Tag: energy management

Successful Matchmaking Story from The city of Sestao



We are very excited to announce that the city of Sestao has signed a contract with the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF), officially joining the the EEEF´s Technical Assistance (TA) program. The contact between the two was a result of the Smart Cities Marketplace Matchmaking activities.

“It was exciting when we, the Smart Cities Marketplace matchmaking team, had our first conversations with Sestao. We noticed that the city has huge ambitions when it comes to implementing clean energy solutions, and we were confident that we could connect Sestao with the right investor”, Jorge Rodrigues de Almeida from the Smart Cities Marketplace team stated.

Sestao Berri is a public entity comprised of 50% Basque Government and 50% City of Sestao and is focused on urban regeneration, especially related to housing projects, promoting social, environmental and economic advancement in the region. As part of its involvement within the H2020 +CityxChange project, in which it is working towards developing Positive Energy Blocks in the city, it submitted a concept note during a Smart Cities Marketplace call for projects to participate in one of its events. The project was reviewed and sent to different investors from the Investor Network raising interest among several of them, and thus various meetings were scheduled, one being with EEEF. Since then, multiple projects within the city were considered, and different urban interventions ended up getting approved for entering the Technical Assistance programme, such as the creation of energy communities, buildings’ energy retrofit, modernization of street lighting, installation of electric vehicle charging stations and a digital sustainability platform, resulting in a higher total investment than the one presented in the initial concept note.

“We had a wealth of ideas in Sestao on how to reduce our emissions. The support and advice we received from the Smart Cities Marketplace matchmakers were essential in getting the European Energy Efficiency Fund on board”, Andy Bäcker explained.

In this sense, the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF) is helping to finance the assessment of the technical, economic, and legal viability of these city improvements and help prepare the public tenders under an ESCO model that will be released in the Spring of 2023. It is, conservatively estimated, that this project will contribute to reducing 2.4% of Sestao´s CO2 emission (not accounting for the emissions from the industrial sector) and be the equivalent of having 647 citizens of Sestao living completely carbon neutral.

4th +CityxChange Consortium Meeting

October 18-27th, 2021

On the 18th of October, the +CityxChange project kicked off its fourth consortium meeting. This time, the consortium meeting will be held over 1.5 weeks with a series of smaller sessions to share project updates and hearing the challenges and key learnings from each city. The meeting brings together all project partners including Lighthouse and Follower Cities.  

The project is heading into its fourth year of the five-year project and focusing on the finalization and replication phase. With over 69 deliverables submitted and a significant number of milestones achieved, the project team is proud of the ongoing dedication and commitment, especially under extra-ordinary conditions over the last year and a half. 

Over the 1.5 weeks, the project partners across Europe were immersed in fruitful sessions online, each one led by Follower and Lighthouse Cities. The results and outcomes shared by the cities included news on deployment, citizen engagement and replication efforts within their respective demonstration areas, Positive Energy Blocks and Districts. Furthermore, some sessions included an interactive storytelling workshop surrounding topics of Youth Engagement, Sustainable Energy Transition, E-Mobility and generally disseminating the activation of various projects in an engaging way.

This moment also became an opportunity for cross-learning and exchange throughout the sessions, where city partners and other project members discussed common challenges faced as well as commended each other for their success. Despite the challenges and barriers posed by the global health pandemic, the project team celebrated the various achievements of the FCs and LHCs and reflected on how to move toward the future in a positive, smart and inclusive way.

+CityxChange Participates in Sustainable Places 2021 in Rome

The involvement of citizens and energy communities (energy citizenship) is seen as a key pillar in the energy transition. Citizens interact with the technical energy systems; they are both subject and object of social innovation in the energy society and are emerging economic actors in the energy markets. However, how to design and optimize energy policies that enable all citizens to take an active role in accelerating the energy transition, is still unclear. Also, the assessment of the potential impacts of energy citizenship and how to design and optimize energy policies that enable all citizens to take an active role in accelerating the energy transition, are still under defined.

The workshop aims at presenting and discussing the methods, strategies and expected impacts for citizen engagement applied in six different research and innovation projects in the area of Positive Energy districts. The workshop aims at finding a common definition of energy citizenship and explore how important citizen engagement really is for the success of new energy concepts. Also discussed will be the question of how to assess and compare the impact of citizen engagement strategies across projects. The six participating projects are: ATELIER, +CityxChange, ENERGE , MakingCity, mySmartLife and Pocityf. Check the Sustainable Places website for the exact date and time and for registration: https://www.sustainableplaces.eu/

Rediscovering the abandoned urban spaces in Smolyan – “the heart of Rhodope mountains“

Event objectives:

The purpose of the initiative is for the youth of the municipality to express their position for the creation of the surrounding environment through photos. Through the event we found out about possible solutions in the direction of improving and ennobling public abandoned spaces and dangerous buildings in the regional town of Smolyan. The collected ideas are to be reviewed, analysed and further developed as integrated part in BCV 2050. „PhotoVoice“ is an opportunity for the youth to identify, present and emphasize on the way they see and perceive a sustainable urban environment. What was expected to be built as a result from the event is a long-term vision of how the young people imagine their town and its development.

Key direction followed was the emphasise on the sustainable cities development. 


Participants in the event:

The target group of the event was identified to be students from high school. Two groups from different schools were invited to participate in the event. 


Abandoned spaces:

Second level of water cascade

Public space around Varna Free University

Green public space – Raykovo, Smolyan

Underpass – Raykovo, Smolyna

Public space around the Regional Historical Museum

Abandoned high-rise building

Ruins of a destroyed residential building


Event program:

The event has been conducted in two stages – photo contest and open gallery with a workshop. 

The aim and the task of the contest was for the youth to discover and photograph abandoned public spaces and buildings that have made strong impression on them, and those that could be ennobled to create a better sustainable surrounding environment.

The second stage was an open gallery and a workshop that included all the photographs. The concept behind it was that more people from the wider or immediate community get familiar with how the young people see as opportunities in our town. The open gallery included a workshop that aimed to generate fresh creative ideas and opinions for the development of a sustainable new vision of the urban spaces in our town.


Open gallery and workshop program: 

Getting familiar with the work of +CityxChange project;

Discussion: „The role of the youth in the development, protection and the maintenance of the urban environment. “;

Grouping by teams and setting the task;

Distribution of materials (tracing paper, sticky notes, pencils, pens, markers)

Delivering the task;


Results from the event:

The set objectives have been met. A positive result has been achieved and many fresh ideas and opinions have been gathered. Apart from the target group set, other citizens took part in the event, as well. These have been people from the immediate and the wider community of the different identified spaces. The event received big interest and positive feedback. The students engaged well with the places since the identified ones were spaces of their everyday life. They have been giving quite relevant notes in terms of the lack of pavilions, lack of urban fountains for refill water, lack of lighting at many urban spaces, lack of bins and lack of maintenance in general. The idea of sustainable city was introduced under the form of „green city “concept. Most of the ideas and opinions gathered, suggest bringing more “green life” (trees, flowers, more green urban spaces, etc.) into the town. 

The discussion conducted managed to get them engaged and to hear how they feel about taking part in the development of the urban environment. Many students did not know that they could be able to contribute to this development through different tools (NGOs, youth organizations, etc.). 

The ideas and thoughts are currently being further developed so they are included in the BCV 2050. 


BCV integration:

The main issue the municipality has been facing in the past couple of years is the human migration to bigger cities. Most of the students leave our town once they graduate with the tendency of not coming back. The town is not as attractive to young people. One of the issues that lead to the lack of interest in the town is that it is clearly lacking open urban spaces for people to engage and communicate. One of the aspects that BCV would aim to touch upon is related to the development of such spaces that could make our town more attractive not only to the locals but to people from other parts of the country, as well. 

The ideas and opinions are being further developed into small design interventions that are to be suggested to the local authorities and potentially executed. The concept of regenerating urban spaces is to be integrated in the BCV as one of the key aspects the strategy would touch upon.


First New European Bauhaus prizes launched Highlighting inspiring examples that are beautiful, sustainable and inclusive

Applications are now open for the first New European Bauhaus prizes across 10 categories – from ‘products and lifestyle’, to ‘reinvented places to meet and share’ – all themed around the core pillars of the initiative: sustainability, quality of experience, and inclusion.

Following the launch of the initiative’s co-design phase in January, the ‘New European Bauhaus prizes’ will celebrate excellent examples to help inspire the project launched by President Ursula von der Leyen last year.

As the President said: “With the New European Bauhaus we want to make the European Green Deal tangible and ‘palpable’. We want to add a cultural dimension to the economic and technological transformation.” 

For each of the 10 categories there will also be a specific ‘New European Bauhaus Rising Stars’ strand, open to under-30s. The idea is to support and encourage the younger generation to continue developing new ideas and exciting concepts.

The creation of the prizes was announced by Commissioners Ferreira and Gabriel during last week’s New European Bauhaus Conference.

The application period is open until 31 May 2021. Both EU and non-EU nationals can apply, as long as their concepts, ideas and projects are actually developed or physically located in the EU.

An evaluation committee will first assess the eligibility of all entries. There will then be an online public vote, open to all New European Bauhaus newsletter subscribers. A jury made up of New European Bauhaus official partner organisations will then assess the three projects with the most votes under each category and strand, before the prizes are awarded. Winners will receive cash prizes as well as support to spread the message about their project.

Sign up for the newsletter (link below) so you do not miss the opportunity to see the entries and decide on your favourites! Do not hesitate to share the link with your colleagues, networks and friends so that we ensure the widest possible participation.

Check out the New European Bauhaus prizes web page (link below) for more information on the different categories.

Beautiful | Sustainable | Together

The New European Bauhaus Conference brought together leading thinkers and practitioners from around the world to share their visions and have a conversation on the way forward for the New European Bauhaus. Over 5,800 people from more than 85 countries registered for the virtual event.

The conference was opened by President von der Leyen, European Parliament President David Sassoli, and the Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa on behalf of the Council Presidency.

Other speakers included politician and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg, grassroots activist and founder of Slum Dwellers International Sheela Patel, climate scientist John Schellnhuber, architect Shigeru Ban, and other members of the high-level roundtable of experts for the initiative. They discussed issues like how to make the New European Bauhaus a driver for hope and change, and how the project can act as a bridge between art and technology in a global world.

·         New European Bauhaus 2021 prizes

·         Sign up for the New European Bauhaus newsletter

·         New European Bauhaus Conference

Javier Burón: CROSSROADS EUROPE Dialogue | Virtual strategies for citizen participation

April 14, 2021

CROSSROADS EUROPE Dialogue: Virtual strategies for citizen participation


Crossroads Europe aims at fostering cross-cutting dialogue about the EU, the challenges facing it and its future through a series of offline events dedicated to main forms of organized civil society and policy makers. Javier Burón (Collaborative) was invited to present + CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook together with Andrés Pereira de Lucena Decidim’s coordinator. The session was followed by a dialogue of the two participants about digital citizen participation under the context of participatory democracy in the European Union.

Andy Bäcker: Sestao as an Example of Concrete Actions in Circular Economy

Andy Bäcker presented Sestao’s urban regeneration project through the European + CityxChange program to create smart cities. With this, the European Union has proposed that by 2025 there will be 100 districts that produce more energy than they consume. In the program, the Basque city is the only Spanish representative.

In Sestao they have proposed that already in 2023 a series of buildings in the city produce more energy than they consume. And, for this, they have launched a project called Red de Calor . With this project, this series of buildings will be heated with two biomass boilers and a third auxiliary gas boiler. Some of them, those already connected, have gone from a very poor energy rating to a maximum.

The intention of the Biscayan municipality is to increase the number of buildings connected to this heat network and with other renewable sources, such as photovoltaic panels, take advantage of the residual heat from the AcelorMittal steel plant, or thermal solar panels with which the heat of the summer to take advantage of it during the cold months.

Other options contemplated in Sestao are the creation of solar gardens to take advantage of the electricity they produce to power the buildings that are entering the project. In addition, the use of vegetation allows the decontamination of the soil.

Within the European project, other objectives are pursued, apart from energy efficiency, such as involving citizens, sensorization or monitoring of water, energy or air quality consumption, sustainable mobility, or the installation of chargers. electric vehicles.

Finally, in Sestao , commitments have been signed such as: carbon neutrality by 2050, strategies to make the city more sustainable, the Covenant of Mayors to reduce CO 2 by 2030, or the Urban Agenda, now in the process of being drawn up, and the creation of energy communities for self-consumption.

Six innovative ‘Energy Positive’ projects to start in Limerick City this summer

Businesses, Community Groups and Students among those funded by the +CityxChange project.

Six innovative ‘energy positive’ projects are to begin in Limerick City this summer following an open call for novel energy ideas in the heart of Limerick’s Georgian Neighbourhood.

The +CityxChange (Positive City Exchange) project is working to develop areas of “positive energy” in Limerick City which produce more energy than they consume.

Limerick City and County Council is a lead partner on the +CityxChange along with the city of Trondheim in Norway and is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

Take Control of Your Energy was the open innovation call stream to fund projects that test ideas to reduce the amount of energy used in the city, and increase the energy generated from innovative sources. The teams will demonstrate different possibilities for changing the way we use energy in the city.

One of the funded projects, Greening the Smart Grid, a collaboration between the Urban Coop, Community Power and Clean Tech Energy will be using a solar powered microgrid to extend the growing season on local allotments.

Bill Kelly of the project team said: “We are really excited to raise awareness in Limerick of the tools we all have at our disposal to enable everyone to join in the decarbonisation of society.”

St Michael’s Rowing Club (SMRC) is another group which received funding to progress the installation of PV Panels and batteries on the roof of the club. They want to experiment with using solar power to charge their launches and training events on the river.

Andrew O’Connell of SMRC said: “We’re looking forward to installing the new PV Panels and making a move away from petrol usage to clean energy in our club. St. Michael’s excels at responding to the big challenges, and this is going to be really positive for the club and the city.”

Clean Air Enthusiast Alan Bell has been funded to develop air quality monitors to attach to vehicles and bicycles in the City Centre, to build up a detailed picture of the air quality in the city throughout the day.

Alan said: “We want to help Limerick people to understand more about the way air quality in the city is affected by things like transport and home heating, giving them the power to make informed decisions for the future.”

As part of the Open Innovation Call, +CityxChange leaders from Limerick City and County Council, University of Limerick, Colaborativa, Smart MPower, and Space Engagers will be working with the project teams to develop their ideas for implementation over the summer.

Project TitleSynopsis
Greening the Smart GridTo energise the citizenry of Limerick City to become actively involved in the energy transition and food production in the Georgian district and its environs – short projects and hands-on growing food in an EMS-enabled microgrid.
PowerGenerationPowerGeneration is a public participatory ‘Maker’ workshop which aims to foster public engagement and empowered community climate actions related to energy production and consumption. The workshop demonstrates and facilitates participatory small-scale 12V power generation to ‘make power’ together.
Georgian Heat ExchangeTo recover waste heat from the café/ restaurant on the ground floor for use in the café and the apartments above.
Solar CarportTo install a solar charged carport to generate clean, renewable energy. This energy can then be used to charge electric vehicles parked inside while any excess generation can be used elsewhere on site.
Mapping the Air Quality MicroclimateTo map localised air quality levels in and around the Georgian Quarter. We would like to provide visibility of how air quality varies in areas of high chimney density and weather conditions to encourage people to make different, healthier, fuel choices.
Petrol to PV: Decarbonising the Shannon RiverTo install PV Panels and battery storage on the roof of the rowing club. The energy gathered will be used by the club directly and for charging lithium ion batteries. The stored energy will then be used in training launches and events on the River Shannon, decarbonising an important Limerick amenity and reducing petrol use.

Students from Colegio Kueto visit the District Heating of Txabarri

6th grade students from Colegio Kueto visit the District Heating of Txabarri

On March 22, a score of students from the sixth grade year of the Kueto public school in Sestao visited the facilities of the District Heating, or neighborhood heating promoted by Sestao Berri in the lower area of Sestao, within the framework of the European energy rehabilitation project EU-GUGLE . This community infrastructure distributes heating and sanitary hot water to four hundred homes in the neighborhood

The schoolchildren, belonging to two classes of that Primary school year, received an initial explanation about this infrastructure outside the facilities, where the neighborhood heating boiler room is located, on the ground floor of the Plaza de Vicente Díez. After the presentation, the schoolchildren took turns entering the interior, where experts from the Tecman company, the design engineering responsible for the development of the District Heating, explained in detail the operation of the facility to the schoolchildren. The students were able to see up close and understand the operation of the biomass and gas boilers, the biomass silo, the discharge area, the management computer system and other elements that make up this neighborhood heating. The schoolchildren were very interested in the visit, which was reflected in numerous questions on his part. Tecman has made a video in which he explains how this infrastructure works.

Písek joins the EneMaS project on energy management systems

Implementation of the energy management system and ISO 50001 certification – Obtaining Písek city certification for ISO 50001

Reducing CO2 emissions is one of today’s most pressing issues. Every organization can make some contribution to reducing its CO2 emissions. The fact that this can reduce costs also makes it attractive to do. An energy management system helps an organization work systematically on reducing its energy consumption. From the beginning of this year, Smart Písek has joined the EneMaS project which aims at managing the energy in the city in a more efficient way.

The purpose of the project is to establish an energy management system at the level of the municipal authority and managing organizations. This is mainly due to the creation of a dedicated position of an energy manager, formalization and implementation of energy management processes, deepening and automating the collection of energy data and their subsequent analysis.

ISO 50001 is a new international standard that sets requirements for the energy management system. The requirements of ISO 50001 certification will help you implement a system that identifies areas with high energy expenditure, focuses on reducing these energy expenditures and makes energy use more efficient – energy efficiency. It is the first global standard that comes after the EN 16001 (Energy Management Management System) and ISO (Internatinal Organization for Standartisation) assumes that up to 60% of the world’s energy can be saved in the global implementation of ISO 50001.