St. Johann im Pongau aims at becoming energy self-sufficient by 2020

St Johann im Pongau
Published by Georg Priesner on 24/11/2014

For more than 20 years St. Johann im Pongau in the Federal State of Salzburg has been strongly engaged in sustainable environmental politics and has involved different groups of stakeholders (politicians and administration, citizens, schools and kindergartens but also local companies) in the town’s energy strategy. In 1998 St. Johann adhered to Climate Alliance Austria and later joined the e5-network, the Austrian quality management programme of the European Energy Award (EEA). 


The ambitious energy team of St. Johann im Pongau 

Energy targets until 2020 

In 2011 the local government of the 11,000 people district town agreed on a renewable energy road map. It aims at becoming self-sufficient in renewable electricity, heat production, sustainable transport and green mobility until 2020 by

  • enhancing energy efficiency in all sectors,
  • further developing local renewable energy sources (hydro, biomass, sun),
  • focusing on sustainable transport and mobility systems,
  • involving local enterprises and the strong tourism sector and
  • using sustainable natural resources and considering environmental protection.  

The various energy related and climate protection activities of the last 20 years show excellent results: in the last 20 years the town’s GHG emissions were curbed by 25% through an increase in renewable energy production (hydro, biomass and solar power).  


The eco-rallye visits St. Johann

Implemented Energy Projects 

Public buildings

  • Eco-electricity for schools, kindergartens and sports facilities
  • Citizen participation for PV-installations and small hydro power plants
  • Energy Performance Certificate for all public buildings and energy accounting
  • LED public lighting
  • Biomass district heating for all public buildings

Spatial planning

  • Town centre revitalisation measures with integrated shopping centre
  • Subsidies for private solar and PV-installations and biomass heating 
  • Energy consulting in the town hall


  • City-bus
  • Traffic management system
  • E-bike rental free of charge for citizens


  • Energy days (solar day, day of renewable energy, mobility week)
  • Regular environment information in the town-magazine

…and other implemented projects in the sectors of energy supply, re-use of organic waste for local farmers and cooperation with other stakeholders and municipalities



After having received various natural and environmental awards in the 80ies and 90ies, St. Johann received the Austrian mobility price for medium cities in 2007 from the Austrian Traffic Club. In 2008 St. Johann was awarded with 5e („eeeee“) as first town in Salzburg, the highest level of the Austrian e5-programme, in 2009 the town received the EEA in Gold and the Austrian Climate Protection Price for towns and in 2010 it received the Austrian Environment Price by Austrian Society for Environment and Technology.