Alba Local Energy Agency held the second regional workshop of the project SUPPORT in Alba Iulia on the 23rd May 2018. There was high interest of the local stakeholders, the event being attended by many representatives from local and regional authorities, one regional development agency, local energy agencies, university representatives as well as company managers and energy efficiency solution providers. The aim of the workshop was to systematize existing energy-related data and collect existing basic specific information in the domain to build knowledge framework at regional level.

The workshop started with a short introduction of the energy related status quo in the region as well as a short presentation of the SUPPORT regional background analysis document. Afterwards, the elaboration stage of Alba County Energy Strategy was presented by the Alba County Council regional authority representative. The event was an opportunity to comment on the benefit of the interregional seminar experience where the shared knowledge during the focus groups was support in collecting info for the further update of the strategy. The event continued with a short presentation of ADR Centru representative to get an insight of the project financing actual situation in the energy efficiency domain, highlighting the organization efforts to create knowledge frameworks in order to facilitate LAs access to funding available in ROP Axis 3.1.

The vice mayor of Alba Iulia shared the municipality experience in the implementation of the energy management and implementation of energy efficiency measures of municipal buildings detailing the need of EU funding given the budgetary restraints every municipality faces in Romania. He highlighted the importance of experience exchange event as cities can be example for other cities in their endeavor of improving EE measures implementation. Also essential for cities are the EU projects as they can be valuable framework of sharing experience, sources of information and opportunities for starting new collaborations.

The workshop continued with a short presentation of the experience exchange activities organized in the framework of SUPPORT project, aiming to show good practice examples that can be replicated in our region as well.

Then, LISSCOM company representative presented a good practice example for integrated energy management system in public buildings, giving examples of concrete solutions from Cluj Napoca city which are already implemented.

In the second part of the workshop there was an opportunity for knowledge exchange between the participants which was lively and highly interactive, the participants having the chance to learn about actions and solutions for challenges they face, problems related to energy efficiency measures in their municipalities.

The overall conclusion was that it seems that there is awareness in local authorities on the necessity of implementing EE measures in public and residential buildings as they are aware of the long-term cost-saving effects of such measures. However, their ambition of changing the EE status quo in their municipalities face difficulties, common to most of them such as:

* Lack of coherent legislation in the domain

* Very low collaboration between local/regional authorities and other institutions when it comes to issue documentations, permits

* Difficulties in collecting energy related data (consumptions) from utility providers

* Lack of EE equipment on the market to suit their needs

* Lack of administrative skills; often, they have no dedicated experienced staff to deal with the energy filed in the city.

* Sometimes the balance of political decisions shifts to energy measures that do not fit the long term need of the citizens

One of the solution that was identified to help changing the situation is for the stakeholders to build networks and to promote solutions through this network. Energy efficiency networks of administrative territorial units as well as companies can boost EE domain as they would be able to cooperate and be able to influence changes easier.