As one of the main outputs of the AREA 21 project local strategies for Energy Improvement Districts (EID) including concrete Action Plans will be developed. It will support the partner cities and regions to create synergies on the district level. Actors involved in local energy planning and implementation will be provided with orientation and a sound basis to plan mid- to long-term actions. Thus, it is essential that these local strategies and action plans will be developed in close collaboration with the key stakeholders. Against this background, on 12 September the 3rd and final AREA 21 local stakeholder workshop for Wieniawa EID was held with the help of external strategy experts, regional authorities and moderators. Main focus was put on the presentation of external funding sources for energy effectiveness investments. Local, national and EU programmes were demonstrated to present stakeholders a variety of funding possibilities. Based on financial perspectives, a realistic action plan could be developed and discussed. Considering the exchange and discussion with the relevant local stakeholders, further development and amendments are now proceeded to ensure high quality of the strategy for the district.
The strategy developed in Wieniawa comprises several interrelated measures and objectives, all contributing to the overarching vision of promoting and balancing good living conditions with economic development and low carbon emissions. Recently, progress has been made in particular regarding the following two measures:
- The benchmarking tool “Energiamonitor“ for better planning of usage and energy savings is currently being adjusted for Polish conditions. The tool promotes behavior change of end-users and in the long run it creates the basis for evidence-based decision-making in local energy planning. With the great help from partners and IT-service contractors, the tool has already been migrated into Lublin Municipality servers. Currently, it is being tested in an in-house process as well as at a local workshop and several tasks related to the adjustment of the tool to the Polish context are ongoing.
- To raise awareness among end-users, the local AREA 21 team furthermore started a cooperation with Lublin Thermal Energy Company (LPEC S.A.), Associated Organisation of the AREA 21 project, about the idea of labeling buildings. Low pollution certificates for buildings connected to the city heating network are to be mounted on walls to promote low pollution and better air quality within Wieniawa District. About 200 buildings have been indicated by LPEC S.A to join the action.
While the AREA 21 activities in Lublin move forward, several other developments in the energy field show the importance of the topic: On 1 September a new, national photovoltaic installations co-financing programme came into force in Poland. It’s called “My current” and has a chance to be a “game changer” in the field of small renewable energy sources. It was long awaited by prosumers in Poland as it’s simple and available for every house owner regardless of income status. Hopefully, this will encourage individual investors to participate in energy transformation and make their own electricity from rooftop photovoltaic installations. Another not less important event happened on Friday 20 September, when Lublin´s youth joined the Global Climate Strike. In addition to Lublin and Włodawa, young people in Zamość, Chełm and Puławy took to the streets. It is the first time that such protests occur in Lublin and a positive sign for a change in the hearts and minds forcing climate change to be put on the political agenda.