Ten golden Rules of (CO2) Monitoring for Municipalities


1. Formulate Goals

Monitoring starts at the end of the cycle. You have to know what output is desired before one can start. Integrate objectives in the municipal energy policy. Then, if monitoring is successful, it will on its turn influence your energy policy in the future.

2. Determine your Ambitions

What is the feasible level of monitoring that is proper for the municipality? Determine if it should constrain itself to municipal activities or to all activities within the physical boundaries of the community. Establish the desired state of output. Should it just reflect the use of energy and emission of CO2 as measured and calculated or should it also explain the development of it over a number of years? Consequently, it is important to start monitoring at the right level. It should match the current state of affairs on matters like data collection, energy policy and organisation structure.

3. Register

Knowledge about monitoring activities may leave together with the people that maintained it. Set up a format for documentation for both the local monitoring processes as for the applied data structure.

4. Know your Organisation

The monitoring input will partly exist of information that has to be collected from within the municipal organisation. Examples are information on the number of inhabitants, the art and volume of utilization and number of hospital beds. Visualise the structure of the dataflow and organise the moments and content of the desired data supply.

5. Determine Boundaries

Monitoring output will be diffuse if the boundaries are not sharply defined. Decide whether satellite communities, airports and other special objects lie within the municipal responsibilities towards energy reduction.

6. Create a solid Reference

Energy reduction is a dynamic happening. Sources of required data are subject to external influences like the recent developments on the energy market. It is therefore very probable that different kinds of information will not be available in their current form and quality. So, it is necessary to establish a firm base for future comparison. 

7. Determine Monitoring Sectors

Define the sectors you wish to monitor as well those that are emphasized in your energy policy. Check if the definitions you use for sectors correspond to those used by data suppliers like the energy co mpany. 

8. Inventarise accessible Means

Ambitions have to be translated in available means. It is important to know the amount of time, people and money local authorities can award to monitoring activities. Investigate which activity can be conducted by municipal employees and for which activity external assistance is needed.

9. Make Monitoring Worthwhile

Monitoring has the best chance of succeeding if all parties involved gain from it. Data suppliers like feedback in aggregated and visualised shape. Data collectors obtain an instrument to organise and simplify some of their tasks. Local authorities will understand the importance of monitoring if they receive feedback on the results of their energy policy. Take these incentives into account when trying to establish a monitor program.

10. Evaluate

A rounded monitoring cycle contains a large amount of information. Evaluate for each separate part of the cycle what bottlenecks and chances for improvement can be concluded. Regard the content of your energy policy with the new insights you gained. Investigate if the ambitions concerning the level of monitoring can or have been changed. Evaluate if the municipal organisation is capable to perform the monitoring activity that is demanded. Compare results with those of other communities and exchange valuable information.