneration in combination with innovative models like smart grids, storage management, e-mobility and a variety of research activities. The municipality’s citizens form a core part of these efforts: they actively participate in energy production and a variety of campaigns focusing on awareness raising, energy efficiency and energy saving technologies. The municipality supports these activities financially as well as through advice and coordination. Thus, the town of Wildpoldsried, which has received multiple national and international awards, has already achieved a level of development that the EU would like all of its municipalities to reach by 2020.

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Willich (DE)

52,500 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2011

The municipality of Willich has focused on energy and environment for a long time. The environment has been defined as a high priority issue, and a dedicated environmental officer was appointed early on to support this commitment. The importance of using renewable energies has greatly increased in recent years and has been boosted by excellent local conditions for utilising geothermal energy (a geothermal hot spot is located below the municipal area). The municipality and its public utility additionally provide exemplary advisory services for interested owners of existing and new buildings.

The municipality of Willich has successfully established a pioneering building project within the Wekeln area, which implements many aspects of sustainable energy supply and associated environmental aspects (i.e. local heat supply with CHP technology, a bonus point system, rainwater seepage and a network of bicycle paths and footpaths). This project has also resulted in several follow-on programmes. In fact, the project will be extended to create a site that meets the criteria of a climate protection town according to the standards of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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Bruneck / Brunico (IT)

15,523 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

The city of Bruneck/Brunico (Città di Brunico) in South Tyrol has been active in the field of energy production and energy efficiency and has worked closely with its local utilities company Stadtwerke Bruneck/Azienda Pubbliservizi Brunico since the 1990s. Bruneck/Brunico has earned several awards at the national level, including the “Comune 100% rinnovabile” award granted by Legambiente, an Italian environmentalist association, in 2011, confirming that it produces more energy than its inhabitants and businesses consume. Also in 2011 Bruneck/Brunico was awarded the European Energy Award for the first time.

Bruneck/Brunico consistently implements high energy standards for both private and public construction works. This is evidenced by exemplary projects, including the municipal library, town hall, several schools and the first low energy settlement within the province. In addition to its outstanding efforts in the field of energy efficiency, Bruneck/Brunico has focused strongly on sustainable mobility and developed an intelligent mobility mix, comprising strategic planning, investments in infrastructure (two train stations, city bus) and promoting soft mobility/cycling mobility. By participating in international projects, such as lnterreg ITA CMA+ for the reduction of PM10, Bruneck/Brunico has targeted environmental issues through a committed, goal-oriented approach.

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Baden (CH)

18,522 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2006

With a population of 18,000 inhabitants and about 25,000 jobs, Baden is an important centre in the metropolitan region of Zurich. With the formulation of an energy plan, the City of Baden set the course towards a sustainable supply of energy as early as in 1993. Thanks to comprehensive global credits, funding has since been made available for the ongoing implementation of the measures proposed in the plan (average in the last four years: EUR 8 per inhabitant and year). The energy plan was revised in 2006, which has enabled the City of Baden to sustainably continue its strong commitments in the field of energy and, in part, even to intensify its work.

In Baden, private individuals are comprehensively supported in their efforts to increase their energy efficiency and their use of renewable forms of energy. In this context, the comprehensive advisory services offered by the city’s energy specialists and the subsidies made available for energy efficient buildings, heat pumps, solar installations and natural gas vehicles along with the services offered by the Mobile Baden mobility centre deserve particular mention.

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Basel (CH)

195,590 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2006

Basel, Switzerland's third most populous city (after Zurich and Geneva), is a pioneer in the field of energy on a number of levels. In 1984, the canton passed an energy law which placed a surcharge on all electricity bills in the canton. This tax currently yields about EUR7 million annually, and this amount is then made available for energy-saving measures such as insulating old buildings, retrofitting well-insulated windows and measures to improve the efficiency of ventilation and lighting installations. Since the mid-nineties, this levy has been supplemented by an incentive tax on electricity.

As the first pilot region of the 2000 Watt Society project, the canton of Basel-City is strongly committed to the vision of a 2000 Watt society with the goal to reduce the energy demand of its population from 6000 to 2000 Watt per capita. The canton of Basel-City works very closely with the project developers of Novatlantis (a domain of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH). This cooperation not only allows Basel to have a tangible influence on major focus areas of development, it also encourages an alliance between the various authorities in the city and the local research institutes ETH {Novatlantis), University of Basel and University of Applied Sciences and Arts of north-western Switzerland.

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Confignon (CH)

4,326 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

The municipality of Confignon has a policy of territorial planning which is based on efficient, exemplary and sustainable energy principles. Confignon developed a very demanding Energy Master Plan in 2013 and took the decision to implement a renewables scenario without delay. The municipality’s development projects are all required to meet stringent energy and environmental criteria, and Confignon carries out many sensitisation projects in order to improve energy efficiency and climate protection within its territory.

All municipal buildings are optimised with the assistance of an external agent, and 100% of them are supplied with certified green electricity (naturemade star label) from renewable energy sources that is produced in plants meeting demanding operational requirements regarding ecology. Confignon encourages its population to use non-motorised vehicles and public transport and models good behaviour through its municipal mobility plan. Last but not least, Confignon has a very strong communication and sensitisation plan (website, regular e-mails to all local landowners, local magazine, workshops and information sessions).

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Fontenais (CH)

1,662 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

The municipality of Fontenais aims to pursue a transparent and visionary energy policy promoting the sustainable management of energy resources. In view of this background, Fontenais decided to set itself the goals defined by the Energiestadt association within the framework of the “Energiestadt towards the 2000 Watt Society” project. By setting target values for indicators including electricity consumption, fossil fuel consumption (both per capita) and the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix, these goals define municipalities’ path towards a globally sustainable future.

Fontenais stands out clearly as an innovative municipality in the areas of energy and environment (forest plan, wood energy, subsidies, etc.). It enjoys an exemplary reputation at the regional and cantonal level through its website, strong citizen involvement, participatory approaches, press conferences, etc. A recent highlight was the participatory project conducted in March 2012 on planning urbanisation and mobility in order to ensure that both citizens and authorities are actively and cooperatively involved to make public spaces more user-friendly for all.

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Frauenfeld (CH)

24,221 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

The municipality of Frauenfeld has been pursuing an independent, active energy policy for many years. With its regional Energy Structure Plan, Frauenfeld has broken new ground in inter-communal cooperation with its two neighbouring municipalities. This Energy Structure Plan concretises the vision of the 2000 Watt Society (which forms part of the Swiss Sustainability Strategy of the Swiss Federal Council 2002) and supports this vision with quantified targets.

Frauenfeld works systematically on improving energy efficiency within the municipality’s territory and has again substantially improved since the last audit. A new programme for the promotion of energy efficiency in the amount of CHF1 million per year, the cooperation between power plants with the municipality of Winterthur on common projects, and the re-commissioning and complete overhaul of the hydropower plants on the Murg (the 34.1 km long tributary that joins the river Thur near Frauenfeld) all deserve special mention. Frauenfeld’s public relations and its cooperation with the population, businesses and local industry are among the municipality’s particular strengths.

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Geneva (CH)

195,160 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2010

The municipality of Geneva has a strong track record in energy policy that dates back to the 1970s. Geneva has developed a long term policy, “Together for a city of Geneva with zero emission of C02 and based on 100% renewable energy by 2050”. The municipality’s energy and climate policy is concretised in targets for the various departments and interlinked with its urban planning and sustainability strategy. The monitoring process is adapted to the municipality’s needs and enables the administration and its councillors to follow the developments closely and to adapt the necessary instruments on a regular basis.

The municipality takes a leading role in the development of new sites and sustainable quarters leading to exemplary new developments in terms of energy and mobility. In particular, the mobility issue is a strong focus of the municipality’s climate efforts, including a “transport bouquet” for collaborators, parking management and a strong public transport system. Geneva is also an active member of various organisations and initiatives promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, including the Covenant of Mayors, Energy Cities and ICLEI.

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Küsnacht (CH)

13,485 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2010

The municipality of Küsnacht, situated on the shores of Lake Zurich, focuses its efforts strictly on the area of climate protection and works and communicates actively with the population. Its energy policy is strongly supported by the population of the municipality. Every four years, the municipal strategy and arrangements for the coming years are resolved during a widely attended municipal conference, which has to date been able to secure unanimous agreement.

In 2010, the municipal council adopted new guiding principles on energy, including the goal to reduce CO2 emissions to 2.2 tons per capita by 2050. Later in 2010, the municipality approved a budget of CHF2.25 million for the “Communal Energy Policy – Vision 2050” project, which entails the implementation of the energy programme 2011-2014. Of this total amount, CHF1.75 million have been allocated to the promotion programme for energy efficiency and renewable energies. Küsnacht therefore enjoys broad support and wide legitimisation for continuing its successful efforts of recent years and to adapt them to changing underlying conditions.

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Lumino (CH)

1,430 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

Lumino is a small municipality of about 1,400 inhabitants located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, south of the Alps. Despite its rather small size, Lumino has managed to develop and implement various measures with effects that directly and indirectly extend well beyond its own borders. Examples include the municipality’s decision to adopt the principles of a “Community towards a 2000 Watt Society” and applying to get the relevant certification, and the definition of an ambitious yet realistic objective, namely to cover the electricity needs of municipal buildings and public lighting with electricity produced by photovoltaic plants on the roof of the school and a mini-hydro plant to be installed in the water supply system pipes.

Lumino obtained its first European Energy Award (eea) certification in 2010. To personalise its eea logo, the municipality then chose the motto “una luminosa scintilla”, which means “a bright spark” and well describes Lumino’s commitment to municipal energy policy. Lumino is a bright (and sparkling) example of how each municipality, no matter its size, can play an important role in the efforts towards a more sustainable energy policy, given the necessary motivation, competence and enthusiasm.

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Martigny (CH)

17,836 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2010

The city of Martigny is situated at the elbow of the Rhône in the Canton of Valais. As a public authority, Martigny council takes its role and responsibilities seriously: the quality of life and of the environment of its citizens is one of its main concerns. In this context and for the past 20 years, the city has invested in reducing energy consumption and increasing the efficiency of production plants and networks. The creation of a municipal energy research centre, CREM, has established Martigny firmly as a research centre.

As a few examples from the field of energy efficiency, a leading energy plan has been put into place to coordinate the development of the energy networks (electricity, gas, district heating). Ongoing follow-up and monitoring of the performance of the district heating network have allowed Martigny to increase its energy efficiency continuously. Since 2013, the district heating system has been supplied from a wood-fired system. The City of Martigny’s energy vision is an increase in energy autonomy. Within this spectrum, the primary objectives for the City of Martigny consist in studying and developing the potential production of renewable energies on local land.

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Meyrin (CH)

22,401 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

Meyrin has played a pioneering role in sustainable development and efficient energy use at the municipal level. The city was certified under the Swiss Energiestadt label as early as in 2002, as the first municipality in the canton of Geneva. The Eco-neighbourhood Les Vergers is an exemplary and ambitious project that involves plans for the construction of 1,200 residential, commercial and public facilities. Equipped with a heat pump operated from locally produced photovoltaic electricity, it may become the first neighbourhood in Switzerland to be certified MINERGIE-A. (MINERGIE-A is a Swiss registered quality label for zero/surplus energy buildings.)

Another exemplary measure is “Opération Eco-Sociale”, which combines ecological and social benefits. This program was aimed at promoting the use of energy-efficient technologies and environmentally aware consumption among economically and socially underprivileged groups. Energy consultants visited residents in two suburbs and provided free advice on how to reduce environmental impacts and save on electricity costs at the same time. The program was first conducted in 2011 in 930 households and then repeated in 2013 in 530 households.

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Münsingen (CH)

11,500 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2009

In 1989, the municipality of Münsingen established an energy planning scheme with concrete statements and strategies in order to increase the use of renewable energy sources, reduce consumption and emission and increase efficiency. Münsingen has repeatedly acted as pilot community in the Canton of Berne for energy projects such as the central heat pump system “Schlossmatt”, the “Berner Energieabkommen” (an offer to promote the sustainable development of municipalities in the energy sector), energy planning, landowner instruments with very progressive energy regulations and mobility (creation of 30 km/h zones on main traffic roads). The world’s first bifacial photovoltaic noise protection system along a railway line was built in 2008 at the station of Münsingen.

In January 2013, the municipal council approved the new energy strategy “Energiezukunft Münsingen”: Its intention is the 2000 Watt Society and to reduce CO2 emissions per citizen below 1 ton by 2050. By 2035, electricity consumption within the community is to be reduced by about 1/6th, and by 2050 by about 1/3rd compared to today. Furthermore, the goal is to promote public transport, extend the municipal footpath and cycle path network, and to disseminate project-related information and extend PR activities.

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Neuchâtel (CH)

33,641 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2005

In 1995, Neuchâtel was the first city in the French part of Switzerland to be certified under the Energiestadt label, and the city has held eea Gold certification since 2005. With a political vision firmly committed to implementing the 2000 Watt Society by 2050, energy planning based on a territorial basis with assessments every 5 years until 2035 and the implementation of its new SEAP, the town of Neuchatel is definitely living up to its ambitions.

Furthermore, the town of Neuchatel received the Swiss Solar Prize in 2013 for its efforts in promoting photovoltaic solar energy by making available a grant to fund all projects within the municipal territory (financial support of CHF 1500 per kWp). Building owners are able to consult the solar system register online. The City has also installed solar panels on its own buildings. Finally, in the 2014-2017 financial plan adopted by the legislative Council, the town of Neuchatel has allocated more than EUR 40 million to energy measures to improve and refurbish its existing municipal buildings.

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Porrentruy (CH)

6,687 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2014

The municipality of Porrentruy is conscious of its local responsibilities and endeavours to translate them into practical action and an energy policy with short and long term goals that are aligned with the vision of the 2000 Watt Society. With its eea Gold certification, Porrentruy aims to serve as an example for its inhabitants and its industrial and commercial partners.

Porrentruy’s flagship project is its district heating network “Thérmoréseau”. This network, which has been in operation since 1999, is the largest wood-fired district heating system in Switzerland, and several large power utilities have followed the example of Porrentruy. This project includes the comprehensive management of the entire wood energy sector, from woodcutting through to the radiator. In 2013, the Thermoréseau covered more than 25% of heating demands within the municipal area. In March 2014, Porrentruy increased its stake in the Thermoréseau SA company by CHF 800,000 for the construction of a new cogeneration power plant that will also produce annually 8 million kWh of green electricity, or about 16% of the municipality’s electricity consumption.

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