Delitzsch – An Energy-Efficient City

Delitzsch, Germany

Situated to the north of Leipzig, the town of Delitzsch is a model city of “energy efficiency”.

With its innovative energy management system and by using photovoltaics, wind energy and biomass to generate electricity and obtaining heat from geothermal and solar thermal sources, Delitzsch is now arithmetically self-sufficient in terms of electric energy. In addition, the city has been implementing an energy and climate protection policy guiding concept since 2012 and has been presented the European Energy Award® (eea®) in gold.

Originally published by the International Community of Practice for Sustainable Urban Development CONNECTIVE CITIES:


City information

Size and population development
24,911 (as of 2014)

Main functions
Town in the Free State of Saxony in Germany

Main industries / business
The sugar and confectionery industry are the most important industries in Delitzsch

Political structure
The town council consists of a Lord Mayor and 30 town councillors

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Background and objectives

The “Energy-Efficient City” project was conferred an award by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in 2008. Delitzsch was one of four cities chosen by a committee of experts among a total of 72 municipal projects to implement innovative ideas in the energy sector. The current project implementation phase is expected to continue until May 2016. 

With its “Energy Efficiency” concept, Delitzsch is also attempting to address the challenge posed by a shrinking and superannuated population. Falling demand is resulting in a decline in sales markets for energy supply companies, while the more scattered spatial structures lower the efficiency of supply lines, and infrastructural investments will be more difficult to plan in the future.

The aim is to achieve an at least 40 per cent reduction in CO2 emission levels by 2020, against the reference year of 1990. Energetic renovation is to result in improvements in the structure of buildings, enhance the quality of housing and reduce heating costs.  In the long term, jobs are to be preserved in the construction and regional crafts industries.

As a more overarching target, the project contributes to environmental protection, the conservation of natural resources and safety.


The city has been divided into districts with inhabitants bearing similar socio-economic features and comparable types of buildings. Reference districts allow for generalizations regarding other districts. The development of a software tool supports the modelling of district-related characteristics. For this purpose, population statistics, data on types of buildings, the state of renovation or the type of energy supply are gathered. Networking business, science and technology is also part of the strategy. The role of the so-called “Energy Efficiency Manager” is to bring together relevant actors from the various areas. Owners of landed property, associations, the retail trade, service providers and many other institutions are part of a constantly expanding learning network.

Results and impacts

The energy efficiency of the City has increased significantly thanks to the energetically renovated districts of its old part. The use of sustainable energies such as geo-thermal energy or solar energy or combined heat and power generation e.g. by biogas plants contribute to raising energy efficiency and have made Delitzsch arithmetically electrically self-sufficient. Both citizens and businesses are using the services of the local advice agency. In combination with integrated urban marketing and the maintenance of a supra-regional network, the development of an innovative energy management system has triggered further synergies which are reflected e.g. in the energy partnership with Ukraine.

Lessons learned and transferability

Delitzsch also serves as a model municipality for further cities in east Germany that have a similar socio-economic structure and seek to orient themselves on energy-efficient and sustainable urban development.


- Delitzsch – An Energy-Efficient City, (accessed 26 February 2016)

External links / documents