Issue IV / November 2011

Editorial: EnercitEE’s sub-projects

Since the last couple of years the central role of the energy policies in the agenda of the decision makers has been stressed.

More and more, it is becoming clearer even at local level that energy efficiency and sustainability is relevant not only for contributing to solve environmental problems but also because it plays an important role on the economic development and occupation. Nevertheless, policy makers have also to face dramatic cuts in the public budget, the available resources for implementing local policies are decreasing continuously.

Having in mind this framework it is clear that in order to reach the ambitious goal of 20-20-20 and at the same time improve competitiveness with less resources the new energy policies would need a revised policy paradigm with a greater involvement of the main actors of the game: local authorities and citizens.

EnercitEE’s sub-projects (SP) are exactly focusing on these two target groups; they have the important mission of increasing the participation and involvement of citizens and local authorities on the design, the exchange and the share of energy policies.

Today EnercitEE includes 43 partners involved in 11 sub-projects. 22 partners work on awareness raising of citizens and on improving their energy efficiency. 21 other partners are acting towards local authorities in several fields of energy efficiency policies such as financing instruments, local climate policies, training tools, etc.

The EnercitEE sub-projects’ concept is ambitious: public partners (municipalities, associations, public agencies) applied to two Calls for Proposals with their project idea. For each sub-project currently being implemented, European partnerships were formed, each partner bringing in its experience, motivation and know-how to build 11 joint projects with their own objectives.

Within every sub-project, the partners regularly meet to share and make progress with each other’s experience. It is very motivating to see the quality of these technical meetings. Experience exchange is the core of the European project EnercitEE. Citizens and local authorities of our five partner regions will benefit greatly from this work and will gradually move forward in energy management and energy efficiency, as requested by Member States of the European Union.

The path toward the 20-20-20 goal is still very long but we are confident that thanks to our sub-projects the partner regions will make an essential step forward.

                            EnercitEE Component 4 Managers responsible for SPs:
                            Stefano Valentini (local authorities)
                            Francois Wurtz (citizens)

LEEAN – Transferring energy efficiency know-how: a guideline for builders

The sub-project LEEAN aims at transferring know-how on how to behave in an energy efficient manner in housing and buildings. The sub-project also supports house builders in using renewable energies for construction and refurbishment. The overall task of LEEAN is to provide guidelines for civil agents, staff of housing and building industries and local energy agencies to be used for advising private house owners, tenants, companies, immigrants and low incoming families.

The Saxon Energy Agency – SAENA GmbH is developing a guideline for builders with regard to energy efficient building and refurbishment. Up to now the structure of the guideline has been elaborated and first chapters are drafted. The guideline will support builders from the very first planning steps up to the finalisation of work. It will also provide instructions for refurbishment.

It is produced in close cooperation with engineers who are in constant contact with SAENA GmbH. The guideline will specifically consider local factors, features and requirements. To test and adapt the guideline the nearby municipality, the Vogtlandkreis, has been selected as a pilot region.

The guideline consists of:

  • Regulatory requirements
  • Instructions on acquiring land property or buildings
  • Licences
  • Planning criteria
  • Construction and building material
  • Quality management
  • Energy efficient equipment
  • Government aid and funding possibilities

The main focus will be energy efficient behaviour and the use of renewable energies in housing thus encouraging the implementation of sustainable technologies in times of global warming. In 2012 the guideline will be available as online as well as printed version for Saxon building authorities.

The LEEAN partnership will set up a best practise catalogue which will compile implemented projects and experiences in energy efficient building. The catalogue will be permanently updated and extended by all project partners. It will be available in the end of 2011 on the EnercitEE website. 

Further information:

SCC – Challenging citizens to become more energy efficient: the first results in Växjö

The main objective of the sub-project SCC is to explore different ways to involve citizens in cutting CO2 emissions, become more energy efficient and use more renewable energy. We - the participating partners together with local authorities - will contribute to this aim by exchanging different methods on how to get citizens involved and how to change for a more climate smart behaviour. All partners in the sub-project have different target groups within the citizens in order to test different methods.
In Växjö, Sweden the target group consists of employees of different working places. Meerane in Germany is focusing on pupils and their families, Prioriterre in France, targets interested citizens and finally in Italy AESS is focusing on private house owners.

The results from the first challenge in Växjö were very interesting. Four different working places have been challenged by two “Climate Idols” to change behaviours in both travel and use of electricity. The Climate Idol is a “locally known person” who is interested in sustainable development and is willing to challenge other citizens to change for a more climate smart behaviour. The Climate Idols in Växjö are Kristina Alser, the County Governor and Peter Hogla, the Regional Director. In another project they cut their own CO2 emissions from there private life including food, consumption, energy and travel by almost 30 %. In this first round the project challenged 190 employees at four working places. During this period 72 persons fed data regarding their travel habits and electricity use into the web.

The Swedish website for the project “Klimatutmaningen” provides information about what to do to cut electricity consumption and CO2 emissions for travelling. On the same website all participating persons have to put in the use of electricity during one month and all climate smart travels (walking, bike, bus and train) during six weeks. The website shows how much energy, CO2 emissions and money they saved. Furthermore, a discount on climate smart products like LED-globe, bicycle equipments and travel pass for the public transport has been offered from some businesses in the region. During the first period the participants saved 8,300 kg of CO2 emissions. If they continue with their ‘new’ habits they will save 75,000 kg CO2 emissions per year. That means that they saved 11,000 Euro during this challenge and if they continue like that they will save 80,000 Euro per year.

Further information:

SustraMM – Exchanging experience: teaching the travellers of tomorrow in Blekinge

One crucial aim of the SustraMM project is the exchange of experiences between the regions. All partners have therefore selected local good practice examples that show how sustainable transportation can be organised without sacrificing the ability of people to move quickly and conveniently within their local areas.

One good practice example contributed by the Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden is “The Blekinge trip” in the three counties of Kronoberg, Kalmar and Blekinge in Sweden. The topic is teaching the travellers of tomorrow (12-year-old children) on how to travel with public transport. Therefore, they are travelling in the region for one day in groups of 4 to 7 children using the public transport.

(source: children from the municipality of Helsingborg)

The Swedish National Transport Administration, Blekingetrafiken (local public transport provider) and the Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden took the inspiration from Helsingborg in southern Sweden and did a pilot implementation in 2011 for two school classes. In school the pupils plan a one day trip using trains and buses. Here they utilize timetables and online trip planers themselves. During the travel in spring children experiment and learn how to travel by bus and train. After the journey they report their trip by delivering a poster, power point presentation or a film to the public transport provider.

                                                (source: children from the municipality of Helsingborg)

For organising and financing the day trip timetables, route maps and a one day regional public transportation access card will be made available by the public transport provider. With this teaching lesson pupils get trained in teamwork and documentation as well as they learn about regional geography, history and culture. Moreover, they usually have a fun day!

The benefits are that tomorrow travellers learn how to plan and travel with public transportation and to demonstrate sustainable transport alternatives. Expected long-term benefits are a larger use of public transportation (and less road traffic) among kids that have taken part in the project.

Other good practice examples are e.g. about organising cycling competitions, free public transport tests for car drivers, freight transportation, exclusive roads for non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians or providing cycle buses.

Further information:

RIEEB – Worldwide unique building will be evaluated energetically

RIEEB aims at supporting the implementation of legal regulations on energy efficient buildings in municipalities and local authorities and improving the qualification of all stakeholders and political consulting.

Picture: Project House

(picture source: )

The “MeTeOr Project House” (MeTeOr – Mensch (People), Technik (Technology), Organisation (Organization), Technical University of Chemnitz) is one of four non-residential buildings which will be energetically investigated by an external team of experts in the Free State of Saxony (Germany). In all four newly constructed buildings, the correct implementation and calculation of the German directive, i.e. the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV 2009) is being reviewed by mid 2012. In Saxony, this directive is an essential tool to achieve the regional energy efficiency and climate protection goals. For newly built and refurbished buildings very high requirements regarding the energetic standard are already existing. The compliance with the energetic standard is being determined by using a reference building (virtual building). The observation and implementation of the Energy Saving Ordinance is necessary to reduce the total energy consumption and CO2 emissions of all buildings, according to European standards until 2050.

The evaluation of the analysis is used to determine errors in execution and calculation, which will be considered for upcoming projects and for the creation of new national calculation programs.

Picture: MeTeOr Rendering (picture source: ABK ARCHITEKTEN GMBH)

MeTeOr Rendering (picture source: ABK ARCHITEKTEN GMBH)

The "MeTeOr Project House" was built by the Free State of Saxony. The building serves primarily as a research, education, presentation and communication center for interdisciplinary teams especially from universities, representatives of regional SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and supra-regional facilities. A special focus has been placed on automotive and medical engineering. Currently, no comparable buildings have been realized in Germany, due to the exceptional usability and architectural implementation. The interior consists mainly of movable walls to maximize the variability of space. High demands are also made on the structural-physical indoor quality i.e. acoustic noise, daylight authenticity, color-changing illumination, presentation and media technology.
Next year the Saxon Energy Agency - SAENA GmbH will organize a workshop in this very interesting and unique building.

Further information:

CLIPART – The art of climate planning

In Emilia-Romagna, a well developed region of Italy on the south bank of the Po river, the climate is changing fast. You can tell it for example from a rise in air temperature of more than one degree Celsius in the last twenty years, compared with the former thirty years. Signals of change are also evident in the seasonal distribution and amount of precipitation. At the same time Emilia-Romagna is emitting quite a lot of greenhouse gases, 25-30% more than the national and European average, on a per capita basis. These hard facts emerge from the work carried out at Arpa, the regional environmental protection agency.

The consequences are that both mitigation and adaptation to climate change are very sensitive issues. The regional government and some local councils are striving to include these themes into their public policies, but this is happening in a rather scattered and sometimes contradictory way.

Take adaptation: from the one hand we are coping rather well with problems like heat waves, after the big one of summer 2003, which had dire consequences and induced regional and local authorities to devise and start an effective prevention plan. At the same time no comprehensive adaptation plan and/or white paper is available, describing in general and in detail risks, impacts and measures from the regional and/or local points of view.

Take mitigation: a new regional plan provides a roadmap for the achievement of the European 2020 objectives in the energy production sector but still no general plans for the implementation of emission cuts in all sectors, including for instance transport, agriculture and housing, are available or even in preparation. After the 2007 greenhouse gas inventory, an update is taking place referring to year 2010, and even a number of provincial and municipal inventories are being carried out, but mitigation is not only a matter of inventories, which are essential tools, but are not sufficient to achieve the cuts in GHG emissions needed to cope with climate change.

In this context the idea behind the CLIPART sub-project (Climatic planning and reviewing tools for regional and local authorities) emerged quite naturally. Taking financial management as an example, where budgets are first set and expenses are constantly checked against budgets, we envisage a general methodology for mitigation to be applied by regional and local governments that includes a budgeting phase and a reviewing phase. The budgeting must not only provide general GHG reduction objectives but must also set targets for all sectors, to be discussed and negotiated using procedures similar to the ones used in the financial process of budget setting.

The reviewing phase is more similar to what is usually done in quality management, i.e. comparing what is actually being carried out with the objectives set by the budget, and proposing corrective measures in case of non satisfactory performances.

Even in case of a very effective mitigation activity, the climate will continue to change in the coming decades, due to the inertial effects of the emissions from the past. There is then a need to prevent damages and losses due to the impacts of the new climate, and possibly to exploit new opportunities. This adaptation planning starts from the availability of climate projections coming from the mathematical models used by climatologists, who developed also downscaling methods to pinpoint the expected local changes. Impact studies in all sectors must ensue and finally recommendations and new policies have to be devised. The process has to be carried out at the European, national and at least regional level, though adaptation plans for cities are also appearing.

The CLIPART sub-project is working on all this, detailing the existing situation with useful examples from a review report due this year, and concentrating next year on proposing a handbook with selected procedures and tools in the final report. The very qualified partnership ensures the availability of quite a lot of experience and expertise, and so we expect a successful and useful outcome from the project, ready to be transferred throughout Europe.

Further information:

PraTLA - Students assess local energy efficiency potential

Nine months after the approval of the PraTLA project, the first round of practical trainings has taken place in the regions. To date there are 39 students who have carried or currently carry out practical trainings in various cities of the EnercitEE regions. In the trainings the students assist and support local authorities in the identification and analysis of relevant energy efficient topics.

Steffi Hänig, and Armin Verch for example, two students from Zittau University in Saxony applied for a practical training in the Swedish region of Smaland. Their studies in economics were matched by the Swedish partners and it came out that they could best assist the Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden’s branch in Oskarshamn in the daily energy consulting of smaller municipalities in the region. Armin stayed four, Steffi six months in the energy agency. In their trainings they could get a closer look on local energy management and the measures that are carried out in Sweden. Some of their experiences they have shared on EnercitEE’s webblog.

Picture: Polish students and Lower Silesian regional coordinator Natalia Janik (left)

Polish students and Lower Silesian regional coordinator Natalia Janik (left)

In Lower Silesia, the regional call that Natalia Janik from the Polish partner KARR tendered, was well received. Seven students were selected in the first round and will now carry out evaluation on different energy efficiency topics, such as working on a strategy for reducing energy consumption and the potential of using renewable energies in school buildings as a component of the local energy policy in the city of Jelcz-Laskowice.

In Haute-Savoie, the approach of the French partner CAUE is to pool several students to perform a joint analysis of energy related subjects in local authorities. Here, already first documents were produced. The results and experiences were also presented in a larger event together with representatives of the participating cities and of the Haute-Savoie council. In this event it came out that the practical trainings of students can have a real impact on the realisation of the cities’ energy efficiency potential. Moreover, these first assessments often serve as a kick start for further energy efficiency measures in the long-run.

Further information:

Successful start of the 2nd Call sub-projects

After the 2nd Call for Proposals five sub-projects have been approved. All started their activities in May/June this year.

Within the kick-off meetings the Sub-Project Participants learned more about the state of the art, policies and challenges in the participating regions and jointly agreed upon the next steps. Furthermore, EnercitEE’s reporting procedures and deadlines were presented to the sub-project partners. During a sub-project’s life time three interregional meetings will be held in order to exchange information, assign tasks, take decisions, adjust planning, discuss results etc.

The sub-project kick-off meetings took place as follows:

27 - 28 June in Bautzen, Saxony

20 - 21 July in Chambéry, Haute-Savoie

12 – 13 July in Bautzen, Saxony

12 – 14 October in Jelcz-Laskowice, Lower Silesia and

26 - 27 October in Porretta Terme, Emilia-Romagna.

EnercitEE Publicity material

Publicity material

The 3rd EnercitEE newsletter is also available in:

Leaflet on good practices

Furthermore, the good practice documentation on district heating and cogeneration in Smaland has been published.

Upcoming events

30 January – 1 February 2012
Working Group and Steering Group Meeting in Annecy

2/3 February 2012
2nd EnercitEE Component Seminar on communication and motivation to increase Energy Efficiency in Annecy

31 May – 01 June 2012
Policy maker exchange – Learning from visionary Växjö