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Regions and cities play a key role in the energy transition across Europe, as they are the main channel for the implementation of the Green Deal, and of its climate and energy objectives. They are the main players involved in energy transition on-site being in direct contact with the reality and challenges on the ground.

To achieve a reduction of energy consumption of at least 1.7% in 2030 in the EU, as expected in the revised Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the implementation of the Energy Efficiency First 1st) principle, introduced by its article 3, is crucial. This will require local and regional authorities to assess energy efficiency solutions in the planning, policy and major investment decisions related to energy systems.

The concerned stakeholders will have to ensure a careful monitoring of the application of the EE1st principle and promote the application of methodologies that allow a proper assessment of the wider benefits of efficiency solutions. This is where the brand-new online tool launched by the Regio1st LIFE-CET project comes into play: the Regio1st Planning Framework provides a comprehensive, structured approach for regional energy planners in Europe to develop and implement sustainable, cost-effective energy strategies while prioritising energy savings in buildings and energy efficiency solutions in line with the EE1st principle. The interactive tool is delivering a thorough methodology assessing the various benefits of a wide-range of energy-efficiency solutions.

“The Regio1st online decision-support framework will not only raise awareness about the Energy Efficiency First principle (EE1st) among regional governments and their agencies but will also provide them with a strong benefit assessment methodology. Starting from six regions, we plan to expand the provision of appropriate guidance to regional authorities to embed the EE1st principle in their decisions and implement their energy plans to over 100 regions in the EU.” Vlasis Oikonomou, managing director of the Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy (IEECP), coordinator of the Regio1st LIFE-CET project.

Energy efficiency shouldn’t be overlooked at any level of governance, since it is a key lever to achieve further emissions reduction and be Fit for 55, to phase out fossil fuels and to boost EU competitiveness by the development of energy-efficient technologies industry. By using the Regio1st Planning Framework, planners can address the challenges of energy planning, develop strategies that maximize the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy, and create a sustainable, resilient, and economically viable energy future for their communities.

View the Regio1st Planning Framework & Tools here

Learn more about the Regio1st project here

View the Regio1st Tool Brochure below