Energy efficient cities: Joint action for the built environment

EUKN, 2013


It has become a well-known ambition: by 2020 the European Union wants to reduce its overall CO2 emissions to 20% below 1990 levels. Cities and urban areas are viewed as key actors in reaching the ambitious energy goals. To inspire and support cities on their journey towards energy efficiency, EUKN’s Annual Publication 2013 focuses on energy efficiency in the built environment. The publication provides a complete overview of what is happening on all levels affecting local governments.

The creation of energy efficient cities requires a cross-sectoral approach, as well as innovative forms of governance and financing models. That is why we have in-depth analyses of activities at the European and national levels. It covers specific areas of interest such as Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), social housing, cultural heritage and behavior change. It provides analyses from European experts and interviews with key stakeholders from both public and private sectors. The report also showcases a number of case studies of particular relevance to local governments in Europe.

The presented case studies showed the importance of developing effective ways of exchanging knowledge and experience, so that future projects and programs can be built on it. Filling the knowledge gap on energy efficiency and making sure that projects or programmes do not try to reinvent the wheel are of crucial importance.

In conclusion, the study suggests seeing energy efficiency as a way to save on public expenditure, a significant factor regarding job creation and tax income, and a contributor to public health; instead of considering it a burden on public finances. It emphasises the role of effective European, national and local programmes, subsidy schemes as financial incentives for private households, companies and local governments.