The aim of the twinning programme is to identify common challenges and to discuss effective climate and energy policies. Saldus was the host of this first visit, where the cities had the opportunity to exchange experiences and identify concrete measures to be transferred. Some of these are:
Energy Management Systems
Saldus showcased its Energy Management System which uses a convenient single software and is now effectively applied to public buildings. As the system is promoted by the energy manager, building maintenance staff can follow clear instructions, take ownership and monitor energy usage effectively.
Ath is now also exploring the use of a single EMS software and will benefit from the experience gained in Saldus in implementing their new solution.
Enabling the Energy Transition in Buildings
Both cities are keen on upscaling the rate of renovation in residential buildings, to increase wellbeing and to reduce the energy bill for residents. In Saldus, special funds are issued on a yearly basis to increase the energy efficiency of such buildings. Resident’s associations are eligible to receive these funds. Dialogue with buildings' inhabitants has been very fruitful and Ath representants were particulary interested, specifically when it comes to promoting co-ownership of rooftop solar in apartment buildings.
As part of its Climate Action Plan, Ath created a special stamp in order to visually hihglight mitigation and/or adaptation actions. It is often used in municipal publications and enjoys high recognition. This resonated highly with Saldus representatives as it would be an additional approach to support stakeholder engagement, building on already existing outreach channels.
Saldus and Ath have set themselves a roadmap and concrete actions to be undertaken in the next months in order to integrate lessons of the twinning visit into their climate strategy. Both towns will continue to progress, thanks to this very fruitful exchange.