Ghent climate city

One year of Ghent climate plan in 10 striking figures

Ghent intends to become a climate neutral city by 2050. One year after launching its Climate Plan, the City of Ghent is reviewing the most striking results of 2015.

In 2009, Ghent committed itself via the Mayors Covenant to push back our local CO2-emissions by 2020 with at least 20 % in comparison with 2007. The Ghent Climate Plan 2014-2019 comprises actions to achieve these 2020 objectives already in 2019. The City has also opted for a social climate policy. Therefore, the Climate Plan also boasts specific measures to counteract energy poverty.

Meanwhile, Ghent took the following step. In the autumn of 2015, the Ghent City Council decided as first Belgian city to sign the new European Mayor’s Covenant, according to which Ghent is committing itself to reduce its CO2 emissions with at least 40% by 2030.

To achieve the Climate Plan, the City of Ghent will invest over 105 million until 2019 in a series of measures that directly contribute to lowered CO2 emissions. Moreover, there is also a budget for measures that will indirectly ensue in lowered emissions.

Deputy Mayor Tine Heyse: ‘One year following the launch of the Ghent Climate Plan, we are able to present nice results. Quite some Ghent citizens, organizations and companies have taken action to transform Ghent into a climate neutral city’.

A survey of the results:

31 companies are saving up to 1.000 tons of CO2 every year

In 2015, 31 Ghent companies participated in a coaching project set up by the City in order to reduce their energy invoices. 25 amongst them have already drafted an energy action plan. With well-planned interventions, including lighting, isolation, compressed air, cooling and heating, they already saved over 12% on their energy invoice. Thus, they jointly reduced their emissions with up to 1.000 tons of CO2 every year. 6 renewable energy projects are also forthcoming. In 2015, the City of Ghent earned the BELFIUS Smart City Award for proposing this offer. Interested companies can still join this coaching project.

For more information, please consult the website (link in Dutch)

1.130 Ghent citizens have received cost-free renovation advice

In 2015, 1.130 Ghent citizens received cost-free advice to diminish energy consumption in their houses and 268 of them received cost-free energy-saving coaching. Thus, a significant part of the renovation stress is passed on to the renovation coordinator, who will in joint concert examine the possible measures within your budget. You will be helped during every step of the way towards renovation, ranging from inviting tenders until the monitoring of the works. This offer is also destined to landlords.

For more information, please consult the website (link in Dutch)

1.544 applications for energy grants were introduced in 2015

Ghent intends to double the number of home renovations, transforming the houses into low-energy premises. Our houses will be ready for the future as regards energy. The City also helps Ghent citizens with income-related grants. In 2015, 1.544 Ghent citizens applied for an energy grant in view of their renovation. Most applications were introduced in view of roof isolation, isolating windows and façade isolation.

For more information about the energy grants, please consult the website (link in Dutch)

Over 100 energy loans in 2015

Last year, over 100 Ghent citizens asked an energy loan in view of energy-saving renovations.

It is possible to loan up to 10.000 euro at an interest rate of 2% or even of 0%, depending on your income. These energy loans will provide additional support to underprivileged families, enabling them to carry out energy-saving renovations. Indeed, mere grants are not sufficient. The Municipality intends to pursue these efforts in 2016, thus reaching even more Ghent citizens. For this Flemish loan, please contact the vzw REGENT.

For more information, please consult the website (link in Dutch)

714 families in the Sluizeken-Tolhuis-Ham district are step by step evolving towards a sustainable neighbourhood

In the past months, 714 families of the Sluizeken-Tolhuis-Ham district participated in the project 'Stap voor Stap' (Step by Step) to save energy and sustainable living. Every participating family committed itself to try out at least 2 actions, for instance opting for LED lamps, washing their hands with cold water, apply weather strips, switch off their cellular phones at night, purchasing local fruit and vegetables. Sixty per cent of the inhabitants has already succeeded in carrying out these ecological actions. The project is running until August 2017.

For more information, please consult the website (link in Dutch)

11 sustainable district projects in 9 Ghent districts have been initiated

In 2015, no less than 11 Ghent district groups jointly initiated projects to help reduce CO2 emissions in our city. With a ‘sustainable district subsidy’, provided by the City, they hired an expert who is helping them to elaborate their project.

It involves projects with respect to low-energy renovations, collective energy, lighting, greenery roofs and sustainable nutrition in 9 different Ghent districts.. Do you also have an idea to set to work with your neighbours? Simply submit your proposal (deadline: February 29th 2016).

For more information about the grant and current projects, please consult the website (link in Dutch)

13.000 houses have already been checked

In 2015, 13.000 Ghent citizens drafted a personal step-by-step plan in view of achieving low-energy houses, using the ‘Check je huis’ (Check your house) tool provided by the City of Ghent. This online tool allows you to calculate the extent of low energy. How can we improve the result? What does it cost and what does it yield? Answer a series of simple questions, the tool will do the rest. A simple and personalized step-by-step plan provides a survey of the estimated investment cost for every intervention, the available grants and the annual energy savings. ‘Check je huis’ earned Ghent the 2015 Agoria Smart City Award 2015 in the category Living.

Check your house at the website (link in Dutch).

8.530 sun roofs have already been checked

In 2015, 8.530 Ghent citizens observed how many sun is shining on their roofs every year

The Ghent solar map examines every house or commercial premises in Ghent to determine if it is fit for solar panels. This online tool is also taking into account the orientation and angle of inclination as well as the shadows of surrounding buildings and large trees. Enter your home address and discover how much electricity can be generated on your rooftop. The Ghent solar map was nominated for the 2015 Award of Digital Communication. Check your roof on the website (link in Dutch).

25 schools and district groups receive coaching in laying out their vegetable garden

In 2015, quite some Ghent citizens laid out a new vegetable garden, coached by the City of Ghent. 17 Ghent schools and 8 district groups were already coached in laying out their vegetable garden. Question about vegetable gards can be submitted via the website (link in Dutch), to the cost-free advice line Moestdazo, or exchange ideas with other Ghent citizens. The Ghent nutrition strategy Gent en Garde was nominated for the 2015 Future Generations Award

11.000 ‘Restorestjes’ (restaurant leftovers) in 70 Ghent restaurants

Since its launch a year ago, 11.000 ‘Restorestjes’ were distributed in Ghent. 70 Ghent restaurants allow you to ask to take your leftovers at home in a biodegradable ‘Restorestje’ box.

Ghent does not spill any food. The term ‘Restorestje’ was chosen by the Van Dale dictionary as Word of the Year in the category Lifestyle.