The City of Munich came off as overall winner of the contest "City of Energy Conservation 2005" organised by the DUH (Deutsche Umwelthilfe) under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of the Environment in January 2005.

In addition, the City of Munich came out ahead in the category “Cities over 100,000 inhabitants” as well as in direct competition with Bavarian cities. End of June, Joachim Lorenz, Head of the Department of Health and Environment (RGU) of the City of Munich and staff members of municipal departments involved in the contest (RGU, Dept. of Public Building Construction and Dept. of Urban Planning and Building Regulations) had gone to Berlin for the presentation of the award.

Lorenz highlighted in Berlin: “For me the award is an impressive confirmation of a local government policy which has been focused on the aims of environmental and climate protection for a number of years.

Our policy of preserving the limited energy resources has not only been a relief for the environment and climate, but helped to unburden the municipal budget as well. We are on target for a future-oriented policy of environmental protection and urban development” said Joachim Lorenz and brought to mind that already three years ago the City of Munich received the award “Best Local Renewable Energy Partnership” within the framework of the “Campaign for Take-Off 2002” of the European Commission.

In addition, the Dept. of Health and Environment asked the Öko-Institut e.V. to develop strategies and measures to bring down CO2-emissions on the local government level by 50 %. The study which was given full attention in Germany and beyond was granted a 50 % subsidy by the Federal Ministry of the Environment as a result of its transferability to other German cities. Hep Monatzeder, Deputy Mayor of the City of Munich commented the good news as follows: “We are very happy to have come off as winner of this federal contest. With this award our efforts to preserve resources and reduce green house emissions have received full recognition. This will be a tremendous incentive for us even in future. The methods how cities are saving energy has a model function for firms and households.”

The contest “City of Energy Conservation 2005” of the Deutsche Umwelthilfe will now compile the numerous positive municipal approaches to reduce energy consumption, respectively towards an efficient use of energy and publicize them on an international level. 77 cities and communities from all over Germany had participated in the contest ”City of Energy Conservation” in 2005 identifying cities with a successful energy management, creative ideas for public relations, innovative promotion programmes and urban planning schemes in support of the aims of climate protection. Cities and communities had presented themselves to face the challenge of having their energy saving potentials tested in comparison with other cities.

An extensive record of aims and concepts for energy conservation had to be submitted including energy conservation in municipal buildings and properties, town and country planning under energy conservation aspects, public relations work, consultation and guidance services as well as municipal incentive programmes. But even the federal capital of energy conservation seeks ways of further improvement: The three sectors “power consumption in street lighting/public lighting/traffic signals”, “heating efficiency in municipal buildings and properties” being the only fields where Munich’s performance was substandard, will have to be improved by giving priority to a reduction of energy consumption in future.

Regional workshops are planned for autumn 2005 (of which one is expected to be held on the premises of the Bauzentrum München, Tradefair City Riem, November 2005) featuring the presentation of successful measures of power and heating conservation. The project running over a period of 18 months will be promoted by the Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMU) and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). Cooperation partners of the contest are the Agenda für Nachhaltigkeit GmbH, the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V., the German Energy Agency (dena), the German Association of Mayors, the German League of Cities and Communities, the Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung and Bildung gGmbH (ECOLOG), the GRÜNE LIGA, Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwickling gGmbH (INWent) as well as the Climate-Alliance. Further information is available on the internet under www.energiesparkommune.de and www.duh.de.).