City end-user: CESENA (Italy)

CESENA is one of the 2 Italian cities involved in CitInES project. Cesena experimentation aimed at using Crystal City all along the SEAP process.


The main expectations for Cesena were:

  • consolidate the current SEAP of Cesena, by helping technicians to define new actions fully adapted to the local context;
  • improve the monitoring process for all actions of the SEAP;
  • reinforce interdisciplinary work between the services of Cesena;
  • build support from citizens.
Consumers' distribution over districts

Consumers’ distribution over districts


The municipality of Cesena joined the Covenant of Mayors in 2009, and its SEAP was officially approved in 2011. The SEAP was built by the Environmental Department of the Municipality of Cesena, with the support of two external consulting companies. The Environmental Department is responsible for all phases planning, implementation and monitoring of the SEAP. They are supported in this task by ENERGIE PER LA CITTA (the consulting company for energy services of the municipality).

Reinforcing the SEAP monitoring process and facilitating the interdisciplinary work between the municipality’s services were the key expectations of Cesena.


The department of Protection of the Environment and Territory of the Municipality of CESENA, together with ENERGIE PER LA CITTA and ERVET, have conducted an analysis of the context (the local energy policy, the organizational framework, short-term plan and reference energy strategy, long-term energy vision) to determine actors, decision making processes, user needs and tools. With a technical working group, especially set up for this, the municipality has collected data from all their suppliers and partners, HERA and ENEL in particular. The database has been filled with all available data, such as consumption, technical and renewable potential ones:

  • Characterization of the energy demand (types of housing, density, large consumers, transport, aggregated load profiles-time series)
  • Scenarios of local demand evolution (urban development, transportation…)
  • Description of local energy production facilities and distribution networks
  • Opportunities for energy generation from renewable energy source
  • Tariffs and price structure of the national energy supply
  • Description of available energy action plans (Sustainable Energy Action Plans -SEAP- for European Covenant of Mayors signatories)


Local generation, connexion to grid and network zoning


The first aim of the experimentation was to test and assess the Crystal City tool regarding the previously identified expectations of the municipality of Cesena. It was also expected to bring immediate added value to Cesena through a configured and directly usable software, as well as a methodology regarding the assessment of the territory energy state and energy strategies up to 2020. Finally, the experimentation aimed at measuring specifically what were the benefits for the city in terms of CO2 emissions and increase in involvement of stakeholders, in order to estimate what the replication to other cities could bring.

The experimentation took place in two phases:  the configuration allowed to adapt the tool to the data and use case of Cesena, before its use was experimented by the city.


The configuration of the tool, lead from June to October 2013, consisted in:

  • Data collection on the energy state of the city in 2010 and 2012. The collected details related to diverse dimensions of the energy system: macroeconomic factors; energy grids, production and demand; geographical distribution of consumers, etc.
  •  Data collection on the characteristics of the city energy strategy plan (SEAP) and the actions composing it
  •  Specification of a set of indicators useful to assess its impacts.
  •  Implementation of this data, actions models and indicators into the software


At the end of this phase, the configured software delivered to Cesena contained:

  •  A picture of the energy system in 2010, base year for the work lead during the experimentation,
  •  A picture of the energy system in 2012, most recent complete year of which data could be collected,
  •  A complete set of models of the SEAP actions of Cesena,
  •  The SEAP scenario built from energy actions,
  •  Indicators to assess these three energy states (2010, 2012, SEAP) and actions effectiveness.


The experimentation was led by Cesena, with the support of the consortium partners, and concluded during a final workshop at the end of February 2014.

It consisted in:

  •  A monitoring phase during which action advancement data was collected and used to model  and assess the situation in 2012 according to SEAP advancement. The situation was then projected in 2020 assuming a linear progression of actions implementation. This projection gives an estimate of where the city would have stand in 2020 if no monitoring and updating of the SEAP had been done.
  •  A SEAP update work. Actions effectiveness was analyzed based on the cost of the ton of CO2 emission avoided and an alternative 2020 scenario was elaborated. The alternative scenario was based on the municipality’s knowledge of the territory, and therefore more adapted to the local context. It was also selected to decrease the global costs of SEAP actions in order to facilitate their implementation.
  •  A communication phase during which Cesena elaborated communication material regarding the current energy state of the city and energy actions, aimed at citizens.

Another important outcome of the experimentation was the involvement of stakeholders in particular the Multi-utilities that manage data for electricity and gas in the area (ENEL and HERA) and that have been actively involved in the data collection for setting the tool and decision-makers (politicians). The results of the tool were presented to Dr. Lia Montalti, the Councillor for the Environment, European Project and the Energy Policies of the Municipality of Cesena that concluded that “the software is indeed very effective to translate technical issues into graphs to show to the decision-makers”. An interview with Dr. Gianni Gregorio, Project manager of CitInES and Executive of the Environment Sector was also carried out.



The CO2 emissions gained in the case of Cesena, by improving the trajectory of the City towards 2020 through a consistent and easy to lead SEAP monitoring and update process was measured at 45000 tons of CO2 saved per years. This represents around 10 % of the CO2 emissions of Cesena in 2010.


The experimentation phase enabled the Municipality of Cesena to improve its ability to harness the challenge of the SEAP’s implementation through an increase in its analysis capacity regarding the energy situation of the territory as well as the relevance of actions for the local context.

“During the experimentation, we could see the SEAP in a different light.”

“The software is quite simple to read and the model is really detailed”

Thanks to the experimentation, the Municipality has concretely appraised the viability and the efficacy of the SEAP.

The experimentation enabled to: analyze individual actions to evaluate their effectiveness in terms of reduction of CO2 and in terms of cost-effectiveness; update Cesena’s SEAP and build an alternative SEAP scenario closer to reality; investigate how to monitor the progress of the actions in the future.

“The software did help us to understand where we stand compared to where we should be regarding the SEAP advancement.”

Experimentation & Results of  BOLOGNA