Energy agencies – background and future development
The SAVE Programme is a European Commission initiative that started in the 1990s to support local authorities in the energy field. The aim of this programme was to stimulate, for the first time a 'bottom up' approach to energy management by encouraging local and regional action on energy efficiency including the use of local energy resources and sustainable development at the local level. To achieve this aim, SAVE co-funded the creation of autonomous Energy Management Agencies at local and regional levels. These Agencies have cooperated with FEDARENE (European Federation of Regional Energy and Environment Agencies) and ENERGY-CITIES (Network for of local authorities) and ISLENET (European network for energy and environment on islands).
The IEE energy agencies
Since 2004, energy agencies have been created under the Intelligent Energy Europe - Programme. Energy agencies aim to contribute to the implementation of the European, national, regional and local energy policies, leading to changes in the decision makers' and citizens' behaviour. Thereby moving towards efficient use of energy, improved knowledge of renewable energy and triggering investments in renewable energy especially at local and regional level. The Intelligent Energy Europe - Programme supports the Covenant of Mayors initiative by funding relevant porjects. Find more about the role of local and regional energy agencies in the Covenant of Mayors here.