Influence on local energy policy CONCERTO as a counsellor for policy makers
Some CONCERTO projects had a major impact on local energy policies e.g. in Dundalk, Ireland (project HOLISTIC), in Lyon, France (project Renaissance) and in Milton Keynes, UK (project cRRescendo). The lessons learnt under the Irish HOLISTIC project in Dundalk has assisted the development of ”Sustainable Energy Community Guidelines” and tools.
This has led directly to Ireland´s national Sustainable Energy (Smart) Communities Programme, in which three exemplar communities were announced that are following the model developed under CONCERTO. This also resulted in the development of the national Sustainable Energy Communities’ Network.
The activities of the RENAISSANCE project in Lyon led the city of Lyon, and even France, to a new national energy policy. Before, there was no definition for building standards. Supported by CONCERTO, it was the first time the city of Lyon had built low-energy houses. Building know-how and even building standards and regulations have changed. The lessons learnt from the experience in Lyon have greatly benefitted the region and the CONCERTO norm has now become the norm for buildings on a national level.
A new energy regulation in buildings was defined on a national level; on a regional level, low energy standards for social housing and training material have been developed. The cRRescendo city of Milton Keynes in the UK has established a zero-emission growth policy. The ambition of Milton Keynes is to be a growing city but without showing any growth in energy consumption.
To achieve this, the town has a rule that buildings with more than a thousand square metres of floor space and a complex of more than four buildings may not produce any emissions. Otherwise the developer has to make payments into the city’s carbon offset fund. The city operates a system of incentives and penalties to reduce CO2 emissions. This was implemented, for example, at the six-storey high Pinnacle office block, which was supported by CONCERTO. The Pinnacle has to pay a charge, because it still emits a small amount of CO2. The revenue the town council collects from this charge is invested in renovating the town’s social housing.