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Energy Efficiency in Communities

Cities can specify important framework conditions for implementation of energy efficiency measures. Land-use plans and specifications for supply structures are examples of this. Also, they are often shareholders in community and regional companies (municipal utility companies, building societies etc.). They also indirectly influence the implementation of energy efficiency measures such as, for example, the expansion of district heating or the use of renewable energy sources. And of course, cities can act as role models and examples when building or refurbishing their own properties. In practice, there are often significant differences in these areas. In the long term, the differences have a significant effect on the local energy supply system, the efficiency of energy use and thus on energy costs and the local contribution to climate protection. These aims have been implemented in local and regional energy concepts and projects as part of urban renewal since the 1980s.

The "EnEff:Stadt" research initiative is based on previous research and urban development projects and benefits from their experience. The "Local and regional energy supply concepts" research programme, fundamental research studies in urban development and urban renewal, and supply concepts for low temperature heating systems and planning studies for the expansion of district heating or cogeneration systems are excellent examples of this.

Local and Regional Energy Supply Concepts

Community energy concepts have been in place since the early eighties. Developed and propagated in the former interministerial work programme "local and regional energy supply concepts" of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and of the Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs, it went on a veritable victory march through Germany’s communities with comprehensive subsidies from many Federal States, the EU and not least from many energy supply companies. In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, community energy concepts have been subsidised in almost 260 communities and administrative districts since 1982. Various guidelines and instructions on community energy concepts, local energy management and other sub-divisions of community energy policy have been published by the State Ministries (e.g. Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg) other countries (e.g. Austria) or associations and supply companies.