Being Malta’s only energy agency, MIEMA has collaborated with many of the island’s regions and local councils to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources nationwide. Recently, it has teamed up with the Gozo Regional Council to jointly set up the Gozo Regional Development Foundation (GRDF). This intends to offer services on sustainable energy and environmental issues specifically tailored to the needs of the island of Gozo, which is proposing itself as an eco-island.
During 2020, the Foundation embarked on a programme called “Support Local Government in Low Carbon Strategies”. The initiative aims to help municipalities in Gozo achieve their energy performance objectives using Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), an iterative 4-steps management method used for the control and continuous improvement of processes. The method helps fill a gap in the municipalities’ approach to energy management, which was inconsistent and mostly disjointed.
The “Planning” part includes the appointment of an energy officer and an energy team, the formulation of an energy policy and its communication within the organisation, as well as the identification of energy use and opportunities for energy performance improvements. The “Do” is the implementation of the energy management system and associated processes. The “Check” involves the implementation of thorough and focused internal audits to verify that the energy management system is working properly, and the monitoring of processes in order to verify that they adhere to the legal requirements and planned policies. The “Act” is about management review and the initiation and implementation of any corrective actions, any process optimization actions in response to the results of the monitoring activities, and the definition of new targets based on the foregoing activities.
GRDF has established a set of standards and recommendations that the municipalities need to follow as part of their energy management system in their facilities, to monitor their energy performance and act accordingly. GRDF has also put in place a dedicated centralised web platform for the energy team members in the participating organisations. The teams make use of the platform to upload data and monitor their energy efficiency and consumption, keep track of any internal actions, carry out internal audits, as well as to check and report on progress and results achieved.
Through GRDF, MIEMA will also channel the results of other European projects it is delivering in Gozo, in order to capitalise on their activities. These include Pegasus, Prismi, Local4Green and GreenChange.
The “Support Local Government in Low Carbon Strategies” initiative illustrates very well how simple actions and limited resources can be put to maximum effect in a small societal context such as the island of Gozo. It will serve as an example of good practice for other Maltese regions to follow in the coming years.
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