The European Green Deal's Renovation Wave has been launched in October 2020 and has put the topic energy efficiency in buildings at the top of the agenda. The European Commission plans to extend the requirements for the renovation of public building to all public administration levels including municipalities. Currently it only applies to buildings owned by the central government. These more stringent targets will contribute to the European Union attaining its energy and climate goals. But saving energy in public buildings is possible even before an energy efficiency renovation.
One approach has been studied by the Wuppertal Institute and ten partners from the EU member states Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia and Spain within the project Compete4SECAP. In 2019, an energy saving competition has been conducted in 91 municipal buildings. The results of this competition are summarised and analysed in the new paper "Top Energy Saver of the Year: Results of an Energy Saving Competition in Public Buildings."
An energy team, formed from the employees of the municipalities, were tasked with organising activities to facilitate energy saving and motivate their colleagues to do so. The project team distributed materials to support these activities: Posters and stickers reminded to switch off appliances and light as well as to turn down the heat when leaving the office. Switchable power strips and thermometers helped to save electricity and heat.
The authors determined the winners of the energy saving competition based on changes in energy consumption. On average, the electricity consumption was eight per cent and the heat consumption seven per cent lower. The Wuppertal Institute conducted two surveys among energy team members to evaluate the energy saving competition. With the results of the survey, a correlation between the employees’ motivation and electricity savings could be shown. This hints at the savings being connected to the competition. More on the survey results can be found in the paper.
The paper has been written within the project Compete4SECAP, which has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 754162.