The project intends to push on two levers to contribute to a better efficiency of energy efficiency policies:
1. Territorial dialogue. Experiment local measures of territorial dialogue on building efficiency policies, a big challenge in rural areas. Through these measures, territorial stakeholders involved (citizens, craftsmen, business, etc along with local authorities) will be invited to take part in the definition of local public policies linked energy efficiency for public and private buildings. The definition of these measures will be given by local stakeholders through the creation of steering committees, encompassing local elected representatives and a diverse panel of the other territorial stakeholders. Thus, the project will allow a joint experimentation of different territorial dialogue measures implemented in the territories of the project. Before defining the form that territorial dialogue will take in each territory, energy and renovation experts will transfer their knowledge to all stakeholders to ensure a constructive and realistic dialogue, while leaving room for “profane” knowledge coming from the everyday life experience of the stakeholders. Exchanges will allow territorial stakeholders to identify their needs, to identify priorities and to write down constructive recommendations addressed to local governments and private stakeholders. A dedicated space for territorial dialogue will be open and facilitate the recognition of all points of view by decision-makers and guide them in the making of better-integrated and more efficient policies.
2. Simultaneously, existing local craftsmen networks will be identified, mobilized and structured in order to fulfill to the need of local expertise on energy efficiency in buildings. Developing and formalizing the expertise at the territorial level is a way to increase the added value of services on the territory and promote local resources. Integrating the local value chains into public policies and private choices will also fasten capacity building of local stakeholders of the building sector. Networks of professionals of the building sector identified in each territory are key stakeholders in this project and will be included in the territorial dialogue measure as stakeholders and as experts. In addition, the partnership created for the project will facilitate exchanges between professionals from the partner territories on technical aspects and about challenges of the building sector.
This project was build on the basis of three hypotheses that we will be able to test in order to ensure a continuous monitoring of the project:
- If all territorial stakeholders are involved in the making of energy efficiency policies at the local level, then these policies will be understood by all, better accepted, integrated and supported.
- If energy efficiency projects mobilize local resources and craftsmen, the later build on capacities and there is an increase in the added value of local products. The money invested stays on the territory.
- Networking within the building sector improves efficiency and time for the conduct of renovation work, facilitating the dialogue between different professionals.
- To jointly experiment territorial dialogue measures at the European level stimulates actions for energy efficiency in buildings and comfort local authorities in the approach.
5 main goals have been set for this project with 5 actions to reach them:
(1) Local stakeholders’ involvement, in particular from citizens, ahead of the decision-making process. This involvement will be expressed through the territorial dialogue measures that will be jointly experimented within the partnership. These measures offer a space for expression of all stakeholders, especially non-experts. Experts will give a technical training to the group of citizens so they have the tools to come to a consensus and write down realistic and relevant recommendations for the local government and stakeholders of the building sector. Field study tours on partners’ territories will facilitate networking, the sharing of experiences and will stimulate the attention of all stakeholders on the challenges of energy efficiency in buildings, reinforcing their mobilization.
(2) Fasten the process of refurbishment of energy consuming buildings (especially those from before 1975 in France) that represent a majority of buildings in rural areas, and a large part of public and private budgets spent at a loss. To reach this goal the first step will be to identify the most energy consuming buildings and guide municipalities and individuals towards the refurbishment process. The animation of a network of local professionals of the building sector will be necessary. This task will be given to an employee of the local refurbishment platform (example of the project “Isole Toit mais pas tous seul” initiated with RURENER and partners in Limousin, France).
(3) Raise awareness towards the use of local materials by citizens and municipalities. The refurbishment of buildings using local materials will be conducted as show cases for local stakeholders.
(4) Increase the efficiency of energy efficiency policies in building by shaping policies tailored to local needs and resources and supported by local populations. The dialogue on this subject will enable municipalities to set more ambitious and more effective objectives. It is a win-win process for all local stakeholders (maximized efficiency of policies, citizens’ support, etc). The recommendations written by the citizens involved in the project will be a tool for elected representatives to use when making ambitious but realistic policies for energy efficiency in buildings. Exchanges sessions with elected representatives will be organized to allow them to give a feedback to the citizens regarding their recommendations and explain the orientations chosen for future policies.
(5) A mid-term goal for the project is to widen the territorial dialogue measures to other subject of the energy transition and to strengthen the local platform/group of professionals from the building sector. This goal will be reached thanks to the good conduct of the project and the collective dynamic initiated. This goal can also be seen as a result at the end of the project.
(1) Increase of the number of refurbished/isolated buildings and decrease of energy expenses related to the building sector. Energy efficiency actions in the building sector will allow significant results in the short term because savings are almost immediate after construction work has been conducted.
(2) Exchanges on a regular basis are established between territories of the projects, that will continue to stimulate attention given to the building sector in the making of energy efficiency policies (durability of the project) and encourage innovation.
(3) Continuous dialogue between citizens and local representatives and involvement of (non-elected) citizens in energy efficiency territorial projects, especially regarding the building sector, leading to an easier implementation of projects.
(4) Citizens write down concrete recommendations for local representatives about local policies on energy efficiency in public buildings and households to help them write adapted policies.
(5) Adopted policies take into account these recommendations and the local strategy and targets and better integrated within the local context.
(6) The context of implementation of local policies is better informed thanks to a transversal approach including: economic aspect (market price, fluctuations, changes in production units, acceptable prices by users, etc), social aspect (evolution of households’ needs, perception by citizens of local actions and policies, etc) and technical aspect (facilities, gear, local offer, value chain, skills, etc).
(7) Innovative methods of funding for public refurbishment projects will be investigated. Establishment of groups of local stakeholders.
(8) Local resources are used more and more often for isolation purposes (cellulose wadding, wood wool, etc) and for refurbishment work (stone, wood, etc), and local value chains develop, spread and are better promoted.
(9) An improved territorial cohesion is observed along with an improved perception of local policies by citizens. Each territorial dialogue measure is a tool that can be used by local representatives to avoid local conflicts/tensions.
(10) Finally, citizens and elected representatives continue to use and spontaneously promote territorial dialogue measures and to promote local resources after the end of the project.
(11) The results and impacts of the project are continuously monitored by stakeholders in order to capitalize from the experience and constantly improve the actions.