Energy efficiency is one of the most cost effective ways to enhance security of energy supply and to reduce energy demand and emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Since efficiency has been considered as Europe’s biggest energy resource, the European Union has set a target for 2020 of saving 20% of its primary energy consumption compared to projections, and this objective has been identified as a key step towards achieving long-term energy and climate goals. Buildings consume more than 40 % of Europe’s energy use and are responsible for 36% of EU CO2 emissions; this is the reason why the EU believes that there are significant potential cost-effective energy savings and CO2 emissions reductions in both new and existing buildings. Improving the energy performance of buildings is a key element in the fight against climate change and improvement of energy security, while also creating job opportunities, especially in the building sector. The need for energy saving in public buildings is crucial for the cross border area since most of them are old age and no significant interventions on energy consumption have been made since then. It is estimated that almost 70% of energy consumed in school buildings is used for lighting, heating/cooling, water heating, and plug loads (computers, printers, office equipment, etc.). Furthermore, school districts spend a tremendous amount of money on energy, making it second only to personnel costs.
SMENSWICT develops and implements solutions for increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy usage in public infrastructures and in the same time supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors by supporting energy efficiency, smart energy management and renewable energy use in public infrastructure.
SMENSWICT proposes a holistic approach combining infrastructure interventions with wide awareness campaigns.
SMENSWICT involves interventions in public buildings as well as the provision of the necessary equipment for energy upgrading and the reduction of energy consumed. To achieve this goal, new technologies and smart building management applications (BMS) will be exploited alongside interventions. At the same time, information campaigns will be implemented in the framework of the project to reduce energy consumption and tackle energy poverty.
SMENSWICT is built on three axis. The first is improve energy efficiency performance in targeted public sector buildings (schools and hospitals) in order to provide demonstrated basis for development of a sustainable energy efficiency improvement program in the public sector of the cross border area, the second is raise public’s awareness on issues such as energy saving, climate change, energy democracy and energy poverty and the third is policy initiatives on energy that can implemented at local level. Cross Border cooperation will produce a wider impact for innovation and development and concrete results such as:
* Simple standards applicable by public authorities for energy performance and the use of sustainable building materials for public construction and
renovation works, together with purchasing criteria for green electricity.
* A template for a standard public authority energy efficiency policy to be used public authorities in the cross border area, and a range of tools to
help implement energy efficiency measures.
* Guidance on sustainable procurement, including an easy-to-use implementation model, and key purchasing criteria
* A set of conclusions on the current European policy framework based on project results and experiences. These conclusions and possible recommendations will be made available to decision-makers to help with future policy work.