Energy Tables - Cádiz
The city of Cádiz is addressing social and economic challenges through the facilitation of a participatory energy transition process. In May 2015, a citizen’s coalition was elected in the municipal government. One of the goals of the new government was to support the energy transition as a way to increase sustainable use of resources but also promote social equity, fight energy poverty and create employment opportunities. The new municipal government developed various activities and projects such as the “Energy Tables”, roundtables enabling the active participation of citizens in energy-related issues.
- Promote energy efficiency and renewable energy use in public buildings;
- Foster citizens’ empowerment and their collaboration with the public administration in developing energy services;
- Promote sustainable energy consumption habits;
- Fight energy poverty;
- Foster a democratic energy transition process;
- Create jobs in the energy sector.
How it works
- The City holds 60% shares in the local energy company Électrica de Cádiz. The city decided to use it to promote “a change in its energy model that would create employment and benefit citizens.” The revenues from Électrica de Cádiz are used to cover energy costs of public buildings, public lighting and traffic lights, as well as subsidies for low-income households.
- The municipality created two working groups on energy called “Energy Tables”. One is about fighting energy poverty and the other one on the energy transition in Cádiz. These roundtables were created with the aim of enabling citizens’ participation and knowledge co-creation. The participants of the roundtables meet regularly, discuss ideas and propose actions and activities. These tables also allow the municipality to gather ideas from citizens and bring them to the attention of the local energy company. As an example, one of the activities proposed was a workshop about energy saving and understanding household's electricity bills. Participants of the roundtables asked the company to produce 100% renewable energy and to increase the production of local energy. Because of this proposal, Électrica de Cádiz municipal company installed PV panels on its roofs. In addition, the municipality offers tax reductions to citizens that install PV panels on their roofs or own shares in community renewable energy projects.
- Thanks to an application to monitor the energy consumption in public buildings and the organisation of trainings on energy issues for municipality employees, Cadiz City Council is increasing the energy efficiency in municipal buildings: they managed to save around 50% of the money previously spent on electricity bills.
- Another pilot project allowed eight unemployed people to be trained as energy advisers. They were then given an eight-month contract to draw up the Plan of Action against Energy Poverty. The advisory team provides advice to families in Cádiz on optimizing their energy contracts so that they can save money.
The activities and projects developed by Cádiz municipality represent an innovative governance approach promoting the empowerment of citizens and their active engagement in energy transition processes. The Energy Tables gave the opportunity to citizens to come up with ideas that have been then implemented by the municipality and Électrica de Cádiz energy company. At the national level, the Spanish Government approved a Royal Decree regulating new conditions for self-consumption of energy that promotes collective self-consumption and establishes a simplified mechanism for compensation of self-produced and unconsumed energy. Thanks to this new legislation, new opportunities arise also for the replication of the Cádiz model in other cities.