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The Covenant of Mayors community tackling energy poverty: Sharing good practices

All around Europe, Covenant of Mayors signatories implement local energy and climate actions with the aim to provide their citizens with access to secure, sustainable and affordable energy.

With nearly 11% of the EU’s population unable to adequately heat their homes at an affordable cost, making sure that the energy transition contributes to protecting vulnerable households is a necessity. Because they hold competencies in key areas, from energy efficiency in buildings to delivery of social benefits to citizens, local and regional authorities play a key role in tackling energy poverty.

A conference showcasing their prospects and achievements took place on 12 October at the European Committee of the Regions in the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities. Several representatives from Covenant signatory cities (Rijeka, Cork, Coulaines...) shared their experience in fighting energy poverty.

A better energy performance of buildings as well as adaptation measures that reduce heating and cooling needs contribute to protecting the most deprived households. Many cities are already tackling energy poverty through local energy generation, district heating or energy cooperatives that facilitate access to energy. Local politicians presented successful solutions, pointed out challenges faced on the ground, and discussed the type of support needed, in particular from the EU Cohesion Policy.

New business models such as local energy cooperatives empower citizens and provide more affordable energy solutions to their members, as shown by the example of Energiris in Brussels, or by collaborative windfarms in the county of Cork, Ireland. “It takes a lot of education, but it is worth raising awareness. Getting communities to participate into projects is the best way to make them successful in the long run”, said Alan Coleman, Councillor of Cork, UK.

    >> Covenant Monthly Newsletter October 2016 <<
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  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.

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