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The EEA gold award is given to municipalities which have implemented 75% of the possible measures.

The European Energy Award (EEA) supports municipalities that want to contribute to a sustainable energy policy and urban development through the rational use of energy and an increased use of renewable energies.

I Description of the measure

Title in original language: European Energy Award

Location of CNA: Europe

Municipality / regional entity: 18 countries

Category of the experience: Standard & label
Type(s) of CNA:

Principal nomination: Other type
Secondary nomination(s): Technological

Thematic field(s):

Principal field: Buildings & construction

Spatial scale: International
Time & duration:

Start date: 2001
Duration: ongoing

Key word(s): award, certification, Energy policy


The EEA is a qualified instrument for steering and controlling communal energy policy in order to review systematically all energy-related activities. It allows municipalities to identify strengths, weaknesses and potential for improvement and, above all, implement effectively energy efficient measures. The success of a municipality's efforts is made visible by an award. The EEA process consists of two main elements: 1) A quality management system for municipal energy-related services and activities 2) Certification and award for energy-related achievements and control of success through regular audits


Step-by-step municipalities improve their performance in their energy-related activities: • Energy-related activities are reviewed • Strengths, weaknesses and potentials for improvement are visualised • Goals for the local energy policy and decision-making criteria are defined • An energy policy work programme is developed comprising long-term and short-term projects • The work programme is implemented step-by-step • A continuous assessment of the results is carried out The whole process is carried out by the Energy team, formed by representatives from the municipalities administration and politicians, assisted by an external eea® advisor expert in the field of energy.


18 countries are taking part, most prominently Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland (= ordinary members). By the end of 2010, 848 municipalities from these six countries take part in the programme - 417 of them have already run through the auditee process (237 from Switzerland, 110 from Germany, 49 from Austria etc). Depending on the degree of implementation of possible measures, a municipality gets certified and awarded with the European Energy Award: regular: if 50% of the possible measures are implemented gold: if 75% of the possible measures are implemented For details: go to the national websites

II Assessment criteria

Mitigation effects: High

see 13-Results. Mitigation effects are depending on the implemented measures of the respective municipalities. Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced (at least in certain fields), however, it is often unclear to what extent.

Impacts on adaptation: Neutral

The EEA is not explicitly aiming at climate change adaptation. However, energy policy and the respective measures may also support adaptation.

Impacts on environment:

- Landscape: Neutral
- Alpine ecosystems / biodiversity: Neutral
- Water / soil / air: Positive
- "Other": None

Focus is on municipalities (built environment), hardly any direct effects on natural landscape and ecosystems/biodiversity. Positive effects in terms of CO2 emissions reductions and air quality.

Impacts on society:

- Social justice: Positive
- Regional / cultural identity: Positive
- "Other": None

Depending on the implemented measures, but the EEA is believed to have (slightly) positive effects on social justice (many parts of the society may benefit from the implementation of measures) and local identity (municipality can be displayed as role model).

Impacts on economy:

- Employment / job creation: Positive
- Added value / income: Positive
- Know how / competitiveness: Positive
- "Other": None

Depending on the implemented measures, but generally the EEA is believed to have positive effects on municipal economy (e.g. job and income creation thanks to investments in renewable energies, cost savings due to increased energy efficiency etc.)

Public relations impact and awareness-raising: Very high

Awareness effects are high to very high, although depending on the respective municipality. The European Energy Award is an excellent tool to "translate" the municipal energy policy into every day life and to show the public what has been achieved so far.

Transferability: Very high

Transferability is very high as proven by the history of the EEA: from similar actions in a few countries (namely Switzerland, Austria and Germany) to a well defined approach towards a more sustainable energy policy in an (ever increasing) number of European countries. The whole process is well established and easily transferable.

Cross sectoral and integrative approach: High

integrative approach towards a more sustainable energy policy; carbon neutrality is not explicit aim; wide array of measures is in favour of a cross sectoral and integrative approach

Good governance: High

Usually. the EEA is widely accepted and involves a series of actors (political authorities, administration, businesses, civil society and NGOs

III Executive body and contact information

Executive body: Administration, Other public bodies

The European Energy Award® is based on the experience of Switzerland, Vorarlberg (AUT) and Nordrhein-Westfalia (GER) with three successful programmes Energiestadt (CH), energieeffiziente Gemeinden e5 in Vorarlberg (AUT) and Aktionsprogramm 2000 plus (GER). In 2003 the long-lasting informal co-operation of these three countries was institutionalised with the founding of the associaiton Forum EEA.

Contact person(s):

Name: european energy award
Institution: Forum European Energy Award e.V.
Address: International Office, Molkenstrasse 21, 8004 Zurich
Phone: +41 44 213 10 22
Fax: +41 44 213 10 25

Other contact persons:

Other contact person: For the EAA municipalities and their concerns the national and regional organisations are responsible. (see website for contact details)

Online information: (international homepage) (Austria) (Germany) (Switzerland)

Available documents

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