Climate protection management

In 2014, the City Council of Monheim am Rhein decided to hire a Climate Protection Manager in addition to adopting its climate protection concept.

The tasks of the Climate Protection Manager:

  • Coordinating, initiating and being the main person responsible for implementing the measures of the integrated climate protection concept of the City of Monheim am Rhein
  • Monitoring the climate protection measures
  • Developing and maintaining networks
  • Providing up-to-date information on the town's carbon footprint
  • Collecting and processing the data relevant to climate protection
  • Planning and implementing action days, competitions or training on climate protection topics

As part of a funding program called "Climate protection projects in social, cultural and public institutions," 65% of the costs for the Climate Protection Manager are borne by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, BMU).

Integrated climate protection concept

The City has developed an integrated climate protection concept in cooperation with the consultancy firm Infas Enermetric, various players within the city and interested citizens. The concept was approved by the City Council of Monheim am Rhein on February 20, 2014 and has been the roadmap for climate protection ever since.

The integrated climate protection concept balances energy consumption and carbon emissions in the business, private households, transport and municipality sectors. It contains almost 40 steps that are aimed at reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2030. The individual projects are aimed, in particular, at increasing the share of renewable energies, reducing electricity and heat requirements, promoting climate-friendly means of transport and – with the support of public relations work – at informing and motivating people.

The climate protection measures promote climate-friendly action in these four areas:

  • Modernization of existing buildings, e.g. with a "door-to-door" energy consultancy service or an overview of existing consultancy services in Monheim am Rhein
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energies, e.g. by raising awareness for the "solar potential map" or optimizing the building management of public buildings
  • Transport and mobility, e.g. by strengthening public transport, developing a concept to promote cycling and walking, converting street lighting to LED and expanding the Smart City project in general
  • Public relations work, e.g. by expanding the internet presence and regularly reporting on the projects in the individual action areas

Thirty-seven TOP projects were selected from among the project ideas developed in the workshops. These projects have a particularly large impact on the objectives of the climate protection concept: They either have direct energy and CO2 saving effects themselves or they create the conditions to initiate energy-saving and efficiency measures and to expand the use of renewable energies, and they can be implemented in the short to medium term. The TOP projects were evaluated with regard to the following criteria: cost/benefit, feasibility and their impact on climate protection. Based on these criteria, an overall evaluation was then made with a view to the implementation priority.

By taking an integrated approach, the concept goes beyond the sphere of influence of the City Administration and involves a wide range of players from the city area. The City Administration coordinates and monitors the implementation of the envisaged measures. The new position of Climate Protection Manager, which was filled on April 1, 2015, was created specifically for this purpose. The first initiatives, e.g. measures to promote cycling, climate protection action days and modernizing the street lighting had already begun or been carried out before.

Efficient energy supply with state-of-the-art building technology in the music and art school

Climate protection was also considered when the art and music school was built. A gas absorption heat pump is used to supply the building with heat. This cuts carbon emissions by 25% compared to using a conventional gas boiler for heat supplying.

As with electricity-driven heat pumps, a gas absorption heat pump uses ambient heat from the outside air, the ground or ground water for heating purposes. However, instead of electricity, natural gas is used as the operating power. The use of natural gas is less harmful to the climate than electricity, because the combustion of one kWh of natural gas produces considerably less CO2 than the generation of one kWh of electricity in a power plant. The installation of a photovoltaic system on the roof of the building is also planned.

Energy-saving modern LED technology

As part of the National Climate Protection Initiative of the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU), the City of Monheim am Rhein uses energy-saving climate protection technologies.

The BMU subsidizes municipal climate protection projects by paying 20% of the construction costs if the new lamps reduce energy consumption by more than 70%. That is why only old globe lights (70 Watt NAH) are being replaced by new LED technology (18 to 34 Watt). Compared to sodium-vapor lamps (warm light) – which make up the majority of street lights in Monheim am Rhein – LED light diodes have many other advantages besides reducing the amount of electricity used. Color rendering at 4,000 Kelvin daylight, in particular, has been significantly improved.

2015 107 globe lights replaced, saving 224 tons of CO2 over 10 years and 19,200 KW/h per year, subsidy of €10,500

2016 150 globe lights replaced, saving 315 tons of CO2 over 10 years and 27,000 KW/h per year, subsidy of €12,000

2017 133 globe lights replaced, saving 281 tons of CO2 over 10 years and 24,100 KW/h per year, subsidy of €12,500

2018 341 globe and mushroom lights – now also with night set-back – replaced, saving 815 tons of CO2 over 10 years and 68,000 KW/h per year, subsidy of €33,120

2019 500 globe and mushroom lights replaced, savings 1,113 tons of CO2 over 10 years and 94,100 KW/h per year, subsidy of €73,514. In addition, a further 250 LED lanterns were converted.

2020 Around 600 globe and mushroom lights are to be replaced; the launch of the city-wide digital control of the lighting system is planned

2021 Around 500 globe and mushroom lights are to be replaced. The conversion to LED will then have been completed within the city limits.

The BMU projects add up to 731 lamps and 20 subsidies that help to fund their replacement. Including incidental costs, more than €0.5m was invested in this modernization drive. In addition, the City has installed around 350 more LED systems that save between 50% and 60% energy. When all of the approximately 5,000 light points within the city limits have been converted by 2020, up to €2m will have been invested in infrastructure here. Last but not least, conversion work is also being carried out in the Smart City project to enable intelligent lighting control in the future. Here, too, there are synergies in the area of climate protection.

The LED lights can be easily retrofitted and disposed of safely. They consist of pollutant-free materials. Converting to these lights results in annual electricity savings of 19,000 kilowatt hours for street lighting. This corresponds roughly to the consumption value of five private households. Over the complete service life of the 107 LED lights installed and extrapolated to 10 years, this represents a saving of 224 tons of CO2.

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