In 2012, Niepolomice and three other municipalities – decided to cooperate   for   the   purchase   and   installation   of   renewable energy systems on their territory. Led by Niepolomice, they invested over €17.3 million to boost green energy in their area. 60% of the total budget was co-funded by the Polish-Swiss Cooperation Fund, while the remaining 40% were covered by the municipalities’ own contribution.

Three quarters of the municipalities’ contribution was obtained through the payments of citizens who had RES system installed, while the remaining quarter was covered through resources from the municipal budgets. When RES were installed on public buildings, the involved municipalities covered 100% of the costs with their own resources.

During the course of the project, Niepolomice and its partnering municipalities jointly selected a contractor and organised information and training campaigns to encourage citizens to join the project. While at first citizens were sceptical about the benefits of the project (notably regarding costs and efficiency), the four cities managed to effectively address their questions and needs. Moreover, the   encouraging feedback from the first households that joined the project led to other citizens joining in.

Between 2012 and 2015, RES were installed in 3,841 households and 32 public buildings. For instance, heat pumps and PV panels were installed in the building of the ambulance service and in the indoor swimming pool in Niepolomice. Citizens could be granted a 70% subsidy for the installation of RES (mostly solar thermal) on their buildings. In total, solar thermal collectors were installed in 26 public buildings, while four were equipped with PV modules and two with heat pumps. An area of more than 18,500 square meters was equipped with solar thermal collectors. In addition to this, installed PV modules now cover an area of roughly 2,700 square meters.

The combined efforts of Niepolomice, Miechów, Skawina and Wieliczka led to the participation of more than 1,400 citizens in RES installation training programs.

Niepolomice was one of the first Polish cities to join the Covenant of Mayors, in January 2009. The municipality has since been boosting sustainable energy use in the public sector through green purchases, energy consumption monitoring, replacement of electricity meters in municipal buildings, thermal retrofitting and the modernisation of public street lighting.

Discover the city’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan on the Covenant of Mayors website.

Writer: Floriane Cappelletti, Communication Manager at the Covenant of Mayors Office.

The Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy brings together thousands of local and regional authorities voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives on their territory.