Families across Europe are taking steps that will reduce their energy consumption by more than 3,000,000 kWh thanks to the work of the EU funded FIESTA project.
The project, coordinated by Area Science Park Trieste, has carried out more than 1,022 energy audits with families in five European countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Italy and Spain. The project includes five technical partners (one for each participating country) and 14 cities.
As part of the energy audits, families invite members of the FIESTA team go to their home and make recommendations for energy savings. The energy experts propose specific behavioural changes, and inform the families of the energy impact of their daily habits. On average, the audits discover potential savings of up to 50 percent. Small changes such a switching off appliances fully, favouring energy-efficient lightbulbs, and insulating pipes and water heaters can result in substantial savings over time.
Additionally, an Energy Help Desk has been established in each partner city. These help desks are staffed by energy experts who provide practical advice on being more energy efficient.
Local purchasing groups have been set up in partner cities to help residents buy better appliances. By pooling their purchasing power, residents are able to buy energy efficient products at a cheaper price than otherwise would have been possible.
The Municipality of Logroño (Spain), for example, has created three consumer's purchasing groups, securing discounts on LED bulbs and induction cooking systems. The Municipality of Larnaka (Cyprus) finalised an agreement with local retailers for special prices for families involved in FIESTA.
The Municipality of Ravenna (Italy) is encouraging residents to take part in the "Primavera Solare 2016" group for the purchase of photovoltaic systems and solar thermal. Citizens are also invited to visit the web platform casarinnovabile.it, which provides information on the most energy efficient technology on the market.
The project is giving away prizes through so-called ‘energy lotteries’, open to those who have requested audits or have taken part in FIESTA workshops on the topic of energy efficiency in the home. Prizes range from electric bicycles to energy efficient appliances.
To reach people virtually, five animated videos have been produced by the project that provide practical hints and tips on being more energy conscious. Each video is available in Italian, Spanish, Croatian, Bulgarian, Greek and English.
The project is funded by the Intelligent Energy – Europe programme of the European Commission. It started in October 2014 and lasts 36 months (ending in September 2017).