Known for its colourful streets, the small Portuguese town of Águeda undertakes a number of actions from environmental education to technological innovation and energy efficiency with the objective to become the first ‘Smart City’ in the country. It does not lag behind the front-runner European cities when it comes to innovative financing either. The municipality has just created a local Fund for Energy and Water Efficiency based on the model used by the city of Stuttgart (Germany).
In the framework of the Covenant of Mayors, Águeda developed a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) aiming at improving the city’s energy efficiency and autonomy. The focuses on increasing energy efficiency and using renewable energy, intelligent energy management, energy diversification in public transport and the promotion of sustainable mobility, climate change adaptation, prevention and management of climate risks as well as investments in the water and waste sectors.
The SEAP implementation requires considerable funding. The city of Águeda therefore decided to set up a local revolving Fund for Energy and Water Efficiency (FEWE) and a related internal contracting scheme that was already tested by the city of Stuttgart, in Germany.
The municipality implemented the following measures enabling the smooth operation of the fund:
The standard internal contracting procedures are simpler than those used by the city of Stuttgart and adapted to the needs of a small-sized city. These will be based on simple e-mail requests from all municipal services to the Environment and Sustainability Department which manages the fund.
The project proposals will be evaluated according to a two-step approach:
The municipality does not neglect awareness-raising and education on local energy and climate protection. Águeda carries out a number of actions with schools and citizens aiming at encouraging a more active citizenship.
|The city of Águeda carries out these activities thanks to the support of the INFINITE Solutions project, coordinated by Energy Cities and co-financed by the European Commission in the framework of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme. |
Discover the financing solutions set up by 10 European cities on the INFINITE Solutions website!
© photo: Patrick Fotografia
February 11, 2016