2nd EU roundtable discussions

s1Following the very successful 1st European Roundtable on energy data sharing, organized under the framework of the MESHARTILITY project in May 2013, the 2nd European Roundtable took place on the 10th of March 2015 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. 21 participants: technical experts from energy utilities, associations of municipalities and Supporting Structures from 12 European countries engaged in the project, as well as representatives of such EC institutions as DG ENER, JRC and the Covenant of Mayors Office concluded the discussion on the possible ways of improving cooperation between LAs and energy utilities.

MESHARTILITY project (Measure and share data with utilities for the Covenant of Mayorsis the first IEE co-funded project that addresses data challenges faced by local governments when compiling their GHG inventories and Sustainable Energy Action Plans. The MESHARTILITY project addresses these challenges by exploring legal frameworks and current status of cooperation between LAs and energy utilities in 12 countries, by creating a systematic cooperation scheme between both parties, by sharing recommendations with EU and national decision makers and by supporting pilot municipalities in the development of high-quality SEAPs based on real, bottom-up data. The project aims at the development of solutions and tools facilitating exchange of energy data between energy utilities and local authorities who are signatories of the Covenant of Mayors.

The 2nd European Roundtable built on the results of the 1st European Roundtable and the 2 series of National Roundtables organized in each of the participating countries, as well as on project results and progress achieved.

The agenda was structured in three thematically different sessions, each one introduced by a series of presentations. The first session presented the learnings and good practice examples out of the project – the results of energy baseline assessments and lessons learnt, based on the summary report of BEI and surveys of partners and involved municipalities, as well as the role of regional data centers. The core of the Roundtable ‘Recommendations out of project MESHARTILITY and discussion’ was covered in the second session, followed by the last session focusing on the way forward after project end and wrap-up discussions.

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Particularly as the best practice examples for central data collection were considered the case of Latvia, where from May 2015 annual electricity consumption data will be published in the national online municipal database and new data sharing mechanism provided by Enel Distribuzione S.p.A. in Italy.

The discussion on the policy recommendations for EU and national institutions in the form of workshop led the participants to a conclusion that they should be widely spread among national and European stakeholders and policy makers. Reservations were expressed regarding the practicality of introducing central data collection through legislation, particularly at EU-wide level, and the ‘messiness’ of signing individual bilateral agreements between energy suppliers and local authorities.