Helping municipalities motivate citizens for energy retrofits
The Energy Caravan is a municipal energy consulting campaign designed to increase the rate of retrofitting of private building stock, which is responsible for more than a quarter of CO2 emissions, mainly due to heat. The heat transition is therefore considered one of the greatest challenges in climate action, and a significant increase in the renovation rate is indispensable. Due to the measures implemented, the Energy Caravan campaign makes a significant contribution and addresses one of the most important municipal fields of action in the fight against climate change. Its recipe for success lies in the fact that it reverses the standard approach of energy consulting. Municipalities are offering citizens in a selected neighbourhood free energy advice from neutral and qualified consultants. The consultation takes place directly at the property and on all building-relevant topics. Thanks to the neighborhood approach, the energy caravan is just as suitable for municipalities with less than 4,500 inhabitants as for big cities.
Current references include, e. g.
- City of Aachen; 252,000 inhabitants
- City of Freiburg im Breisgau; 236,000 inhabitants
- City of Haan; 30,000 inhabitants
- City of Munich; 1,512,000 inhabitants
- City of Neumünster; 80,000 inhabitants
- Municipality of Riegel am Kaiserstuhl; 4,000 inhabitants
- City of Rüsselsheim; 67,000 inhabitants
- Municipality of Wenzenbach; 9,000 inhabitants
The two non-profit associations fesa e.V. and Climate Alliance cooperate to disseminate knowledge and competences for the implementation of the Energy Caravan. Since 2017, fesa e.V. has been responsible for the Energy Caravan in the Baden region (Germany). Together, the two organisations make this successful campaign available to municipalities throughout Europe. Despite the challenges given by national frameworks, the project team managed to gain a first foothold with two municipal implementations in Luxemburg in 2023. At least three municipalitaties are already planning campaign implementations in 2024.
The success of the Energy Caravan has been proven by evaluating more than 70 campaigns: On average, a minimum of 25% of the target group take up the municipal energy advice offer, of which 60% in turn decide to implement measures.
With the Energy Caravan, municipalities thus have an attractive offer at hand to motivate the target group of homeowners, which has been difficult to reach up to now, to modernise their homes. At the same time, the related reduction of CO2 emissions makes municipalities key players in the fight against climate change. The implementation of the campaign follows a standardised procedure. All steps in the process are based on customisable templates. The cooperation partners provide knowledge transfer and then accompany the municipalities throughout the project phases. This enables them to carry out the campaign independently in the future.
In the face of massively rising energy prices, the campaign offers local authorities important support for their citizens in implementing national legal frameworks and accessing subsidies. District heating planning as well as project implementation can be fostered through the communication campaign Energy Caravan. Combined with the resulting reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, municipalities are strengthened in their central role in climate action.
You have a non-profit background and are interested in anchoring the campaign in your country? Please do not hesitate to contact us!
Want to learn more? Contact Jan Schwarz at j.schwarz(at)climatealliance.org
- Best practice example "The City of Rüsselsheim am Main (DE) lead the way with the Energy Caravan"Case Study of the Energy Caravan of the City of Freiburg for the Covenant of Mayors