Central European countries need support in the development of local and regional energy strategies and action plans, since they are lagging in their implementation and thereby threatening regional competitiveness. Local authorities face many challenges in implementing the plans including lack of financing, being understaffed and lacking local acceptance.

This undermines the pledge that signatories made to support the EU action in reducing GHG emissions by 40% until 2030.  Creating a functional Low Carbon Economy Plan (like SEAP/SECAP) requires tapping into the human and financial potential of citizens. 

ENES-CE is addressing this challenge and beyond through improving the adoption and quality of energy plans with a bottom-up quadruple helix approach, where citizens play a pivotal role. 

The results are the following:

  • Innovative energy strategies developed and implemented, through a revision of existing energy plans,
  • Citizens involved thanks to a bottom-up approach in the process of energy strategies and planning development,
  • Managerial system improved in terms of human resources improvement, 
  • A framework for developing citizen investments has been created, addressing legal, institutional and economic specificities,
  • Energy groups/energy cooperatives created and able to support the planning, implementing and also the financing of sustainable energy projects and based on the needs of the citizens in Central Europe and beyond.


The implementation of ENES-CE project included pilot actions in 6 CE regions. Final agreement on types of actions was outcome of joint cooperation established during several project workshops and meetings.

The aim of pilot actions was to raise awareness on energy and climate issues among citizens and other stakeholders and launch different types of investments (installation of PV power plant on kindergartens roof, modernization of public lightning, installation of battery swarm storage system for storing and realising electricity and climate clock – measurement instrument for CO2 emissions, energy refurbishment of bike storage facility), other citizen- participation actions (ecological education of citizens, eco-map, energy consumption monitoring system, public campaigns to promote responsible behaviour in various green topics, distribution of energy savings kits) including establishment of citizen energy groups/cooperatives in order to engage local communities in the process of fostering citizen energy and reducing CO2 emissions which is in line with project main goal. 

Demonstration and experimental nature of implemented actions can be seen in concrete investments and established collaborations with citizens which will have a long-term effect in energy and money savings and will increase interest of general public for investing in RES projects in future.

Main challenges with whom PPs faced before and during mentioned actions implementation came out from certain regulatory barriers, active engagement of citizens and other stakeholders, technical issues and finally managing and financing green investments and actions. 

All of pilot activities had a very strong awareness raising perspective about EE and reducing CO2 emissions. Implementation of the pilot activities in all countries provided an opportunity to develop cooperation skills among the stakeholders included, as well as knowledge transfer between different sectors and institutions. Since we talk about small investments, there is definitely a possibility to replicate them in different regions all across CE and show the concrete benefits of individual investments for local community.

Implementation of pilot actions resulted in many benefits for local communities, since all of them were selected by local governments, relevant experts and citizens who joint forces in identifying local needs and corresponding steps to launch selected pilot actions. Implementation of pilot actions regardless of their nature (soft activities or small investments) resulted in raised awareness and knowledge of local officials, general population, local companies and utilities and other relevant stakeholders.

In addition, local stakeholders have gained insights on possibilities how to reduce CO2 emissions and how to leverage achieved project results while planning future activities on local and regional level. Set of tools for public authorities developed within the project can be used to increase citizen participation in local energy planning which in long run will result in better citizen participation in defining local and regional policies and strategies.

Project numbers






Pilot projects


Joint methodology


Revised energy
action plans


Tools developed


Energy communities


Investments made

Project duration

Start Date

1. 4. 2019

End Date

31. 3. 2022

Project Partners