The programme supports small towns that have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors initiative to implement energy efficiency projects identified within their Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs), with grants as well as technical assistance.
The programme aims to bridge the gap between Sustainable Energy Action Plans and their practical implementation in selected municipalities with less than 200,000 inhabitants, through the implementation of demonstration projects. The programme addresses the limited technical and financial capacities of municipalities that have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors, but are not able to finance the measures described in their action plans from their own budget.
The programme comprises two main components:
- Grants awarded to 19 selected projects, involving 22 local administrations (11 projects in Ukraine, 3 in Moldova, 3 in Belarus, 1 in Armenia and 1 in Georgia) – grants range between €400,000 and €1.2 million. The selected projects focus on energy savings through:
- Building refurbishment
- Upgrading district heating systems
- Introducing energy-efficient street lighting
- Upgrading public transport
- Improving energy efficiency in (waste) water systems
- Technical, procedural, communication and networking assistance provided by the programme Support Team, including individual consultations, trainings and other supporting actions.