The establishment of efficient and cost-effective energy networks requires efforts on the part of informed citizens. This project sought to raise awareness of the importance of energy efficiency, empower local communities to take action, and demonstrate innovative energy saving technologies through pilot initiatives.
Why was this project needed?
Belarus does not have plentiful domestic energy resources and is required to import fuel to meet 80% of its energy needs. Improving energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions have become national priorities. There is also a key focus on broadening public participation in energy saving programmes and bringing new energy-saving and renewable energy technologies onto the Belarusian market. The government has recognised that institutional buildings, like schools, are an effective means of introducing energy efficiency activities at a local level.
Actions in brief
How has this project helped?
A first step was to raise awareness within local communities, enabling them to introduce energy saving measures at local level. Secondly, the project sought to establish pilot sites where the application of innovative energy efficiency technologies could be demonstrated, such as better insulation, solar panel installation and double-glazing. Finally, it sought to ensure the active participation of local governments, educational institutions and local populations in energy-saving pilot initiatives. Creating demand for energy efficiency technologies will also lead to greener jobs and benefit the environment through reduced emissions.
Who has benefited from this project?
To raise public awareness, the project produced a manual for teaching energy efficient as part of teaching curricula. Workshops were organised to train teachers on how to bring energy efficiency issues into schools. Educational institutions developed creative approaches towards promoting energy saving, such as a college in Viciebsk which carried out an online contest called “EE Experts”, in which over 650 people from 60 communities in Belarus took part. Energy audits were also conducted in educational establishments in Minsk, Vitebsk and Grodno.
New retrofit measures were introduced, as were energy technologies such as waste heat recovery. Solar collectors were installed at all four schools, which will reduce energy consumption for hot water by up to 70 %. New ventilation systems with heat recovery will reduce heat loss by up to 30%.
Finally, the project brought experts and local government officials together to improve capacity to undertake energy saving investments. This element helped shift the traditional emphasis on centralised investments towards fulfilling local needs.Print pdf