Energy Cities proposition 16 - Keep money spent on energy near to home

Rethink financing solutions

2014

Energy Cities l’association européenne des autorités locales en transition énergétique

Energy Cities is a network of more than 1,000 cities in 30 different countries. Convinced that energy transition is more than a question of renewable energy or advanced technologies, Energy Cities proposes to use resources in a reasoned way, to strengthen local participation and to improve the quality of life in a democratic Europe. In 2014, the network presents 30 proposals for the Energy Transition of Territories.

They are a source of inspiration to think and act differently. To finally turn the page on unsustainable practices that lead us into energy, climate and perhaps economic and social dead ends.

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Energy Cities proposition 16 - Keep money spent on energy near to home

The problem at hand

Where can we find the resources for financing the territories’ energy transition? This issue is on all local authorities’ agendas in a context of drastic cuts in public spending. Facing ever increasing social emergencies, local authorities may feel tempted to let it go and wait for better days.

This would mean misunderstanding the relationship between the energy transition and the stimulation of territorial economies. In a city with 250,000 inhabitants, the annual energy bill for supplying heating, domestic hot water and electricity to house-holds, tertiary activities and SME amounts to roughly 250 million euros. It is a considerable, steadily increasing amount of money that generates a financial flow. Will this flow go to Qatar, Russia or major industrial groups? Or will this money stay “at home” in the territory? In what proportions? What for? And who cares about where it goes? To find a way out, local authorities must take a hard look at their territories.

Proposal

The energy balance of a territory should also include a financial transcription.

This would give the amount of money that is being annually spent on energy, how much is kept in the territory, and how much goes elsewhere. Medium to long-term targets must then be set to “capture” this financial flow and use it to finance energy retrofitting works, energy networks and local renewable energy use. Local medium, small and very small-sized companies would benefit from this capture.

Conditions for success

  • Changing the way that money spent by households and economic activities on energy is perceived: moving from an expenditure “fatality” to a resource “opportunity”.

  • Going beyond CO2 emission and energy use-related approaches and integrating related “financial emissions”.

  • Stopping considering them as additional expenses instead of investments in the economy.

  • Giving visibility to the local economic benefits of energy transition actions.

Références

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