Public sector, transport & mobility
References are provided regarding the following similar project
- FIESTA (energy help desk and energy audits in families)
- Information and consultancy centre for energy efficiency within Dobrich municipality
Who needs to act?
Municipalities, citizens and civil society (associations, NGOs, etc.)
Who is affected?
The service can be offered to all citizens
Citizens need clear, accurate and reliable information to improve their everyday decisions on sustainable mobility and energy. The Municipality can organize a “help desk”, “info point”, a “laboratory” or a similar service, providing citizens with the information they need.
A "Sustainable Energy and Mobility Help Desk" (or “info point”) is an office open to all citizens, to provide free information, advice and consultancy on energy saving, renewables, public transport, sustainable transport and mobility.
A “sustainable energy & mobility laboratory” has a pro-active approach, organizing activities for raising the awareness on energy savings, sustainable transport and mobility solutions, responsible behaviour targeted to the local consumers. Such events may include communication campaigns (printed material, radio, press) workshops, conferences, home visits, energy audits, lessons in schools...
This could be combined also with an online travel planner that can help citizens in planning their trip using public transport or even suggesting multimodal trip. The travel planner can consider also present traffic situation (on the basis of sensors and/or data gathered by mobile devices), travel planner can also forecast critical situations as works on main roads, large events etc. A good example of such tool is the one developed by the city of Antwerp in Belgium
This will contribute to increase the level of perception of the importance and changing behaviour towards efficient energy performance and transport and mobility exploration.
The level of investment is set to low as it involves only limited equipment and human resources; furthermore, the cost depends on the smooth cooperation between all key actors.
The “help desk”, “info point” or “laboratory” can be established as municipality supervised unit (as the Dobrich case) or constituted external body (part or within an NGO, agency, etc.).
The basic setup of a “help desk” or “info point” requires only a small office and staff (1 person employed full time).
The cost of a “laboratory” depends on the type and number of awareness raising events organized along the year.
For example, in FIESTA project the Help Desk is active for 3 years, and employs an energy consultant for the whole period (with an average effort is 10 man months per year). The budget does not include the cost of an office, since the Help Desk is hosted by the “public information office”. The cost of printed materials is around 300€ per year.
Sources: costs allocated in the annual municipal budget and/or outsourcing, external/ funding and subsidies.
The cost for developing a travel planner could be quite high, requiring the involvement of an experienced software house, the setting up of a cooperation protocol with all key actors (public transport operators, parking operators etc.) and a system of real time traffic data collection based on a system of sensors and/or an agreement with big data owners.
Return of investment
- Short term: increasing the awareness of local citizens and enabling them to efficiently implement energy measures and move in a more sustainable way. Moreover spreading in advance information on critical traffic situation will lead people to take alternative solutions with a mitigating effect.
- Medium and long term: Changing behaviour of residents towards energy saving measures and sustainable transport solutions.
A quantitative analysis of “Return on investment” of this project is difficult to estimate, as it depends considerably on the number of people served (therefore on the opening times of the help desk, the communication campaign...).
For a quantitative estimate of the impact is required, a careful feedback /recall activity must be included.
An easily manageable impact indicator is the number of citizens / families that got involved with the help desk. Based on the experience of FIESTA project it is reasonable to assume that 150 to 200 families per year can be involved in customized services (e.g. home energy audit) while more families per year can be involved in general communication and information activities.
Other resources to be used
Human resources employed in this project are key to success. The person in charge of the “Energy and Mobility Help Desk” / “Infopoint” / “Laboratory” should have appropriate technical skills AND excellent communication skills. A training course may be required. The “Energy and Mobility Help Desk” / “Infopoint” / “Laboratory” requires an office easily accessible to public, preferably within a well-known office (e.g. information office, public library…). A communication campaign is essential to maximize impact.
Use of available financial opportunities to expand or specify delivery of services upon particular requests using experts and specialists.
Publications and information material on sustainable energy and mobility should be freely available at the “Energy and Mobility Help Desk” / “Infopoint” / “Laboratory” Information leaflets, toolkits and guidelines with concrete advice and solutions for efficient performance and utilization (For example the FIESTA guide for families, information on local public transport, information on e-mobility…) are generally available in electronic format.
Main steps of implementation
- Negotiation of proper place (to be located at easily reached and recognized area);
- Set up of equipment and facilities;
- Appointment of human resources
- Training for the employee on sustainable mobility, sustainable energy and communication
- Organize the help desk and collect relevant information material
- Information campaign through communication channels, peer meetings, dissemination
- “Energy and Mobility Help Desk” / “Infopoint” / “Laboratory” / “Travel planner” open to public
- Collect feedback and Lessons Learned for the following year
(1) Well informed citizens can make better choices in sustainable mobility and sustainable energy
(2) Municipality receives feedback and suggestions on the needs to improve services and local infrastructure
Contribution to SEAP & indicators
Better choices in sustainable mobility and sustainable energy lead to a reduction of CO2 emissions.
How to integrate in SEAP?
The Energy and Mobility Help Desk can be included in a SEAP as an Action to reduce CO2 emissions. The Energy and Mobility Help Desk can also be used as a contact point to facilitate participation in the initial analysis of a SEAP/SECAP.
Contribution to SUMP & indicators
Better choices in sustainable mobility and sustainable energy lead to a reduction of several pollutants (NOx, SOx, CO, etc.) and to enhanced intermodality; reduced number of vehicles in urban areas; improved sustainable accessibility to city centres, mitigation of critical events impact on traffic.
How to integrate in SUMP?
The Energy and Mobility Help Desk can be included in a SUMP as one of the actions.
Close communication and cooperation with the local citizens is a very important tool for better development of a planning process, setting specific indicators and reaching definite results. Cooperation with the social care department of the municipality proved to work extremely well in the implementation of the help desk in Logrono (Spain). Also, cooperation with NGOs can be useful for reaching a wider public. The regular feedback could serve as a key point to re-formulate ideas, change if anything goes wrong or planning a better resources and actions.