By 2050, European cities should be carbon-neutral, sustainable and ensure a high quality of life. In order to achieve this goal, society as a whole must become more responsible and mutual accountability must be shared among all actors. In order to successfully achieve the energy transition, we need mechanisms to address the environmental, economic and social aspects of the process, analysing the policies of different sectors in partnership with civil society, taking into account how citizens design their future.
As the energy transition involves radical changes in the structure, culture and practices of energy production, consumption, storage and distribution, local governments cannot carry out this journey on their own. On the contrary, the energy transition requires the effective involvement of key structures and beneficiaries alongside the administration. Ambitious goals and political commitments must therefore be linked to the commitment of civil society in decision-making and their implementation. This interdependence reveals the challenge behind the Municipal Energy Management.
In this context, the new project MENERGERS – Energy Managers’ Services in Municipalities intervenes. This is an EUKI funded initiative to support local administrations to efficiently coordinate the energy transition toward low-emissions cities. The main objective of the project is to enable and empower municipalities in Bulgaria and Romania to best manifest their role as Community Energy Managers and to thus contribute to the national Energy and Climate targets.
MENERGERS will develop and test a model for Community Energy Management in Bulgarian municipalities and, at the same time, Romania will improve and upscale the same services in the framework of its municipal context and legislation. The project is valuable because:
Coordinated by the National Trust Ecofund, the Bulgarian Fund managing assets from the state budget, such as the Debt-for-Environment and the Debt-for-Nature swaps, benefitting from the experience offered by the German Independent Institute For Environmental Issues, a scientific and officially recognized non-governmental organization acting in Energy Efficiency & Energy Transition, Climate Protection & Transformative Education, Environmental Law & Participation, Nature Protection & Environmental Communication, the consortium is also formed of Sofia Energy Agency, a Bulgarian non-governmental non-profit organization established by Sofia Municipality together with the European Commission for local energy management, and of Energy Cities Romania, a network formed of local authorities in energy transition, fighting to reach climate neutrality.
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. More information can be found at www.euki.de/en.