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Financing Energy Efficiency: Is There a Better Way?

To realize the full potential of energy efficiency, public funds will not suffice

The Energy Union’s Framework Strategy puts energy efficiency as one of its five dimensions. But it goes further by stating that it is to be treated as an energy source in its own right. The ambitious Paris climate agreement also underlines the importance of energy efficiency. Investments in energy efficiency have proven to be one of the most cost-effective ways to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. Not only does it help the EU in turning its climate ambition into climate action, it also brings a number of significant benefits for European citizens and companies in terms of environment, health, security of supply, lower energy bills, more jobs and sustainable growth.

To realize the full potential of energy efficiency, public funds will not suffice and private financing will have to be unlocked at scale. In that context, energy policy should create more favorable investment conditions, encourage demand for energy efficiency and help consumers undertake energy efficiency investments more easily.

ManagEnergy is a European Commission initiative dedicated to regional and local energy agencies with the objectives of assisting them in becoming leaders in the energy transition and of increasing sustainable energy investments in regions and cities.

ManagEnergy organizers believe that among EU energy agencies, there is a wide consensus on one key fact: More energy efficiency and renewable energy investments are needed, and that the regional/local level is key to making these investments happen. Energy agencies are in a unique position to support energy transition in their regions and cities in their role of project developers, aggregators and facilitators for public authorities and this places them at the forefront of energy investments in Europe.

In response to the current situation, ManagEnergy provides information, know-how, visibility and networking opportunities. It supports local and regional energy agencies as they gear up to deliver new services and/or to boost existing ones.

Managenergy’s work program – for the period from 2017 to 2020 -- has a strong focus on sustainable energy investments. A completely new website, social media and communication tools will inform sustainable energy actors on the most recent developments in the area of energy efficiency policies and financing opportunities. Master classes (held in Brussels), expert missions (hosted by energy agencies) and Managenergy events in Brussels will raise the skills of local and regional energy agencies in energy efficiency, financing and project development.

The ManagEnergy initiative was first time launched by the European Commission in 2002 to support local and regional energy agencies, many of which have been created with the support of the Intelligent Energy Europe program. A series of contracts with different services providers has been used to support the implementation of the initiative since its launch. Since 2001 ManagEnergy has organized 45 capacity building workshops in different Member States and 33 networking events, in which stakeholders involved on a specific topic meet and interact at the European level.

Here are some of the programs offered by ManagEnergy:

  • Master Classes: This tailor-made 3-day program convenes in Brussels, delivered by leading energy experts and targeting senior and management level energy agency staff.
  • ManagEnergy Expert Missions: Such missions offer know-how to energy agencies, with a special focus on energy efficiency financing in their own region/city.
  • ManagEnergy Networking Events: Annual networking events are organized to increase cooperation, knowledge and peer exchange between energy agencies across Europe. These exchanges gather energy agencies and stimulate discussions about recent policy and market developments - to raise their capacity and to stimulate investments.
  • ManagEnergy Talks: A range of Public Talks are held in the evenings to inform interested stakeholders about the latest developments in energy efficiency financing and project development. These ManagEnergy Talks represent the climax of the public events program, with a keynote speech by a well-known expert in the field of sustainable energy.
TAGS: Renewables
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