Structured process to implement an energy and climate protection management (ECM) in municipalities and rural districts according to the DIN EN ISO 50 001
The activities are based on a systematic energy controlling and components of the Plan-Do-Check-Act-method: Collection of consumption data (electricity, heat, water), Ongoing documentation of technical (e.g. boiler performance and type) and organizational (e.g. maintenance intervals) data, Cost recording and allocation, permanent reporting.
To help municipalities to reduce their energy consumption and CO2 emissions the dena developed a structured process for implementing an ECM. This process was especially adapted to municipal requirements. It can be used in 4 fields of action: buildings, electricity use, traffic, energy systems. It is build up as a cycle consisting of successive steps starting from creating organizational structures to implementing specific measures. An essential step is to define internal responsibilities and processes. Already existing activities and municipal management structures regarding energy efficiency or climate protection can be included.
Municipalities starting the ECM process form a regional network. In regular meetings – related to the steps of the cycle – needed knowledge is provided and the current state of implementation has to be reported. These meetings also ensure peer-to-peer learning.
Participant: ECM is a perfect tool to collect and analyze consumption data and to compare them with key figures. The developed measures show the highest saving potentials. In addition a priority list of efficiency measures supports the decision making.

Resources needed

EARLP and dena (training the municipalities together and support locally):
- person working on a percentage of 50% at EARLP and one on 30% at dena
- Budget for organizing network meetings (catering, room, speakers)
Municipalities: person working on a percentage of 10-50% (varies among authorities

Evidence of success

12 out of the 16 municipalities in Rhineland-Palatinate (RLP) which started the ECM process finished all steps of the cycle, including the actual implementation of efficiency measures. 5 got certified by the dena as Energy Efficiency Municipalities.
The implementation of a central energy management itself results in energy savings of about 5-10%. In most of the RLP municipalities this is a reduction of 30,000€ up to 60,000€ of energy costs per year, which easily refinances the needed staff.

Difficulties encountered

The original timetable of 1,5 years was too tight. The time needed for decision making process in municipalities was underestimated. It was lengthened to 2-3 years.
Requirements for creating organizational structures within the local authorities were modified. They were too complex for the reality.

Potential for learning or transfer

The practice shows that it is important to not only provide local authorities with an energy management tool (metering device, software, etc.) but to support them to establish a structure of actually managing energy consumption and climate protection. Also meaning to implement efficiency measures. With this process it is possible to support municipalities in the political decision making process. There are 2 important steps in this context: establish organizational structures and adopt a mission statement.
Next to the professional help from the Energy Agency the peer-to-peer approach is important. Municipalities learn together and take the same steps at the same time: it motivates, they can discuss challenges and help each other with their own experience.
There are 4 fields of actions therefor the process can be modified to individual needs. It is also flexible in the single steps.
Since the beginning of 2017 three new regional networks started in Rhineland-Palatinate.

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Main institution
Energy Agency of Rhineland-Palatinate
Rheinhessen-Pfalz, Germany (Deutschland)
Start Date
January 2015
End Date
December 2016


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