The city of Cadiz in the very South of Spain joins Energy Cities network in October. This vibrant city of 117.000 inhabitants has made significant contributions to the local energy transition in recent years. We are proud to have them among our members!
Employment and equity are two major priorities for the municipality, together with the quality of public services. You might have heard about their impressive action plan against energy poverty that received the 2018 Transformative City award. A group of unemployed citizens were contracted by the city council for eight months. The municipality trained them to become energy advisers and tasked them with the development of the action plan. They tackled unemployment in their region while raising awareness on energy issues and helping people in need!
Cadiz also holds 60% shares in the local energy company for the distribution and sale of electricity (the remaining 40% is owned by a private entity). At the beginning, the company was just a source of revenue and the city had no real interest in controlling it. Once they realised the potential of this company for local development and wellbeing, the municipality decided to pay more attention and be more involved in its management.
The city is also working on improving energy efficiency in municipal buildings. They developed an application to monitor the energy consumption and trained municipal employees on energy issues. In the last few years, the municipality saved around 50% of the money previously spent on electricity bills!
Another impressive initiative of Cadiz are the “Energy Tables”. On a regular basis, citizens can attend two discussion tables: one on energy transition and one on energy poverty. The Tables are a way for the city to collect citizens’ ideas and bring them to the attention of the local energy company. For example, citizens asked the company to be 100% renewable and to produce the energy more locally and this triggered the installation of PV panels on the roofs of the municipal company. The municipality also started to work with the company to foster solar installations: Cadiz now offers tax reductions to citizens who installed PV panels on their roofs or own shares in community renewable energy projects. The tables work like a laboratory, where citizens are coming up with many interesting ideas!
Cadiz has achieved a lot in the shared energy transition, and they don’t plan to stop anytime soon: as a Covenant of Mayors signatory, the next challenge will be the development of their Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan…of course they plan to do it their own (participatory) way!
October 18, 2019