Switzerland pioneered the European Energy Award (eea). “Energiestadt” / “Cité de l`énergie” / “Città dell`energia”, the Swiss eea programme, was founded in 1988 and soon developed into a comprehensive management system backed by the official energy policy of Switzerland. Today, Energiestadt has grown to be recognised as one of Switzerland’s most successful energy policy programmes.
The eea in Switzerland is awarded by the national supporting organisation (“Trägerverein Energiestadt” / “Association Cité de l’énergie” / “Associazione Città dell’energia”). The Swiss state acknowledges the eea as the primary tool for local sustainable energy policy and therefore supports the further development and implementation of the label through the national programme “SwissEnergy for municipalities”. This programme coordinates the work of the private advisors, provides tools for the municipalities and advisors and organizes experience exchanges and educational programmes.
The very first city to receive the eea label was Schaffhausen in 1991. The number of participating and certified municipalities has grown steadily since and today, more than half of the Swiss population is living in an eea awarded municipality.
The total number of municipalities participating in the eea programme is more than 600, about one-forth of all Swiss municipalities. Member municipalities represent the full spectrum of local communities in Switzerland, from associations of small villages with only a few dozen inhabitants through to towns of several hundred or thousand residents and large urban agglomerations.