Empowering municipalities: the transformative impact of ISO 50001 and SECAP measures

In the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable practices, the implementation of an Energy Management System (EnMS) according to ISO 50001 has traditionally been associated with the industrial sector. However, the success of the Compete4SECAP project, financed by Horizon 2020, has demonstrated that this powerful tool can be effectively used in municipalities as well.

Empowering municipalities: the transformative impact of ISO 50001 and SECAP measures

The project counts the journey of 28 municipalities that, within a year, not only implemented but also certified an energy management system, resulting in an impressive 8% reduction in energy consumption during the first year of EnMS implementation, all accomplished without the need for substantial investment projects.

One of the key strengths of EnMS lies in providing a clear structure and set procedures to guide municipal employees to navigate energy-saving initiatives, delegate responsibilities, and to manage data efficiently. This framework not only streamlines operations but also ensures a sustained and focused effort toward energy efficiency. The advantages extend beyond mere energy savings. The saved resources can be reallocated to address other municipal needs, creating a positive ripple effect throughout the community.

Recognising the need to further empower municipalities, an online energy monitoring platform was developed as part of the Compete4SECAP project. This tool caters to energy managers and municipal personnel who may lack experience in handling substantial amounts of data. The tool, successfully employed by more than 20 municipalities in Latvia and other EU countries for over five years, includes modules for public buildings, public lighting, municipal transport, and public transport. It performs necessary calculations to identify changes in energy consumption over time, with readily usable data organisation for energy managers.

Since 2023, the implementation of an energy management system in all the municipalities has become mandatory by the Energy Efficiency Law in Latvia, underscoring its importance and recognising its positive impact on both the environment and local economies.

Following the success of EnMS in municipalities, new methodologies are being tested, incorporating EnMS principles into the wider SECAP implementation process within the framework of the OwnYourSECAP project (co-funded by LIFE programme). By embracing these practices, municipalities can both contribute to a greener future and also enhance their resilience, reduce environmental impact, and promote economic growth, ultimately creating thriving and sustainable communities.

This best practice is extracted from our publication ‘Sustainable Regions in Action‘. Discover more best practices here!