e5 programme for towns and municipalities

The e5 programme encourages Austrian municipalities to act in a sustainable manner at all levels: in dealing with energy, consumption, mobility and the economy.


Many municipalities want to make their power supply substantially independent from fossil energy in terms of heat, electricity and traffic while at the same time retaining value-adding activities, income and jobs in the region. As part of klimaaktiv, e5 provides consultancy and certification services to towns and municipalities that are committed to energy transition and climate protection. A network of highly qualified federal state consultants and a standardised rating scheme across Europe make it easier for the e5 municipalities to define measures in six central core areas of operation and also to allow their progress to be rated by independent experts.

"e" stands for energy

The “e” in e5 stands for energy. The higher the implementation level for energy and climate protection measures in a municipality or town, the greater the number of “e” awarded – much like stars in the restaurant industry.

The awarding follows a standardised audit and certification process so that there is an objective measure available for the work in the municipalities across Austria. Yearly accounting by e5 advisers demonstrates regularly what the municipality has achieved in terms of energy and climate protection. The more measures have been implemented from the e5 set of measures, the better the rating. The municipality is rated as a minimum every three years by an independent commission.

The six areas which municipalities are required to address in the e5 programme are:

  • Municipal development and spatial planning strategy
  • Municipal buildings and facilities
  • Supply & disposal: energy, water, waste water, waste
  • Mobility
  • Internal organisation
  • Raising awareness, motivation, communication and cooperation

To participate in e5, the municipality signs a basic agreement with the agency delivering the e5 programme in the respective federal state. In this agreement, the municipality commits itself to the principles and rules of the programme. In return, it receives technical and organisational support and advice from the respective agency delivering the e5 programme. Subsequently an e5 team is set up which is responsible for implementing the programme in the municipality. This team works independently from political parties and consists of the municipality’s administrative members, committed citizens, experts, business representatives, environmental protection organisations, etc.

In the first step, the e5 adviser checks by referring to a set of measures which opportunities for improved energy use are already being implemented in the municipality. The findings from this analysis and the resulting profile of strengths and weaknesses form the basis for the e5 team’s further work.