The municipality of Kočevje lies in the county named Kočevsko, which lies between Loška and Ribniška valley in the north, the Bela Krajina in the east and the river Kolpa in the south. The municipality of Kočevje has an area of 555 km2 and about 16.500 inhabitants. The biggest city is Kočevje, the administrative, economic and cultural centre of the municipality of Kočevje.
The Kočevska region is one of the most naturally preserved areas of Slovenia and Central Europe. The forests cover more than 90% of the total area. A real pearl are primeval forests with a total area of 217 ha.
Municipality started to work on sustainable energy policies systematically in the year 2008, when there was adopted the Local energy concept. It includes analysis of existent condition in the field of energy use and supply (which emphasizes the public buildings), possibilities of use of local renewable sources. In the local energy concept there are defined the goals in the energy field in community and the action plan.
From the Local energy concept from year 2008 follows, that the annual emissions in the territory of municipality were estimated to be 24.000 tons of CO2, not taking into account emission from the electricity.
In the past years, extended energy audits were prepared for the most public buildings with detailed energy efficiency analysis, inventory of systems and elements, with emphasize on heating (also with thermovision) and lighting systems. With regard to condition of examined building, audits suggested the measures for reduction of energy use for all used energy sources.
In the urban area of city of Kočevje the prevailed way of building heating is district heating system, powered by wooden biomass and fuel oil. Most of the individual houses in sub-urban area use wood and fuel oil as a heating source for heating. Municipality plans to replace oil fuel sources powering the district heating system with innovative cogeneration system with wooden biomass gasification process to considerably lower the carbon footprint from building heating, to increase local energy self-supply and to increase level of renewable energy sources in national power grid.
From 2013, among other activities for sustainable development support, there are energy renovation of 6 public buildings (schools and kindergartens) in progress, co-financed by EU funds by more than 3 mio EUR.
In February 2014, City council of Kočevje adopted decision to join to the Covenant of Mayor initiative. The ceremonial signing of the CoM adhesion form will be held in the end of March.