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Public Administrations

Principal obligations
of public authorities under Act 4/2019

Energy saving targets.

The act targets a 60% reduction in energy consumption by 2050, with an interim fall of 35% by 2030, as compared to the baseline year. These targets apply to all buildings, public lighting and vehicles.

Integration of energy sustainability.

In territorial and urban planning policies. All territorial plans (planning, partial, sectoral) and transport plans (roads, infrastructures, etc.) must include an energy sustainability study.

Energy Sustainability Committee.

Each public administration must create an energy sustainability committee or similar body to approve energy sustainability action plans and inventories, oversee measures and targets and report on the progress of the actions.

Inventory of buildings, all types of installation (inter alia, public lighting, public lifts, pumps and escalators) and transport fleets.

The inventory of buildings must include the useful floor area of the buildings, their energy rating and energy consumption. The inventory will be public.

Consumption monitoring.

All buildings and installations must have remote energy meters, with centralised information gathered on an annual basis of monthly consumption figures.

Energy Audit of buildings and public lighting.

Compulsory every four years for buildings with a heat rating of over 70 kW and for outdoor public lighting.

Action plans in energy sustainability.

All public authorities are required to publish action plans for their buildings, installations and vehicles, including a diagnosis, definition of strategies and citizen participation.

Electricity procurement.

In the case of all mew tenders, 100% of the electricity acquired must be renewably-sourced. The specifications for any call for tenders must be designed to ensure that SMEs and cooperatives can participate and must take into account the social benefit of the retailer and proximity in power production.

Renewable energy.

By 2030, buildings must have enough installations using renewable energy to meet 32% of their consumption.

Renovation of installations, equipment, fleets and vehicles.

Public authorities are required to acquire products, services and buildings with high energy performance, of the highest efficiency rating, taking account of economic viability, technical suitability and the existence of sufficient competition.

Energy rating of buildings.

The energy label must be displayed on all buildings; in the case of existing buildings, 40% of buildings that do not currently have a B rating must achieve it by 2030. New buildings and comprehensive renovations must be of near-zero energy consumption — i.e. must meet Technical Building Code requirements.

Alternative fuels.

All vehicles acquired from 2020 (including via systems such as renting or leasing) must use alternative fuels; the same applies to public road transport service.

Sustainable mobility.

Electrical charging points and bicycle car parks must be installed in new buildings, and electrical charging stations for public use must be installed in the urban environment. Provisions must be made to facilitate bicycle use and parking and mobility plans must be drawn up in municipalities with a population of over 5,000. For all other parts of the territory, inter-urban mobility plans must be issued.

Other obligations.

Publication of a report by each administration every 2 years. Training for managers and technicians. Training plan. Report to the Basque Government's Department of Economic Development and Infrastructures on approval of the action plans.


Schedule of actions under Act 4/2019
among public authorities

1 March 2019
Entry into force of Act
1 December 2019
1 January 2020
Alternative vehicles
1 March 2020
Sust. Committee
General Action Plan*
Remote measuring
Energy certifications
Training plan
1 March 2021
Mobility plans.

*Plan: General period, 1 year. 2 years for intra-municipal plans in the case of municipalities with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants


Inventory of buildings, installations and vehicles

Template to perform inventory of buildings, installations and vehicles

In order to measure consumption indicators properly, it is necessary to have a precise inventory of all energy consumption in the municipal area. An inventory must be available of buildings and installations, including public lighting and vehicles. All consumption points (electricity, natural gas and other fuels) must be clearly identified.

EVE has created a template which the councils of smaller municipalities can use to log their inventory and its monthly energy consumption.

 Excel template for buildings, installations and vehicles

Recording of energy consumption in buildings and installations

In order to calculate total consumption in a building in one year, it is necessary to have information on supply of every form of energy. This includes both mains supplies (electricity, natural gas, piped LPG) and others, including external supplies (biomass, gas oil, etc.) and the energy generated in the building itself (solar thermal, photovoltaic).

The criteria for logging this energy is as follows:


Total power consumption is calculated as the sum of the electricity bought from the grid plus the power generated in the building and self-consumed.

For calculating renewable electricity, under the terms of Act 4/2019, Article 17.3:

  • Electricity bought from the grid with certificates of renewable origin is not recorded when calculating the percentage of renewables consumed.
  • o The electricity of renewable origin generated in the building is recorded when calculating the percentage of renewables consumed, regardless of whether it is for self-consumption or exported to the power grid.

Natural gas

The consumption figures are shown on the gas bill in kWh and cubic metres (Nm3), with the corresponding cost in euros. We recommend taking the consumption figure in kWh (not cubic metres) directly from the invoice.

Solar thermal

If there is no meter of useful energy, solar thermal output will be measured by the area in square metres of panels and the hours of use, for the purposes of calculating the renewable energy generated in the building, provided that the installation is in operation. The energy thus calculated will be included in the overall consumption of the building.

Solar photovoltaic

The Solar photovoltaic production of a building will be measured using meters, discriminating between self-consumed energy and exported energy.

In order to calculate the renewable electricity, pursuant to Act 4/2019, Article 17.3, any photovoltaic energy generated in the building will be recorded when calculating the percentage of renewables consumed, regardless of whether it is for self-consumption or for exportation to the power grid.

Geothermal and aerothermal

To calculate the renewable energy used, the useful energy of heating and domestic hot water provided by the geothermal system will be measured or estimated and the amount of electricity consumed by the heat pump will be subtracted from that amount. The resulting renewable energy will be added as a consumption figure for the building and will be taken into account in calculating the percentage of renewables consumed. For aerothermal energy, the SPF coefficient must be greater than or equal to 2.5.


In calculating the percentage of renewables consumed, any consumption of biomass may be logged in its entirety, regardless of its source. Biomass consumption should be expressed in kWh of LHV.

Other renewable production facilities not associated with any building

Power production in renewables facilities that are owned by a public administration (hydroelectric, wind, photovoltaic, etc.) and which are not associated with any building may be recorded when calculating the percentage of renewables consumed by the authority.

If ownership of the facility is shared, apply the authority's percentage share in the ownership of the facility.

Units and conversion factors

The conversion factors depend on a number of factors, but to simplify the calculations we recommend using the following values.

Conversion factors Calorific value (guidelines)
Diesel 10 kWh/litre
Petrol 9,2 kWh/litre
LPG 12,8 kWh/kg
Natural Gas 11,7 kWh/Nm3

In the case of natural gas, for preference the information in kWh should be taken directly from the bill, thus requiring no conversion.



Alternative fuels in vehicles

Under the Sustainability Act, from 2020 on, 100% of all vehicles acquired by Basque public authorities must use alternative fuels.

  • Applies to all vehicles, including those acquired via renting or leasing
  • Also applies to public road transport services.
  • Certain exceptions are allowed, provided that reasons are given in writing and submitted to the Basque Government's Office for Energy, Mines and Industrial Administration.

The following types of vehicle are classed as using alternative fuels:

  • Electric
  • Plug-in hybrids (normal hybrids are not classed as alternative)
  • Natural gas
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
  • Biofuel
  • Hydrogen

Note that Ente Vasco de la Energía recommends the use of the following types of alternative energy in vehicles:

  1. Electric vehicle in sectors where the battery range allows and where a charging point is available in the parking space.
  2. Plug-in hybrid, provided that a charging point can be made available in the parking space and taking into account that the price is higher than for other types of vehicle.
  3. Natural gas, if there are suitable service stations in the area.
  4. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG, autogas), as an alternative, when the options above are not considered viable.
  5. BiofuelsThe use of biofuel-powered vehicles is not recommended; normal fuel (diesel and petrol) are already blended with biofuels in sufficient proportion to meet European policies.
vehículo eléctrico vehículo eléctrico recarga vehículo GLP

The table below outlines some of the advantages and disadvantage of each different kind of alternative energy:

Type of vehicle Pros Cons
Pure electric
  • No local pollutant emissions.
  • Lower net GHG emissions.
  • Low noise emission.
  • Partly renewable source.
  • Low running costs (€1-2/100 km) and maintenance.
  • Maximum range of around 400 km, which restricts its use for certain purposes.
  • High initial investment.
  • Need for a night-time charging point for each vehicle.
Plug-in hybrid
  • Greater total range (petrol + electricity) than pure EVs.
  • Lower range in electrical mode, small electrical charging capacity.
Natural gas
  • Lower costs than petrol and diesel.
  • Non-petroleum source.
  • Low pollutant emissions compared to diesel and petrol.
  • Bi-fuel vehicles are petrol compatible.
  • It is a fossil fuel.
  • Few service stations (in process)
LPG or Autogas
  • Lower costs than petrol and diesel.
  • Bi-fuel vehicles are petrol-compatible.
  • Low pollutant emissions compared to diesel and petrol.
  • As a petroleum product, considered to have limited medium-term prospects.
  • Small number of filling stations.
  • Renewable energy.
  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Cost per km higher than conventional fuels.
  • Limited number of service stations.
  • Cultivation for biofuels competes with food production.
  • No local pollutant emissions.
  • Potentially renewable.
  • The technology is not commercial, and costs are very high.

Total costs throughout the entire useful service life (10 years, 15,000 km per year) for eight car propulsion technologies.

Costes totales a lo largo de toda la vida útil

Source: Ente Vasco de la Energía


Aid for energy sustainability
among local authorities

Local authorities can avail of aid for the following types of project:

Type of project Maximum aid Aid scheme
Energy management systems 30% Local admin. 2020
Outdoor public lighting 20% Local admin. 2020
Improvements in existing buildings
  • HVAC and/or DHW facilities
  • CHP facilities
  • Indoor lighting
20% Admon. local 2020
Renewable energy
  • Solar thermal
  • Biomass
  • Geothermal
  • Electrical self-consumption (PV, wind, small hydro)


Local admin. 2020
Biomass 2020
Geothermal 2020
Renewable self-consumption
  • Electric and alternative vehicles
  • NG buses, electric buses, charging stations, others


PAVEA 2020

Tax incentives for energy efficiency in municipalities of the Basque Country

Municipal authorities are incentivising energy efficiency and renewable energy installations with a series of municipal tax relief schemes. Examples include:

  • Relief on Motor Tax (IVTM) for electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • Relief on Building Tax (ICIO) for solar power installations for generating heat or electricity (solar thermal or photovoltaic).
  • Relief on Property Tax (IBI) for buildings that have renewable energy saving systems.

The following document lists the tax incentives for motor tax in different municipalities in the Basque Country:


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