On the 24th April 2019, representatives of housing cooperatives, enterprises, NGOs,  educational institutions and other interested entities operating in Wieniawa District in Lublin, convened to discuss the vision of the Energy Improvement District (EID). This workshop is the second in a series of meetings, to initiate cooperation processes for district energy efficiency planning. The meeting supported the process of developing an EID strategy for the District of Wieniawa, by raising awareness on the essential role that its residents and entities play in energy planning.

The meeting took place at the Lublin Thermal Energy Company; a project associate and a meeting space that showcases a good practice example of office rooftop photovoltaics – currently one of the largest renewable energy producers in Wieniawa EID. Details on the photovoltaic’s effectiveness such as online monitoring capabilities, financing, tendering, legal frameworks, installation and development phases were shared to inspire take-up of the approach. To stimulate discussion about behaviour change, results from a recent survey among Wieniawa District residents were presented. The survey studied heat and electric energy consumption habits to identify possible energy savings from changed consumer behaviour. The results indicated the potential of education measures dedicated to buildings users to inform energy saving consumption habits.

Participants of the workshop were encouraged to identify new strategy objectives for the Wieniawa EID and to identify opportunities, threats and solutions to support the objectives’ realisation. New objectives raised included, for example: identification of buildings with coal-fed heating systems that could install more eco-friendly alternatives, the mounting of photovoltaic facilities on housing and public utility buildings and support for funding, particularly for cultural institutions. Key threats identified included the high turnover of new residents to the District which will require ongoing notification of energy saving behaviour, limitations to co-financing schemes, prioritisation and extent of repair works for some buildings, and lack of control for energy consumption habits in large institutions. Conversely, opportunities include upcoming EU financing opportunities, opportunities to share knowledge between stakeholders, participatory budgeting, the rise in ecological awareness of residents, and city knowledge of residential consumption habits.

Participants further engaged in group work to develop actions that support strategy objectives, which will be further elaborated and developed in an upcoming stakeholder meeting. The strategy will combine stakeholders’ goals with a district SWOT analysis to provide a base for the elaboration of a detailed action plan.

A district level approach to energy planning with active involvement of local entities has raised valuable inputs for the Wieniawa EID, as well as support for Lublin’s overall smart city concept through particular smart districts. Specifically, district level planning can better promote participation and collaboration of local stakeholders to identify specific and often shared needs at a local level.