Following three years of ideating, planning and strategizing Energy Improvement Districts (EIDs) in AREA 21, the new project AREA 21 + action goes one step farther and actually implements EIDs in several locations across the Baltic Sea Region. Having started in 2016, it is now time to show some of our key results and impacts. You can find more detailed information in the publications in our library.

Strategies and Action Plans in place, implementation started

All Energy Improvement Districts (EIDs) have resulted in establishing strategies and energy efficiency action plans with a total of 134 actions for seven districts in six countries. After the project end in September 2020, the four strongest EIDs went from strategy to implementation, and started to put the action plans into practice – partially supported by EU follow-up funding.

Ownership and participation are key for the project

176 homeowners, energy utilities and energy agencies, public property owners, hospital and university staff, students, academia, politicians and public authorities from six countries were involved in the co-development of local strategies and action plans. Several actions will be implemented together with the stakeholders involved in its development.

Spill-over effects of project ideas can already be observed

As the EID concept is fully transferrable, spill-over effects or adaptations can already be observed. In Finland, the City of Tampere and local energy authorities dedicated public funding for energy counselling to homeowners and building associations. A national campaign is under development using the experiences of ICT tool-based assessment and counselling from the EID Tampere. In the St. Petersburg EID, findings have been directly integrated in students’ course curricula, and in a new master programme in energy management at the Polytechnic St. Petersburg.

High interest in our project outputs

Within AREA 21, all partners have activated their networks and presented project results publicly at conferences, webinars, and other such events. 798 people read our publications. We have around 12,000 unique visitors on Twitter and our website and 107,922 tweet impressions. In the final AREA 21 webinars, all main outputs were presented to 107 participants from 21 EU countries, incl. 31 policymakers and 16 regional and national energy agencies from across Europe, which act as multiplicators (such as Energieagentur Steiermark (Austria), representing 286 cities and municipalities, or the Lithuanian Energy Institute which covers the entire country).

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region flagship status awarded

In April 2021, AREA 21 has been awarded with the flagship status of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). From the EUSBSR’s point of view, AREA 21 and its Energy Improvement Districts are a significant contribution to the EUSBSR’s objectives in the Policy Area Energy. According to the award, AREA 21 sets standards for implementing the energy goals of the Baltic Sea Strategy (energy security, sustainability, competitiveness). Congratulations to the entire partnership!