The Learning Networks of Energy Efficiency (EE) or Energy Management Systems (EMS) are a collaborative space where different actors meet to exchange experiences with the aim of improving their energy performance under an experiential learning model. The concept has been successfully implemented in countries such as Switzerland and Germany, where the initiative “Energy Efficiency Learning Networks” (Initiative Energieeffizienz-Netzwerke, IEEN, for its acronym in German) has been created with companies, and since 2015, has also integrated the municipal level.
In Mexico, within the framework of the National Program for Energy Management Systems (PRONASGEn) 2014-2018, the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (CONUEE) with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has laid the foundations for the implementation of learning networks in the country. In this regard, they developed in 2016 various manuals and guides on the subject and the implementation of several learning networks with the private initiative in different productive sectors, as well as at the municipal level, has been carried out with great success. The implementation of learning networks is an opportunity not only for the implementation of measures that lead to energy savings, but also for the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) by the participating entities.
By 2019, three municipal learning networks have been implemented in Mexico in the states of Coahuila, Aguascalientes and Morelos, where 30 municipalities have participated. These first experiences have proven to be very useful in energy management and in providing environmental co-benefits such as the reduction of GHG emissions, as well as the power to replicate them in other municipalities. However, the municipal learning networks show differences and a different level of complexity when compared to those in purely business contexts. In response to these particularities, CONUEE and GIZ developed the document “Strategic orientations for the implementation of Energy Efficiency Learning Networks and Energy Management Systems at the Municipal Level”. It takes up the experiences of municipal learning networks in Mexico, Germany and Brazil and seeks to support local actors in overcoming the challenges that a municipal learning network faces in order to successfully implement the model and, ultimately, to introduce the methodology as a means to improve the energy performance of the municipalities.