The town of Espartinas sets an example with their choice of EKOenergy

Espartinas, a town in the sunny region of Seville (Andalusia) in Spain, is the first town that uses EKOenergy from their on-site solar installation to power their public administration buildings and schools!

The EKOenergy ecolabel is for the consumed volumes of renewable energy, including energy that is produced on-site for self-consumption. In addition to individuals and companies, public bodies can use eco-labelled energy too. This enables them to make a link between their sustainability agenda and their energy choice. Moreover, they can generate further positive impact by inspiring others.

Public buildings such as town halls, educational centres and sports centres can showcase the EKOenergy logo in their activities, which helps them raise awareness and inform citizens about the energy transition and where their energy comes from. Thus, citizens can make more sustainable choices regarding their consumption and follow this example in their personal and professional activities. 

We have interviewed the mayor of Espartinas, Cristina Los Arcos Llaneza, about the importance of sustainability for Espartinas, and how EKOenergy fits in their agenda. 

An active participant of the energy transition

Interviewing Cristina Los Arcos Llanos, mayor of Espartinas

Cristina Los Arcos Llaneza told us that a sustainable future and the fight against energy poverty (mainly in Espartinas) are at the forefront of the town council’s agenda. They want to set an example for other municipalities to follow. For this reason, they have launched the “Smartinas” plan, a modern project focused on energy self-sufficiency, energy efficiency and sustainable urban mobility. They told us that they are one of the few towns applying to the Next Generation EU grant to advance the energy transition.

Taking advantage of municipality’s location, they have installed a total of 298 solar panels of 380 Wp each on a total of 6 public buildings, including all public schools and other municipal buildings. With a total of 113.36 kWp, they are aiming to reach self-sufficiency through renewable energy in all public buildings, achieving significant savings on their electricity bills, which will be used for improving other services for the citizens. Besides, they plan to use the excess solar energy to alleviate energy poverty for the citizens struggling with it.

They have also decided that the energy generated by these installations will carry the EKOenergy ecolabel. Since the fight against energy poverty is highly important for Espartinas, EKOenergy’s mission of alleviating energy poverty globally is the perfect complement to their local efforts.

Espartinas, the first town to use EKOenergy from their onsite solar installation to supply energy for their public buildings, sets an example for other towns to move towards green energy choices. 

Moreover, Espartinas wants to show the benefits of using EKOenergy-labelled solar energy from their own installations to all citizens, youngsters, adults and the elderly. They’re planning to raise awareness in their public schools by showcasing EKOenergy’s Climate Fund projects which focused on education in developing countries. This will enable the younger generation to see the link between their studies being powered by  EKOenergy and other children elsewhere having the opportunity to have better quality education thanks to that. Such awareness-raising activities will empower young citizens by showing them the concrete results of the label.

Other actions within the “Smartinas” plan include the progressive shift of the council vehicles fleet, which currently consists mostly of combustion vehicles, into electric vehicles, as well as a photocatalytic asphalting plan. This asphalt helps reduce pollution created by the combustion of fossil fuels by transforming polluting agents, such as CO2, NOx or SOx, into harmless molecules by the action of sunlight. The town council of Espartinas will also create a network of municipal charging points for electric vehicles and a net of electric bicycles and scooters to facilitate mobility in the town.

Espartinas feels very proud of this project, as it turns Espartinas into a town at the forefront in the use of clean energy, acquiring many environmental, social and economic benefits for their citizens. They mean to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment to improve the quality of life in their town. In addition, they hope to inspire other municipalities to implement similar actions and be an active participant in the energy transition. 

Looking forward to seeing more of this

We thank Espartinas for choosing EKOenergy and leading by example, and also for their efforts towards 100% sustainability and carbon neutrality. We also thank mayor Cristina Los Arcos Llaneza for answering our questions. We hope that their commitment to sustainability will inspire other institutions and public bodies to take similar steps, speeding up the transition towards a 100% renewable world.

We also thank our licensee seller in Spain, Quantica Renovables, for making this possible. We are proud that an increasing number of consumers using electricity produced on-site are choosing EKOenergy.

To see other articles like this and to learn more about consumers using EKOenergy-labelled energy, have a look at our user stories. We, and our licensees, are happy to help consumers choose the most sustainable renewable energy available.

If you are considering ways to display your environmental commitment or thinking of switching to environmentally sustainable electricity, don’t hesitate to contact us. To stay updated, follow us on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Xing!

Interview by Icíar Montes – Published on 21 December 2021