On the 27th of June Alba Local Energy Agency organised the 1st Regional Workshop of the SUPPORT project in Alba Iulia. The event was attended by 23 stakeholders who had the chance to share their ideas on existing energy policy instruments, energy efficiency measures in their areas as well as financing opportunities for energy efficiency works.

Participating representatives of municipalities, local institutions, energy related companies, universities and NGOs engaged in discussions where the main goal was to transfer knowledge on multiple aspects of energy efficient projects, difficulties in financing and implementing them as well as on their benefits for the local communities.

The Workshop was preceded by a press conference held at the same location which was an opportunity for the press to get the pulse on the topic from different sides (demand, supply).

During the event special attention was given to the interactive approach where it was sought to find possibilities and enhance cooperation among local authorities, institutions, companies to overcome difficulties related to lack of necessary resources.

The first part of the Workshop was dedicated to a short overview of the project SUPPORT especially on the objectives and proposed results from which local communities may really benefit.

The second part mostly dealt with the analysis of the regional context regarding energy efficiency. An important aspect was that the Regional Development Agency Centru presented the status of Regional Operational Programme – axis dedicated to support energy efficiency, detailing that currently the process of revising the applicants guide needs feedback from stakeholders in order to be improved and such events as the SUPPORT Workshop are welcome as they provide quality input.

The context analysis was followed by the presentation of good practice examples and finally the draft version of the Regional Background Analysis was presented by ALEA.

The main conclusions that were identified from the discussions are:

- The current opinion of LAs is that the Regional Operational Programme represents the main source of funding for the implementation of the activities sustainable energy measures for local authorities. However, there is a need for national schemes, national programmes as well. It was underlined the strong need for private financing for energy efficiency works in public sector.

- There are numerous challenges in Romania when it comes to energy planning and implementation at local level:

• low level of available financing sources for EE works

• lack of motivated and experienced staff of local authorities

• lack of institutional commitment to sustain long-term sustainable measures

• gap in the organisational structure in the municipalities (no dedicated energy departments)

• lack of relevant statistical relevant energy data

• collection of data is often time consuming and expensive

• the creation of databases is necessary and these would need to be constantly updated.

The event ended with representatives reassuring of their engagement regarding the cooperation within the framework of the SUPPORT project.

Here the pictures of the event.