What's new at CITYnvest - April 2017

As we enter the second trimester of 2017, we bring you some fresh news related to CITYnvest project and to energy efficiency in public buildings.
We welcome on board our new Project Coordinator from Climate Alliance and the new Project Officer from CEMR (see below) that will accompany CITYnvest project towards its third and last year with other partners.
The Steering Committee that took place in Sofia on 14 March 2017 confirmed that the project is progressing steadily in all three pilots regions and in focus countries. A lot of work is still ahead, including a series of  events that we announce you in this newsletter.
We also continue with our series of interviews with local leaders, this time with the five questions for Mrs. Yolanda Muñoz, Secretary-General of the Regional Ministry for Development and Infrastructures in the Region of Murcia.

Enjoy the reading!
CITYnvest team 

1. CITYnvest news

​Five questions to Secretary- General of the Murcia Regional Ministry for Development and Infrastructure


 Ms. Muñoz is the Secretary- General of the Regional Ministry for Development and Infrastructures in the Region of Murcia in the southeast of Spain. We heard from her how the region is promoting new strategies for urban rehabilitation based on EU, regional and national funding.
During the period 2013-2016, the Murcia Housing Plan has carried out the rehabilitation of 144 buildings (2.929 houses),  contributing to the creation of 512 new jobs. Investments accomplished in building rehabilitation are worth 9.141.945 € (47% of total investment was granted). You can find out more regarding the Murcia programme, and the barriers and advantages of the implemented solution by reading the interview on  the CITYnvest website.



​Raising profile of CITYnvest in Murcia Region

 Murcia Region is exploring synergies for energy rehabilitation of public buildings of the regional government. Directorates General for Energy DGEAIM & Heritage and INFO Murcia  have come together to make the regional strategy come true. Technical support is provided by Murcia Region services to produce a large number of buildings procurement dossiers aiming at ESCOs’ involvement, assuring solid investments and energy savings in the Murcia Region.
More information is available in Spanish directly on Murcia Region website.

​Rhodope Region of Bulgaria successfully implements its CITYnvest Action plan

 Within the CITYnvest activities, an Action plan has been developed and approved by the local authorities. The implementation of this Action plan starts with the establishment of a One-stop-shop reflecting the experience of RenoWatt (Liège Province) in Rhodope Region. The One Stop-shop is acting as a central procurement agency on behalf of the participating municipalities, in order to facilitate project bundling and green public procurement implementation. The structure named Rhodoshop has recently secured funding and is expected to start operation in September 2017. During the pilot phase in the next three-year, Rhodoshop is committed to the realisation of energy efficiency/sustainable energy actions saving almost 9 GWh energy in buildings and street lighting systems in the Region.

RenoWatt has succesfully implemented EPC in Liège’s Province

​ RenoWatt has achieved its goal within respect of the time frame given by Europan Energy Efficiecny Fund.
Five Energy Performance Contracts-EPC have been signed end of February 2017 for a total amount of 59,9 millions euros impacting 156 building in the province of Liège (shools, offices, sports building, swimming pools and one hospital). These contracts garantee a reduction of energy consumption of 34%.

Based on RenoWatt’s achievement, three economic development agencies from the province of Hainaut (IDEA, IDETA and IGRETEC) have decided to join forces with GRE Liège in order to launch a huge programme of energy retrofitting for public buildings. CITYnvest project plays a key role in dissemination and inspiring new entities to join the energy transition.
Through its understanding of the constraints but also the strength of the public sector, its original solution of buildings pooling, its multidisciplinary approach, the model developed by RenoWatt offers a targeted solution to the municipalities in face of energetic and environmental challenges.


Three take away from CITYnvest Steering Committee, Sofia

​CITYnvest partners met on 14 March in Sofia (Bulgaria) to discuss the progress and next actions for the third year of the project. Since the project started two years ago, more and more municipalities have engaged in the three pilots regions, and capacity building/  awareness raising events took place in the ten focus countries.
Project partners are successfully preparing the ground in pilot regions for additional investments in energy efficient deep renovations of public building:
1. a group of 6 municipalities in Rhodope Region is engaged to go further in funding application;
2. . the RenoWatt project currently running in Liege’s province will be enlarged to Hainaut Province in the Wallonia Region;
3.  Murcia Region will apply for additional funding to implement the refurbishment of 24 public buildings to start.
More actions to come include the follow-up and monitoring of the capacity building programme in the ten focus countries and in the in the three pilot regions. More details in the article below CITYnvest future events.

 CITYnvest future events

CITYnvest partners are organising many events involving the participation of local authorities in the three pilot regions and in the focus countries .
Three additional events are scheduled in the Pilot Region before Autumn: a two-days training in the Region of Murcia, an additional session in Rhodope Region and one in Liège. Their objective is to discuss how to launch the action plans in concrete terms, including how the dedicated team could support the local authorities in the energy efficiency planning of their buildings.
As part of the capacity building programme of CITYnvest, several follow-up activities sessions have been planned in focus countries, to support long-term engagement of the local authorities that participate in the programme towards the implementation of the innovative financing models.
Between April and June 2017 follow up sessions are scheduled in Austria, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Spain. Planned activities are inserted in the CITYnvest Calendar.

Welcome to new CITYnvest colleagues!


Giustino Piccolo works at Climate Alliance where he focuses on financing climate action at the local level. Since February 2017 he has been the CITYnvest project coordinator.
Giustino completed with honours his studies in environmental engineering & spatial planning at University of Naples Federico II in Italy. In between he spent one year at Dresden University of Technology in Germany. Before joining Climate Alliance he was a researcher and a project manager, his work focused mainly on the energy transition and the transition to a circular economy. 




 Maria Giovanna Zamburlini has  already worked on EU projects for more than three years for the chemical trade association Cefic. She has recently finished her experience as trainee at the European Commission DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, working on different industry portfolio files.
With a background in EU Policy Affairs, she is passionate about sustainability topics and ready to jump into the last year of CITYnvest project, to support dissemination and capacity building on successful financing schemes for public buildings in EU countries.


External events with CITYnvest participation

CITYnvest partners have participated in a series of events representing CITYnvest:

  • 26-28 January 2017, Bordeaux  (France), ‘Assise de la transition énergétique européenne', organised by Dunkerque Grand Littoral, Bordeaux Métropole et l’ADEME.. This annual event gather more than 3000 local European authorities representatives to discuss energy transition for climate change adaptation. The event was attended by
  • 18 January 2017, Brussels (Belgium), SEIforum 'Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place’, organised by EASME to discuss financing mechanisms to mobilise investments in sustainable energy. CITYnvest opened the parallel sessions on innovative financing, capacity-building and awareness raising. Jean-Francois Marchand (Energinvest), Ivanka Pandelieva (SEC), Rafael Ataz Gomez (INFO Murcia) and Elise Steyaert (Climate Alliance) presented CITYnvest and the lesson learnt from the pilot regions. You can find more information here.


  • 1 February 2017, EU Parliament, (Belgium), 'Engagement of citizens in sustainable energy- Sharing successful experiences across Europe', hosted by MEP Dario Tamburrano of Italy and organised by the Active Citizenship Network. The event aimed at sharing positive experience of cooperatives for sustainable energy. attended the event. For more info click here
  • 17 January 2017, Eupen (Belgium), 'Interregional Conference Renewable Energy – Now more than ever!' organised by to discuss important dimensions related to renewable energy: society, technology, economics, spatial planning and the environment. For more info click here
  • 31 March 2017, Murcia (Spain), 'Sustainable Energy Day' Murcia Region, sponsored by the regional government and inaugurated by Murcia regional president. The workshop presented the Energy Plan of the Region of Murcia 2016-2020 and was addressed to all economic and social actors. CITYnvest was presented in the workshop programme as one of the most suitable running projects under the umbrella of Covenant of Mayors in the Murcia region, as presented by INFO Murcia director. CITYnvest was also inserted in the promotional material shared with the workshop participants.For more info click here.

2. External news

Wrap-up- training on innovative financing schemes

 On 23 February some 50 participants gathered together to discuss how to develop and implement three innovative financing schemes tested by 11 European cities and regions  for the renovation of public and private buildings.
 The Training on innovative financing scheme took place at the Representation of the State of Baden- Württemberg, in Brussels organised in the framework of INFINITE Solutions project. CEMR and Climate Alliance attended as CITYnvest partners. The attendees included representatives of the banking sector, local governments and EU organisation representing local authorities such as Eurocities and CEMR.

Among general conclusions of the workshop, some conditions have been identified as needed for renovating financial schemes in local context:

  • the need of time, human resources,
  • financial and political willingness,
  • partnership with external actors such as banks,
  • strong communication campaigns for the citizens. 

To implement revolving fund and internal contracting scheme, a general recommendation was to start with low hanging fruits and later engage in more ambitious renovation project; for soft loan it was to avoid considering them as final goals but as instruments to reach large range of citizens ; finally for third party investment it was to reassure partners that the risks will be covered.
You can consult here guidelines provided by INFINITE Solutions  project.


Second State of the Energy Union-Urgency to highlight projects to the EU Citizens benefits

 On 25 February 2015, the "Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy" was adopted. This strategy would bring about the transition to a low-carbon, secure and competitive economy.
The State of the Energy Union is a good opportunity review the progress already made towards building the Energy Union, and to highlight the issues where further attention and effort are needed. The second report reflects on the progress made since the publication of the first report in November 2015. These reports are central elements to monitor the implementation of this key priority of the Juncker Commission.
The progress made so far mainly involves the decarbonisation of the European economy which is ongoing; as is the preparation for the EU’s participation in the first “facilitative dialogue” in 2018. There will be a need for the adaptation of relevant legislation to a 2030 context in order to reach the target of 30% energy efficiency improvement. On the whole, there has been a reduction in the levels of energy consumption. A proposition for a new governance system which would involve more streamlined planning, reporting and monitoring of implementation was mentioned. Most Member States still need to develop their national plan. A draft based on consultations with investors, social partners and local and regional authorities will be expected by January 2018.
Another planned Energy Union tour will target the specific needs of the Member States and it will bring the Energy Union closer to the citizens with the help of dialogue on all levels of society. “Cities and rural areas are crucial for modernisation and decarbonisation of the European economy” since they are vulnerable to climate change impacts; they are part of the problem and the solution. The Energy Union tour is hoping to highlight projects such as city-based one.
And so the European Commission is strongly committed to work on projects with added value and benefits for European citizens. There is certain urgency in regards to addressing legislative proposals and an importance for maintaining overall coherence and the ambition of proposals. Regular progress reviews will remain necessary at a political level and there will be a need to reinforce the implementation of energy and climate diplomacy priorities. This dossier is part of the Energy Union priority of CEMR and currently being discussed in the Expert Group.
Link to the report.


European cooperation boosts €174 Million investments in energy efficiency in public buildings

 Five countries will invest €174 Million Euro in energy efficiency performance contracts  in public buildings. In fact, in Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, Romania and Ukraine. 27 new EPC contracts were already signed during the past two years and another 20 EPC projects are currently in different stages of project preparation., the European EnPC-INTRANS project reported.
The EnPC-INTRANS project is supported by the EU-Programme Horizon 2020 and involves partners from Croatia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Experts and stakeholders in these countries are the target group of the project. The objective is to provide information and know-how on how to apply energy performance contracting (EPC) in public buildings.
Public authorities are motivated but may lack funds for investments in the energy efficient rehabilitation of public buildings. Cooperation with private investors and with qualified energy service companies (ESCOs) in EPC business models may help to overcome this barrier. Trust in long-term business relations based on EPC models is however still weak among both public building owners and private investors.
The starting point for EPC in public buildings in particular in emerging markets like Ukraine, may be so-called EPC-light models based on service concepts avoiding large-scale investments in the first step. EPC-light projects usually pay back within only two to four years based on guaranteed energy savings.