18 Dec 2023 Cases

Compass Lexecon produces a comparative economic study on the climate impact of urban energy systems

2 minute read


Compass Lexecon assessed the climate impact of eleven European urban energy systems, based on quantitative indicators covering the cities’ performance in the energy, building and mobility sector. We identified best practice projects across the cities that foster decarbonisation of the urban energy sector.


Wien Energie, the municipal energy utility of Vienna, commissioned Compass Lexecon to develop a benchmarking study to assess the performance of Vienna’s energy system in terms of decarbonisation and associated economic issues against ten European peers (i.e., Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Munich, Paris, Prague, Stockholm and Zagreb). The study aims to foster exchanges on best practice among the utilities active in the cities.

Our role

In order to benchmark the energy systems, Compass Lexecon developed a consistent set of 16 quantitative indicators to (a) characterise the respective urban energy systems, and (b) assess their climate impact, across five dimensions:

  • indicators describing the energy system;
  • indicators on energy consumption in buildings;
  • indicators to describe the mobility sector;
  • an indicator on air pollution; and
  • an indicator on heating technology legislation.

Subsequently, we identified and analysed best practice examples of projects actually driving forward decarbonisation of urban energy systems in Europe.

The selected projects centred around the core urban energy issue of heating and cooling in buildings and included examples of district heating decarbonisation (i.e., use of geothermal energy, long-term heat storage, efficiency increases for heating grids), programs to phase-out natural gas usage in cities, district cooling and an initiative to increase the energy performance of buildings.

The analysis of the best practice examples included both quantitative facts about the projects and key success factors resulting from the respective utilities’ experience – thereby helping other cities in implementing similar projects or initiatives.

Our impact

The study helped Wien Energie to assess their decarbonisation efforts and to deepen their interaction with other European municipal utilities. The full study is available here.

The team

The Compass Lexecon team was led by Gerald Aue from the EMEA Energy Practice based in the Paris and Berlin offices, with significant contributions from Yadira Funk Albancando and support from the wider European Compass Lexecon Team including Wojciech Pawlak, Petr Spodniak, Waldemar Schuppli, Zsolt Hegyesi, Sebastian Veijola, Milan Valasek, Peter Chawah and Maxime Amadio.

A new version of Compass Lexecon is available.