KLIMDO - Urban energy and climate strategy of the city of Dornbirn as basis for achieving climate neutrality by 2030

A central goal of the project is to obtain detailed knowledge of energy consumption, energy consumption flows and energy potentials including spatialization in the entire urban araea of Dornbirn. Based on this data, various scenarios are to be elaborated that map possible developments in the city. Subsequently, the basis for an energy and climate strategy based on the vision of climate neutrality will be prepared.

Short Description


completed (October 2022)

Initial situation

The city of Dornbirn has an impactful energy and environmental program (called "DUP") since the end of the 1990s, which is largely based on the environmental mission statement and assessments from the e5 (European Energy Award) program. Thereupon resulted numerous projects, which have already significantly advanced the city in the field of climate protection and energy efficiency.

Before this project started, there was no reliable, spatialized databases for the entire city area and thus no high-quality and carbon footprint. Hence, there were no measurable, strategic objectives for the entire urban area.

Project content and objectives

A central objective of the project is to obtain detailed knowledge of the energy consumption, en-ergy flows and energy potentials, including spatialization for the entire urban area, by means of an energy master plan (Energiemasterplan Dornbirn). Based on these data, scenarios are developed that depict the possible developments of the city until 2030 and beyond. Subsequently, the basis for an energy and climate strategy oriented towards climate neutrality in 2030 with ambitious, quantitative energy and climate protection targets for the city area is prepared.


For the development of the required database, an energy master plan was created as a strategic tool for planning, decision support and monitoring. The foundation for this is a geodatabase in which data sources were aggregated. The aggregated data allow now to carry out spatial and tem-poral analysis at different scale levels. Based on this, scenarios for the goal of climate neutrality were defined and modelled. The scenarios included the ability to measure and simulate which im-pact different kind of measures have on the energy balance and carbon balance. Findings from current urban planning processes are taken into account and can generate qualitative benefit for the project.

Results and conclusions

The development of the energy master plan was completed as scheduled and made publicly avail-able on the website of the city of Dornbirn.

Excerpt from the main results of the Energiemasterplan Dornbirn:

Total city energy consumption

As of January 1st 2020, the city's energy consumption was in total 1.049 GWh. 505 GWh are attributable to the thermal energy category, 302 GWh to the electricity category and 242 GWh to the mobility category (Individual motorized traffic, public transport, goods traffic).

Building energy demand

More than half of the energy requirement (electricity and heat) is accounted for by the building categories of industry, commerce and mixed use.

Building heat supply

Approximately two thirds of the heat supply for buildings is based on fossil fuels.

The extensive data basis, its processing and the analysis possibilities of the energy master plan cre-ated an ideal foundation. Three possible scenarios for achieving climate neutrality were developed , involving key stakeholders and experts:

  1. Business as usual
  2. Climate Neutrality according to the policy of the government of Vorarlberg
  3. Climate Neutrality by 2030

The possibilities and the impact of different measures in the mobility sector, according to scenario 2 show that the potentials are highest in the area of "drive improvement" and lowest in the area of "path shifting".

As the individual scenarios show, climate neutrality in 2030 can only be achieved as theoretical in the "mobility" and "Buildings" sectors.

In the mobility sector, in addition to expanding the urban infrastructure and increasing the propor-tion of bicycles, all cars and trucks must be converted to electric drives so that no CO2 is emitted. However, a switch to 100% e-powered vehicles within the next 7 years is to be regarded as very unrealistic, so if climate neutrality is aimed for by 2030, compensation will have to be made in the area of mobility.

The same applies to the Buildings sector. In order to achieve the goal of climate neutrality, all gas and oil boilers in Dornbirn would have to be replaced by biomass, heat pumps and local heating network connections. So that such a conversion of the heating system can also be implemented in a technically sensible way, in many cases renovations are carried out as a first step. This step is nec-essary in order to lower the required flow temperature and to enable the use of heat pumps at all.

This also shows that a complete conversion of all fossil heating systems by 2030 is not realistic. Compensation must also be made in the Buildings sector in order to achieve climate neutrality.

Achieving climate neutrality is most realistic for municipal buildings and facilities. In addition to the purchase of green electricity, renewable energy sources have also been used for municipal build-ings and systems wherever possible in the past. Where this has not yet been the case, this will be implemented by 2030. To this end, on October 18, 2022, the city council passed a "Mission Zero Resolution" - phasing out fossil fuels - for the year 2030.


The necessary basic work for the development and implementation of the city-wide strategy could be done through the energy master plan and the scenario development. In addition, it has already been decided to finalize the strategy in a follow-up project, to provide further resources for the topic of energy and climate protection and to implement the operational measures as early as 2023.

In order to react to the increased resource requirements in the city administration, a new position (energy manager) was advertised in October 2022. In addition to the development of a city-wide energy strategy and the implementation of the measures required for this, better networking and exchange between the city and other Austrian cities should also be possible.

Further organizational and capacity planning should also take place as part of the energy strategy development. It is clear that resources will have to be created in the future, especially in urban planning in the area of energy space and mobility planning, in order to achieve the ambitious goal of achieving climate neutrality.

Project Partners

Project management

Amt der Stadt Dornbirn

Project or cooperation partners

Energieinstitut Vorarlberg


Contact Address

Ing. Andreas Müller
Rathausplatz 2
A-6850 Dornbirn
Tel.: +43 (5572) 306 52 10; +43 (5572) 306-0
E-mail: andreas.mueller@dornbirn.at, hochbau@dornbirn.at
Web: www.dornbirn.at