Project Details

Title: Improving Communities' Sustainable Energy Policy Tools
Priority: 2: Environment and risk prevention
Theme: Energy and sustainable transport

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014


Total budget: €1,576,530.61
ERDF contribution: €1,226,655.64

Lead partner

"STRIA" South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Non-for-profit Ltd.
Széchenyi tér 9.
7621, Pécs

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Balázs Borkovits
      Phone: +36 72 513 734
      Fax: +36 72 513 768

Project summary

The STEP partnership consists of 9 ambitious partners from 8 regions wishing to improve their local sustainable energy policies and support the deployment of regional policies at local level. In order to achieve the EU 20-20 by 20 targets national and regional policies have to be deployed more efficiently at local authorities’ level, which are the key of successful policy implementation. The EU strategy is based on subsidiarity, giving priority to local initiatives, promoting cooperation between the different levels of decision-making. The project follows this approach by fostering local level policies supporting energy efficiency and energy self-sufficiency derived from national/regional policies. The policy exchange happens among experienced and learning regions with different state of the art.

Overall objectives:

•Reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions and increase the rate of renewable energy sources in the partner regions and foster the implementation

of policies contributing to the “EU 20-20 by 20” targets

• To support the territorial cohesion between the partner regions in line with the EU climate and energy policies by promoting regional energy self-sufficiency and energy diversification


Specific objectives:

•Improve the effectiveness of national and regional and local sustainable energy policies

•Exchange and transfer of policy practices and elaboration of a comprehensive interregional policy practice guide on local sustainable energy concepts and energy management systems

•To support the implementation of sustainable energy actions by identifying adequate financing possibilities

•Successful transfer of the developed interregional policy practices by elaboration of implementation plans in each partner regions

•Networking and interregional capacity building of local authorities’ staff in the field of sustainable energy planning and implementation

•Fostering subsidiarity and the cooperation between the different levels of

decision making (loc., reg., nat.)


Main outputs and results:

STEP partners will elaborate 8 policy good practices resulting in 3 thematic policy practice guides with recommendations: 1. Better implementation of sustainable energy policies at local level; 2. Development of sustainable energy management systems and 3. Financing tools for sustainable energy investments. The policy practice guides will serve as base of the 8 regional implementation plans, which ensure the regional and local transfer of the policy tools and the durability of project results.

STEP partners involve local authorities in the whole project implementation via regional policy exploitation actions. Capacities will be developed at interregional level in 3 joint thematic seminars and 2 study visits.

The main result of STEP will be the improved knowledge about local sustainable energy policies, the intensified cooperation between local & regional policy actors and at least 3 successful transferred policy practices.

Project achievements

The main goal of STEP project was to collect successful energy management practices from EU countries on the following fields: 1) better implementation of sustainable energy policies at local level, 2) sustainable energy management systems, 3) innovative financing tools for sustainable energy investment. Regarding the workflow, partners from 6 countries collected good practices on the basis of a joint methodology, compiled policy guidelines for regions who were willing to take over the methods, and organized technical seminars and study trips for staff of local authorities to better understand the processes. The work was supported by regular meetings of the Steering Committee, which was the decision making body of STEP. The Kick-off Meeting and Conference was organized by the South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency in May 2012 at Pécs (HU), where the 9 partners from Finland, Germany, Spain, Poland, Ireland and Hungary introduced their local planning methods.

The 2nd meeting was organized on 27-28 Sept 2012 in Zaragosa (ES), where solar public lightning, Walqa Technologic center and hydrogen technologies were introduced. 3rd meeting was held in Kajaani (FI) on 10-12 Apr 2013 together with the 1st Thematic Seminar with study visits in Helsinki. 4th meeting was held in Murcia (ES) on 16-17 Oct 2014, where SC&IWG meeting was organized with 2nd Thematic Seminar and study visit to Life+ Medicool, largest solar cooling installation in Europe and Beniel Municipal swimming pool. The 5th SC&IWG meeting with the 3rd Thematic Seminar and site visit to Cloughjordan Eco Village and Templederry Windfarm were organized on 19-21 March 2014 in Ireland. The 6th SC meeting was held in Dresden (DE) on 2-4 Dec 2014 together with a study visit to NZEB buildings: a kindergarten in Chemnitz and a hotel at Lengenfeld. The final conference was connected to the Open Days events of the EC, organized on 8-10 Oct 2014 in Brussels, with 32 attendees.

According to the joint methodology on policy practice collection, partners collected 11 Good practices in the 3 above-mentioned thematic areas: 1/a Sustainable Energy Action Plan of Martfű (HU) , 1/b Sustainable Energy Action Plan of Budapest (HU), 1/c Pilot Plans for Rural Sustainable Development for minimising energy consumption; 2/a Helen District Heating and Cooling: District heating from the waste heat of the data center and district cooling from the sea water, heat pump and absorption technic, 2/b Municipal Energy Management, 2/c Implementation of a Municipal energy management approach, 2/d Replacement the Indoor Swimming Pool’s heat gasoil system to Biomass and Solar Thermal system using a contract with an ESCO, 2/e Energy performance audit; 3/a Loans and thermo­modernisation premiums as innovative financial tools for thermo­modernization projects, 3/b Financing EE/RES initiatives in local authority functional areas, 3/c Innovative Financing and Operation of Small Scale Biomass

Energy Supply and Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Public Facilities. Meanwhile, energy performance audit methodology was tested at Mohács (HU), Legnica (PL) and Nenagh (IE). Energy audit reports were elaborated and evaluated. Its conclusions and the good practices were embedded into the policy guide; findings were discussed at 3 thematic seminars (Helsinki, Murcia, Limerick) with regional and local policy actors. Based on the guidelines, partners prepared a GP transfer implementation plans for their regions. Wider public was informed by press releases, dissemination events, and the project website ( STEP was also promoted on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Flickr and Youtube. STEP was represented at the Thematic Programme Capitalisation workshop on energy efficiency in Brussels on 9/11/2012 and 21/11/2013. Besides, a brochure and 6 newsletters were spreaded, EU level press releases were announced, and 700 USB sticks were prepared with detailed project information.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
"STRIA" South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Non-for-profit Ltd., Pécs HUNGARY Del-Dunantul +36 72 513 734
Kainuun Etu ltd, Kajaani FINLAND Itä-Suomi +358 8 6178119
Saxon Energy Agency (SAENA), Dresden GERMANY Dresden +49351-4910-3152
ARGEM- Regional Management Agency of Energy - Region of Murcia, Murcia SPAIN Región de Murcia 34968223831
SODEMASA. Ministry of Environment of the Government of Aragon., Zaragoza SPAIN Aragón 34976701550
Midland Regional Authority - Border Midland and Western Regional Assembly, Tullamore IRELAND Border, Midland and Western +353 (0) 57 9352996
Mid-West Regional Authority - Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly , Nenagh, Co. Tipperary IRELAND Southern and Eastern +353-67-33197
Local Government of Mohács, Mohács HUNGARY Del-Dunantul +36 69 505 566
SARGA. Aragonese Society of Agroenvironmental Management, Zaragoza SPAIN Aragón 34976070000
MURCIA REGION DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, Murcia SPAIN Región de Murcia 0034 968 368034
Tipperary County Council, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary IRELAND Southern and Eastern 353761065000


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