Create interface capacities between public authorities and the civil society
From Energy Cities Wiki
Public, private and associative actors and, of course, citizens, play a vital role in the energy transition of their territories. Inventing a future that does not yet exist requires some sort of support. Local authorities have to act as catalysts, or conductors, in order to accelerate the transition. All territorial musicians must gradually learn to play their collectively composed score.
Local authorities’ administrations are not organised to co-ordinate territorial dynamics and local actor networks, to encourage the co-construction of visions of the future, to support stakeholders or to provide them with advice and information. They lack expertise and practice when it comes to working with the civil society instead of just providing top-down information.
Local authorities have to develop intermediation capacities with the civil society.
This requires specific engineering, like technical and financial engineering. They also have to develop an intermediation tool with society, for example a local energy and climate agency. Its mission will be to assist the local authority and other players in their energy transition, to help the musicians take part in composing and playing the territory’s score.
• Being convinced of the need for new governance which makes the active participation of stakeholders indispensable.
• Considering expenditure generated by the intermediation with civil society as a capital expenditure that will benefit the local economy and social cohesion.
• In the case of a local agency, making this instrument an initiative to be shared with stakeholders in order to serve the territory.
• Getting professionals to co-ordinate meetings with the population on an ad hoc basis.
An early advocate of the Agenda 21 process, Brasov has achieved great success in recent years thanks to ABMEE, the local energy management agency created in 2003 as part of the European SAVE II project. The commitment and dynamism of the agency, towards both local authorities and citizens, has enabled Brasov to rapidly define its energy policy and to pioneer sustainable development in the new Member States. The agency is active in many areas: air quality, education and awareness-raising (organisation of contests, film broadcasting, and introducing very young children to soft mobility), advice and technical assistance and promoting sustainable development amongst local communities.
The local energy agency: a platform for dialogue
Almada city council set up Ageneal, the local energy agency in 1999. More than just a technical adviser, Ageneal acts as an energy efficiency and climate change platform and forum for its 16 partners. The agency’s activities include energy efficiency in public buildings and facilities, the use of renewable energy and urban planning. Ageneal is also active in the fields of transport and sustainable mobility and organises many events aimed at mobilising citizens, a specific trait of this agency. Almada was awarded the European Mobility Week trophy in 2010 for its policy!
Grenoble Alpes Métropole, France
ALEC is a must in Grenoble
Established in 1998 on the initiative of local authorities, Grenoble’s local energy and climate agency (ALEC) advises both stakeholders and citizens from the metropolitan area. ALEC aims to change habits and mentalities in the field of housing, mobility, lifestyle and consumption. ALEC has become a major partner of local authorities for monitoring energy use and the energy performance of buildings, implementing the energy and climate action plan as well as supporting social housing (promoters, housing associations and tenants) and property managers. It has turned into a privileged forum for all energy stakeholders, from producers and distributors through to consumers.
National federations and networks of local energy agencies, Breda.