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STEP UP Newsletter

Welcome to the final edition of the STEP UP newsletter!

With this newsletter we bring you up to date on recent STEP UP news, events and activities,and reflect on the project's key outputs as it comes to a close, including STEP UP sessions at this year’s EU Sustainable Energy week in Brussels. Each city also shares an overview of their own achievements from the project and their next steps for delivering sustainable energy planning in practice.

STEP UP (Strategies Towards Energy Performance and Urban Planning) is an EU FP7 funded energy and sustainability planning project under which four European cities - Ghent, Glasgow, Gothenburg and Riga - have enhanced their Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs). STEP UP has brought together excellence in energy planning and low carbon energy projects from the four cities to create and disseminate a coherent and easy-to-use model for integrated city and energy planning. The project is a partnership of twelve organisations, consisting of local government, research and commercial partners from across the four STEP UP cities.
STEP UP guides for cities

In May, STEP UP published two guidebooks for cities, providing advice and recommendations based on the experiences of the STEP UP cities, on: To view and download the guides, click on the links above.
 

Enhanced SEAPs
 

All four cities’ enhanced SEAPs can be found on the STEP UP website

EU Sustainable Energy Week 2015
 

Recently, the project partners hosted two events as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels on June 18th, sharing key outputs and achievements from the partners and the project’s wider learning network of cities. EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is an initiative of the European Commission, showcasing activities dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. It is designed to spread best practices, inspire new ideas and build alliances to help meet the EU's energy and climate goals.

STEP UP’s first event, 'Sustainable Energy Planning in Action: Experiences from the STEP UP project' was delivered as part of EU SEW's High Level Policy Conference, sharing best practice approaches and new ideas based on the actions and outcomes of the STEP UP project, from partner cities and the wider learning network. An informal networking event was also held, offering opportunities for further discussion with local experts.
CITY NEWS
GHENT Since the launch of Ghent’s SEAP in January 2015, the implementation of actions has been going well. To stimulate energy-efficient retrofitting the City launched different online tools. Citizens can screen the retrofit potential of their house in the online tool ‘Check your house’. Ghent also launched a digital solar map on which the potential for solar energy on every roof in Ghent is visible. Both tools are very popular and together have attracted around 10,000 visitors.

Subsidies for energy-efficient retrofitting, which are tailor-made for particular groups, are also a great success. In the past 6 months 500 energy subsidies were granted, most of them for roof insulation. More than 500 households consulted the new web tool ‘Energie Centrale’ for questions and advice on energy efficient retrofits, with around 150 households booking a free energy scan that the City now offers.

Energy coaching for companies is also proving a successful initiative; after an effective pilot with 15 companies last year, 30 companies have signed up for the new round of training. And within its strategy for sustainable food consumption and production, Ghent has launched a digital interactive platform where citizens, organisations and companies can interact and share ideas. A similar platform for energy-efficient retrofit is currently being developed and will be available to public soon.
GLASGOW Next steps: Following the end the project, Glasgow will:
  • Implement and closely monitor enhanced SEAP actions to ensure the 30% CO2 emissions reduction target is achieved;
  • Further develop a pipeline of city projects and identify new opportunities and innovative solutions to ensure energy security, economic growth and regeneration, imunity energy projects;
  • Continue to develop stakeholder relationships and work with partners, communities and industry to identify low carbon solutions to city challenges, such as fuel poverty;
  • Ensure that Glasgow’s ESCo and planned district heating schemes are implemented and continue to grow steadily to bring affordable warmth to the city’s residents and businesses.
GOTHENBURG  Within Gothenburg, STEP UP has enhanced understanding about developing low carbon projects and progressed the city's external and internal networks and collaborations. Gothenburg has learned from innovative best practice projects, from effective design to understanding how projects can be used in the development process as a driving force for change when it comes to putting city strategies into practice. Through STEP UP Gothenburg has also enhanced its SEAP which has gained much attention and recognition, particularly for its ambitious consumption perspective.

Gothenburg has showcased its achievements through numerous high level events, such as the Smart Cities Network. The 4th Network meeting in June focussed on how large scale European projects can strengthen city strategies and goals on a local level, adding long term value to the city. Key STEP UP findings were presented by City of Gothenburg and SP. The Gothenburg Smart Cities Network brings together participants from different projects to share results, experiences and ideas. A short video featuring Kristina Mjörnell from SP explains further benefits of the network.

Anna Wenstedt and Peter Rydberg from City of Gothenburg's Environmental Administration were invited by the World Bank to participate in a climate strategies workshop in Yokohama, Japan, March 23-27th. The training program is tailored towards those who will lead the development of the City Climate Planner Professional Certification Program, aiming to increase the production of qualitative climate strategies and strengthen the skills of staff working within the field.
RIGA Next steps: 
The Riga E-catalogue of good practice in ICT usage for energy-efficiency will be updated with recently identified initiatives, including the Latvian National Library (the venue of many Latvian Presidency of the European Union Council events) and a state-of-the-art cooling system using river Daugava waters, amongst others.
 

Riga will host a delegation of Ukrainian visitors, from Odessa and Lviv, in late July, presenting achievements, best practice and supporting knowledge transfer on SEAP development.

Riga will continue to develop the visions of two of Riga's three Smart Districts: Kipsala, where Riga Technical University campus and Swedbank Latvia Headquarters are located; and Skanste; with 
Tornakalns already covered in Riga's SEAP. Riga will also continue to engage closely with the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments to strengthen its capacity to become the Covenant of Mayors Coordinator in Latvia.
RIGA For more information, please contact Inete Ielite at Riga City Council: Inete.Ielite@riga.lv
GHENT Next steps: The next implementation phase of Ghent’s SEAP has a lot in store to make the city more sustainable. The car free city centre will be doubled in size and more streets will be livable and traffic free. Renovation advice for households will be extended further and tailor made to suit each household which comes forward.

More companies will be guided in energy management through the delivery of training, and nine citizen groups are starting up collective projects aiming at
CO2 reductions and energy efficiency with guidance and subsidies  from the City council.
GHENT For more information please contact Indra Van Sande, City of Ghent, Department of Climate and Environment: indra.vansande@stad.gent
GLASGOW  The Glasgow partners - Glasgow City Council, University of Strathclyde and ScottishPower Energy Networks – have carried out a thorough energy systems analysis to understand patterns of energy use across the city. This has shaped 33 new actions for Glasgow’s enhanced SEAP, the Energy and Carbon Masterplan which sets out how the city will achieve its 30% CO2 emissions reduction target by 2020 whilst fostering regeneration, economic growth and increased energy security, with strong Council support.

Glasgow has successfully identified 3 existing lighthouse initiatives and a pipeline of projects that are being developed further, including wind, micro-hydro and solar photovoltaics projects, as well as 2 potential community partnerships looking at innovative ways to improve energy efficiency. STEP UP has also helped to develop the city’s District Heating further and raise the profile of the Energy Services Company (ESCo).

Glasgow partners have fostered ongoing collaboration, as well as better links with community groups and organisations such as Community Energy Scotland. The city has also collaborated with other Scottish cities, including coaching Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness, shared experiences with twin city Nuremberg, and delivered training webinars and resources for the wider Scottish learning network of cities.
GLASGOW For more information, please contact Gavin Slater, City Energy Manager at Glasgow City Council: gavin.slater@glasgow.gov.uk
GOTHENBURG Next steps: Gothenburg will continue the development of the innovative projects; the micro terminal in the Free Port (Frihamnen) has been included in several new project applications, as has the tool for planning for sustainable lifestyles.

Gothenburg have recently joined the Swedish Politicians Week in Almedalen, Gotland, where they have spread the knowledge from the project and this work will continue. One example is the climate exhibition in The River Room (Älvrummet), where the SEAP is presented to the general public. The exhibition will be open until Christmas, with guides who have received special training about the SEAP.
GOTHENBURG For more information please contact: Anna.Svensson@sbk.goteborg.se.
For SP: Kerstin.Elias@sp.se
RIGA The STEP UP project has greatly contributed to the development of Riga's enhanced SEAP by widening its scope with new actions. The project has also fostered collaboration with a wider circle of committed stakeholders on cross-disciplinary actions and the development of new innovative projects.

Riga has not only fully implemented the energy management system in the city, but also prepared the Progress report for the Enhanced SEAP which will be launched at the end of July in the City Hall. This progress report has been based on 2013/2014 data and identifies the trends and issues in the city to be addressed, and harnessed as opportunities. The presentation of the report will be followed by a stakeholders’ discussion.

Following the end of STEP UP, Riga has committed itself to working alongside Riga Technical University to contribute to European Innovation Partnership on Smart cities and Communities. The city is also actively engaged with its companion cities, Tartu and Tallinn, and a number of partners from the Baltic Sea region. Through these partnerships, Riga will promote lessons and outputs of the STEP UP project and prepare pilot Smart City initiatives for the wider European Platform with a focus on transitioning to a low carbon in Europe.
STEP UP: Enhancing SEAPs (Sustainable Energy Action Plans). Step 4.
STEP UP produced a VIDEO GUIDE to the STEP UP approach for developing enhanced SEAPs. The guide features interviews with key project partners and political representatives who actively supported the project delivery throughout its life, and are continuing the legacy of the project in their cities. 

Watch the video above and click here for more information.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 314679.
Copyright © 2015 Step Up, All rights reserved.


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