Act Now: Action for Energy Efficiency in Baltic Cities

October 2017 -
March 2021


Policy area:
2. Natural resources 2.3 Energy efficiency

Act Now

Europe’s biggest energy resource is energy efficiency – and one way of becoming more energy efficient is decreasing the energy consumption needed to heat buildings. The project tackles energy efficiency in the existing building stock of smaller and larger cities around the Baltic Sea. The project’s aim is to help municipal staff involved in energy efficiency measures by improving their knowledge about energy losses, competences for preparing investments, and skills to stimulate private investments in energy efficiency.


Reasoning of Act Now!

Time is running out, as greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase resulting in a further progression of global warming. In order to meet this challenge, actions from different stakeholders are needed. On a local level, communities are responsible to take steps to decrease their CO2 emissions. Within Europe, the transformation of the building sector plays a key role in this context since heating, supply of warm water and cooling in private households account for approx. 80% of the overall European energy consumption. But whereas many European communities already developed action plans to tackle this challenge, so-called “Sustainable Energy Action Plans” (SEAPs), they often have difficulties in translating these into concrete projects. This is where Act Now! comes into play. The project aims at improving energy efficiency in public and private buildings by enhancing the capacity of decision makers. Over a period of three years, 18 project partners from different Baltic Sea regions develop approaches and modules to empower municipalities to significantly improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

The Act Now! approach

The core idea of Act Now! is to form tandems between experienced energy efficiency firms, institutions and local administrations. This setup comes with the advantage of knowledge sharing amongst the involved partners and gives them the opportunity to reflect and address the problem from different perspectives. The project basis is formed by an investigation of the local situation and needs for energy efficiency improvements in ten selected municipalities. Subsequently, individual capacity building schemes for partner communities contribute to a higher awareness of the potential hidden in efficiency measures in the administration. In order to share the experiences gained and tools developed with non-participating communities all over Europe, the project includes three international conferences for presentation and discussion of the results. Five public documents compiled from the findings in Act Now! also help followers using the experiences gathered during the project. The project aims at strengthening the overall cooperation and exchange between states in the Baltic Sea region resulting in more successful implementations of energy and climate policies in communities throughout Europe.

Facts about Act Now!

With a kick-off meeting of 37 participants from 18 partners, the project was launched in Bremerhaven in February 2018. In total ten communities and various expert partners are involved from nine different countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden). Act Now! was originally initiated by the “Klimastadtbüro Bremerhaven”, the Climate City Office of Bremerhaven, which now coordinates the project.

Highlights by mid-term:

In each of the ten municipalities participating in the project as project partner or associated organisation, a local energy efficiency group (LEEG) has successfully been established. A LEEG consists of municipal staff members and local experts in the field of energy efficiency. They are a new transnational work structure that help the municipalities implement their local energy plans in terms of energy efficiency. After setting up the LEEG, first training measures were implemented to support municipal staff for achieving the municipalities energy efficiency goals.

Six partner municipalities of Gdynia (Poland), Silute (Lithuania), Gulbene (Latvia), Elva (Estonia), Ylivieska (Finland) and Kaliningrad (Russia) are preparing investments in applying energy efficiency measures, such as smart metering devices or energy management tools. The available and suitable technologies were evaluated and the investment criteria were discussed during the transnational conference in Gdynia (Poland) in October 2018.


€ 3.58
€ 2.75
Eni + Russia
€ 0.10
€ 0.00



Project manager

Magistrat of the City of Bremerhaven

Till Scherzinger

4 947 130 832 821

Legal representative

Magistrate of the City of Bremerhaven

Melf Grantz


Financial manager

Magistrat der Stadt Bremerhaven - Umweltschutzamt

Frank Weippert

494 715 902 163

Communication manager

ecolo, Agency for Ecology and Communiation

Nikolai Resnikov

4 942 123 001 113