Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Energy efficiency

Energy - 09.10.2006

The right ways to doing more with less energy (conference of municipal energy managers - 5/6 October 2006)
Saving taxpayers' money, improving their living conditions while reducing the pollution, these were some of the issues discussed at the conference of municipal energy managers, in Warsaw, on 5-6 October 2006.
Some 200 energy experts and representatives from local governments discussed and presented their solutions to use energy better within municipalities, while meeting the social, economic and environmental needs.
Pim Koegler, chair of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions' network on energy issues said: We have to develop tools to promote sound municipal and regional energy management. These allow local and regional authorities to save money for their citizens and for themselves, to improve living conditions and to contribute to the fight against climate change.
The president of the Association of Polish Counties, Ludwik Wêgrzyn, highlighted that emissions do not have borders and therefore local governments need to work in partnership towards more sustainable energy policy. Using this type of energy helps creating new jobs locally and therefore also creating sound local economies. Developing the renewable energy sector locally will also have global impacts on climate protection and can help Poland to achieve the Kyoto targets.
Some participants recommended the need to have an energy manager working with the top management of the municipality. Others went as far as calling for a supportive legal framework that would make this obligatory for cities above a certain population size or energy consumption.
They also stated that a simple way to save energy - and thus money - would be to use existing technologies such as energy efficient lighting systems. The initial investment is paid back quite fast in energy savings. Last but not least they recommended the improvement of insulation of public and private buildings.
The conference was organised by the Association of Polish Counties, in partnership with the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, the Institute for Renewable Energy (Poland), Energie-Cités, and sponsored by the European Commission.
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