EXCITE will bring over the best practices in energy management by applying the time-proven methodology of the European Energy Award (eea) to countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The setting up of national eea frameworks will be supported by existing local instruments and will exploit synergies with parallel initiatives as ISO:50001 implementation and energy and climate planning under the Covenant of Mayors.
Under EXCITE, a dedicated online capacity building platform will be developed, offering opportunities for blended learning, qualification and certification of municipal energy managers. In addition, a study tour in Austria demonstrating the best practices of eea winners and international peer review and training events will be organized for the pilot municipalities. Direct support for implementation of the eea methodology will be provided by local and international eea consultants.
The eea methodology is wel understood as a tool for attraction of additional private investment in energy and climate actions by local authorities. EXCITE will deliver a review of business and financing models relevant to eea methodology; in addition, innovative financial schemes will be considered and described in detail for application in the new EU financial framework in situation of decreasing grant components and more ambitious requirements for leveraging of public resources. Special attention will be paid to innovative financing mechanisms as crowd funding and energy communities.
The best practices related to civil engagement strategies from eea, the Covenant of Mayors and the Smart Cities and Communities projects will be analyzed. The review will support the development of local communication strategies, including precise definition of the target groups, analysis of the right argumentation for each of them, design of the engaging messages and selection of the right communication channels. And then, we act: the implementation of eea will be supported by major local civil engagement campaigns, supported by the local partners.