Info: What guidelines and support are available for municipalities in the area of municipal energy planning?

Municipalities face the challenge of implementing the energy transition locally as a contribution to achieving the climate policy goals of the German government. As supporting instruments, there are various funding programs and guidelines based on which municipal energy planning can take place and be used in practice.

But which guide is the right one and how do the various options differ? In the following, some important guidelines and support programs are therefore briefly presented and compared based on the most important characteristics.

Considered are:

  • Integrated climate protection concept
  • Energy utilization plan
  • Municipal energy efficiency networks
  • Municipal heat planning
  • European Energy Award

Integrated climate protection concept

The preparation of an integrated climate protection concept is part of the municipal guideline – a federal funding program. The measures of the municipal guideline are intended to support municipal actors in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the integrated climate protection concept, the municipal energy efficiency networks are also part of the municipal guideline.

The following steps are part of a climate protection concept:

  1. Analysis of the current energy situation and greenhouse gas balance sheet
  2. Analysis of potential and creation of scenarios, based on the current climate protection goals of the federal government
  3. Participation of all affected administrative units and all relevant stakeholders in planning as well as in implementation
  4. Setting of greenhouse gas reduction targets for the next 15 years, as well as presentation of the associated measures and their prioritization
  5. Catalog of measures to achieve the set targets
  6. Continuation strategy considering all organizational structures as well as responsible persons
  7. Communication strategy for the cooperation with the target groups

Energy utilization plan

The Energy Utilization Plan is an instrument for action within the framework of the Bavarian funding program Energy Concepts and Municipal Energy Utilization Plans. Accordingly, only for example municipalities, districts, municipal corporations and companies in Bavaria are eligible to apply.

The most important steps of the measure are:

  1. As-is and potential analysis
    • Energy demand
    • Energy infrastructure
    • Potentials of climate-neutral energy sources
  2. Concept development
    • Energy reduction
    • Efficiency increase
    • Renewable energies
  3. Implementation
    • Decision of the energy utilization plan
    • Development of instruments on municipal level

Municipal energy efficiency networks

The acquisition and operation of municipal energy efficiency networks is also funded via the municipal guideline.

Thematically, the networks must be assigned to one of the following main topics:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Resource efficiency
  • Climate-friendly mobility

The main objective of the networks is to uncover and implement profitable (savings) potential and thus simultaneously save costs and promote climate protection. This is achieved through the practice-oriented exchange of experience between the participating parties and the opportunity to attend external expert presentations on key network topics. Network meetings are held at least every three months. To determine the successes and check the joint target setting, annual monitoring takes place to determine and evaluate the sum of all efficiency and CO2 reduction measures.

Municipal heat planning

One focus of municipal energy planning is heat planning. In Baden-Württemberg, for example, municipal heat planning is therefore already mandatory for large district towns. Smaller municipalities in the state can receive funding for the preparation of a municipal heat plan.

The most important steps in municipal heat planning are:

  1. As-is analysis (heat demand and greenhouse gas emissions, heating structure)
  2. Potential analysis (potentials of renewable heat sources)
  3. Target scenario (spatially resolved description of the supply structure by identifying suitable areas for heat networks and individual supply)
  4. Heat transition strategy (measures, time schedule, implementation prioritization)

European Energy Award

The European Energy Award (EEA) is a quality management and certification procedure that is supported by some federal states with funding programs and a partial assumption of costs. In Bavaria, participation in the European Energy Award is supported by the funding guideline Kommunaler Klimaschutz (KommKlimaFöR).

The most important contents of the EEA are:

  1. Political decision to participate
  2. Establishing the energy team
  3. Execution of the as-is analysis
  4. Preparation of the work program / action plan
  5. Implementation of the projects
  6. Audit
  7. Updating of the as-is analysis
  8. Certification and award


The most important characteristics of the measures described above are compared below.

Figure 1: Most important content characteristics of the described measures

More Information

  • http://ffe.de/en/publications/information-municipal-energy-efficiency-and-climate-protection-overview-of-funding-opportunities/