It is well known that energy supply and use leads to environmental impact and the local level has often been highlighted as important when it comes to the transition to a sustainable energy system. In Sweden there is a legal requirement for local authorities to produce a municipal energy plan for managing energy systems at the municipal level. How such planning shall be performed to be effective has however been subject for debate. This paper describes a cooperation project in a Swedish region where eight local authorities are producing their energy plans in a joint procedure. Throughout the process the local authorities will receive support from for the regional development council in cooperation with other regional actors such as the county administrative board and the university. The local authorities will for example be offered professional training and process support, but also, and perhaps most importantly, they will be offered an arena for discussion and networking.
The design of the process is based on the experiences from earlier initiatives for supporting strategic energy work at the local level, as well as research on energy planning and how it can be performed to be effective. The experiences from this project can serve as valuable input to practice for managing energy systems at the local level.