Covenant of Mayors
  Covenant Coordinators & Supporters December 2012  
Municipalities, architects, tourism industry: Alicante Province rallies everybody around sustainable energy
{{{Interview with Luisa Pastor Lillo, President of the Alicante Provincial Council, Spain.}}} On top of the extensive support it provides to signatories, the Provincial Council of Alicante is also collaborating with a wide-range of actors across its territory, from the [Spanish College of Industrial Engineers->] to the Province Architects Association and hotel industry representatives. To get a better idea of what this multi-stakeholder cooperation entails, read the interview the Province’s President has granted to the Covenant of Mayors Office.

In these tough economic times, how is the council helping municipalities to create growth and jobs through the development of Sustainable Energy Plans ?

In the framework of the cooperation agreement signed with the European Commission, the Provincial Council of Alicante encourages municipalities from its jurisdiction to join the initiative and helps them to honour their commitments.

So far we have invested €295,700 in the development of the Baseline Emission Inventories (BEIs) and Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) for 76 municipalities, home to between 20,000 and 50,000 inhabitants. This has led to a further investment of €50,000 to finance the first implementation steps of the said plans.

The BEI provides data on consumption levels and patterns in the entire municipality, while the SEAP outlines an energy planning strategy with corresponding measures and actions to be taken.

The Alicante Provincial Council joined the Covenant of Mayors in late 2009. In November 2011, I delivered the municipalities’ first 70 SEAPs in person to the European Commission, on the occasion of the Covenant of Mayors Ceremony. At present there are already 112 municipalities (out of 141 that are part of the province) that have joined the initiative, which positions us as one of the most active provinces in Europe in terms of adhesion numbers and action plan adopted. Besides, we are also helping 14 municipalities through two dedicated European projects.

As an example, the Alicante Provincial Energy Agency coordinates an Intelligent Energy-Europe Project in the field of tourism (ENERINTUR) providing advice and training on the rational use of energy to professionals in the hospitality industry, to small and medium-sized enterprises, municipalities and citizens in general.

Can you give examples of key measures to be implemented by the Province signatories ? Where are the low hanging fruits ?

So far energy consumption in Spain has been estimated at 116 kW / capita, while in France it is of 96 and in Germany, 45. As an example, adjusting light intensity in the morning can yield very significant light output savings of up to 40% in the streets of each and every municipality, without compromising citizens safety. In addition, LED technologies, which can be directed to only light the ground, reduce night sky pollution and allow to save a considerable amount of energy. This year, the council has developed a series of training day sessions on this topic, for mayors, councillors and municipal administration staff in collaboration with the College of Industrial Engineers. In June 2012 an agreement was signed with this structure. The training days were an opportunity to shed light on the different options presented by new technologies to reduce energy costs associated with night lighting. In this context, it should be noted that the Spanish Institute of Engineering has singled out the efforts of the Alicante Province and Energy Agency as a national example to Europe.

The Alicante Provincial Energy Agency has also organised seminars to promote energy efficiency and costs savings among businesses and building residents across the province. Six courses have been developed within this framework to promote energy efficiency for a good corporate governance.

At its level, how is the province cooperating with the different stakeholders of its territory to achieve its own energy saving objectives ?

We have taken the necessary steps to meet the goal of curbing our energy bill by 20% by 2020 and reducing air pollution by the same level. I have signed agreements with the Provincial Association of Alicante Hotels (APHA) and the Territorial College of Alicante Architects (CTAA) in a bid to reduce energy-related spending, improve energy diversification and increase renewable energy use in the hotel industry and building sector.

Training courses for employees are foreseen in this framework, along with outreach and awareness-raising campaigns towards tourists. Studies on the energy situation in the tourism industry as well as technical advice to hotels in collaboration with APHA are also in the pipeline. The fact that many Nordic tourists have a habit of switching light on in their hotel rooms even when there is a lot of sun is a telling example of behaviour change imperatives in this sector. These initiatives all form part of the Province Sustainable Energy Plan for Tourism.

As relates to the cooperation with the College of Architects, it is worth noting that the association has appointed one of its members to be represented in the advisory board of the Alicante Provincial Energy Agency.

The agreement also foresees the architects’ participation in informative days ; their collaboration in feeding the agency’s website pages related to architecture and the promotion of low energy housing.

    >> Covenant Coordinators & Supporters December 2012 << (513 visits )  
Find us on:
Twitter Facebook
Covenant of Mayors
  The sole responsibility for the content of this newsletter lies with the Covenant of Mayors Office. It does not necessary reflect the opinion of the European Union. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The Covenant of Mayors was set up with financial support of the European Commission and consists of five associations of European local authorities: Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, Eurocities, CEMR, Fedarene, and ICLEI Europe.

Subscribe / Unsubscribe to this newsletter.
European Union  
Covenant of Mayors