This study concentrates on determining how to implement the legal framework at different institutional levels in an integrated approach for the planning and management of energy systems in urban areas. There are mainly five levels of decision able to influence the performances of urban zone in a Swiss city, namely the international, national, cantonal, municipal and individual levels. The objective of this study is to develop an evaluation grid, which will be used to identify the influence of each decision level over the different energy chain levels (primary, intermediate, final, useful energy and energy services). The results showed that beyond the constraints imposed by national and cantonal laws, ambitious energy-climate policies adopted by each level of governance certainly offer a lot of opportunities for the sustainable and energy-efficient development of urban areas. New regulations and associated instruments give to local decision-makers a set of arguments that can be used in a complementary way.