Looking at the SUMP guidelines, Step 2.2.1 is connected to Phase 1 ‘Preparing well’ - Step 1 ‘Determining potential for success’ - Activity 1.2 ‘Assess impact of regional/national framework‘, Activity 1.3 ‘Conduct self-assessment‘ and Activity 1.4 ‘Review availability of resources’ as well as Phase 2 – ‘Rational and transparent goal setting’ - Step 2 ‘Define plan scope and process’ – Activity 2.1 ‘Look beyond your own boundaries and responsibilities ‘.
Looking at the SEAP/SECAP guidelines (How to develop a Sustainable Energy Action Plan Guidebook part I), Chapter 5 deals with Assessment of the current framework therefore is connected to Step 2.2.1.
This chapter explains how to produce a complete and consistent initial assessment.
The harmonization team firstly needs to analyse the current way of working on the SEAP/SECAP and SUMP processes. The purpose is gaining an understanding of the quality and efficiency of current operations and evaluating their performance. The benefits of this assessment are:
- Developing a common understanding of the current processes;
- Describing the inputs, sequence (work flow) of steps, hand-offs/transfers, approvals, people, technology, and rules involved in producing outputs;
- Identifying opportunities for improvement;
- Creating a “status” of measures (progress in relation to objectives, incurred costs, consumed resources, etc.) describing current performance;
- Identifying the gaps between stakeholders' needs and current performance;
- Identifying parts of the current process that are non-value adding from the stakeholders’ perspective.
Factors which potentially have an impact on the harmonization process:
- Legal requirements;
- Organizational structure and responsibility for energy planning, environment, and mobility;
- Physical distance between departments;
- Personal differences (individual interpretations of rules and procedures, personal preferences, knowledge sharing, cultural factors);
- Organizational culture (communication, coordination and consensus-building procedures)
Quite frequently, data collection and evaluation is outsourced to external consultants. The following documents should be reviewed:
- Relevant legislation and documents with an impact on SECAP and SUMP (for example municipal budget, land use plan, city council decisions, etc.).
- Sources of information used in the SECAP (energy consumption of residential buildings, energy consumption of public and private tertiary buildings, transport, local production from RES etc.) and SUMP (mobility), availability of data, correctness of data, accessibility, consistency of data, completeness, procedures to update the data regularly.
- Other relevant plans (e.g. urban development plan, traffic plan, regional mobility plan…) that may be used as a source of data or may somehow influence or constrain SECAP and SUMP.
Initially, in a SECAP a baseline needs to be drawn regarding the emissions of carbon dioxide in the area of the municipality. This includes the collection and evaluation of data.
- Characterizing the number, size, energy consumption of Private Buildings
- Characterizing the number, size, energy consumption of Public Buildings
- Characterizing the number, size, energy consumption of Public Lights
- Characterizing the number, size, energy consumption of Public Undertakings (water supply, waste water treatment, waste management, recreation and sports facilities…)
- Characterizing the energy consumption of Public Transport
During the initial assessment, as a preparation for the actual harmonization, the harmonization team identifies sources for these data, data acquisition methods, access to the data, data accuracy, completeness and consistency.
For a SUMP, an initial context is defined, including data on mobility demand, accessibility, modal split, socio-demographic and economic features, fuel consumption and emissions.
Overlapping areas regarding data in SECAPs and SUMPs are mainly those regarding transport. If these data are collected for a SUMP, the team might make them available to support a SECAP extrapolating data on fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Viceversa, SECAP data on fuel consumption in the region can be made available for a SUMP.
Tools specific for this phase are available in the appendices.