Helping consumers in Castilla y León face the effects of the energy crisis

The regional energy agency of Castilla y León, EREN, has planned and enacted a host of measures in response to the ongoing energy crises. From photovoltaics to radio campaigns, find out how energy savings, RES, and efficiency measures are supporting Castillian consumers.

Helping consumers in Castilla y León face the effects of the energy crisis

The Regional Government of Castilla y León, mainly through actions developed by EREN, the Regional Energy Agency, is very actively trying to help consumers in the Region face the effects of the energy crisis we are experiencing all around Europe.

First of all, EREN is running two subsidy programmes to help consumers in Castilla y León face the effects of the energy crisis, with more than €80M in aid from Next Generation EU addressed mainly to private individuals and companies:

New energy-saving and efficiency measures

The Regional Government has published the Agreement 177/2022, of 6 October, adopting energy saving and efficiency measures in the General and Institutional Administration of the Region of Castilla y León:

Measures aimed at reducing dependence on fossil fuels:

  • Photovoltaic self-consumption installations will be promoted in all buildings that are technically, environmentally, and economically feasible, starting with the centres with the highest consumption in the Community and with the highest percentage of self-consumption of energy generated according to their load curves.
  • Public buildings that are not already connected will be connected, where possible, to the existing district heating networks in the Region.
  • The replacement of heating and air-conditioning equipment due to obsolescence will be carried out with renewable and energy-efficient equipment.
  • Priority will be given to the decarbonisation of the car fleet, by means of the gradual replacement of current combustion vehicles with electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, in parallel with the installation of recharging points in public buildings.

As part of these measures, EREN is in charge of an investment of €20.5 million for massive photovoltaic self-consumption installations in regional administration buildings co-financed with ERDF funds (an operation included in the ERDF OP 2021-2027, which is expected to be authorised in December this year), with the installation of 17 MWp. A previous study of the roofs of the Autonomous Community’s hospitals was already available and has been extended during 2022 to the study of the other buildings with relevant consumption for these purposes (more than 300 roofs). Before the end of the first quarter of 2023, 1.65 MWp will be tendered or installed; by the end of that year, 2 MWp will already be in operation. Work is underway for the complete realisation of this action during the ERDF operational period 2021-2027.

Photo by BarneyElo on Pixabay

Energy efficiency measures in the public building stock:

  • Priority will be given to works and actions for the improvement of energy efficiency in the buildings of the Regional Administration, in its different aspects:
    • Renovation of the thermal envelope, including bioclimatic and high-efficiency architecture solutions.
    • Improvement in heating, cooling, and air-conditioning installations, including digitalisation and control.
    • Improvement in indoor and outdoor lighting installations, through replacement by LED technology, including auto-detection solutions, digitalisation, and controls.
    • Improvement to vertical transport installations (lifts and escalators).
    • Recovery of thermal effluents (thermal pollution from industrial processes).
    • Carrying out energy audits, energy certification of buildings, and progressive implementation of SGE-ISO-50001 management standards in buildings of the Administration of Castilla y León.
    • Improvement of the energy efficiency of Data Processing Centres and associated equipment.
    • Improvements in the energy efficiency of office equipment.
    • Progressive renovation and replacement of electrical appliances that do not have an energy label or that have a low energy label for highly labeled appliances.
  • Through EREN’s OPTE platform, the functions of the administration’s energy consumption control system will be maintained and expanded, incorporating supplies and generation from renewable sources, as well as its visualisation in open data.
  • Switch-on and switch-off times for air conditioning, air temperature, lighting, hot water, IT equipment and other energy-consuming installations. Taking as a reference the opening and closing times of public buildings and the applicable regulations, the start and stop times of the different energy-consuming installations, as well as the air temperature, shall be programmed in such a way as to minimise energy use within acceptable thresholds of comfort and service. Care shall be taken in the organisation of cleaning, maintenance, surveillance, and similar services so that they do not lead to increased energy consumption.
  • Promoting the use of bicycles and electric personal mobility devices as a substitute for private vehicles. Buildings dependent on the Administration of the Community of Castilla y León will have, whenever possible, secure parking facilities for bicycles and electric personal mobility devices as an alternative to the private vehicle for traveling to and from the workplace.
  • Centralised electricity procurement based on EREN’s OPTE platform.

Other actions

EREN will develop an information campaign for the rational use of energy in the workplace, which will be disseminated to public employees by means of informative announcements and digital notifications or other appropriate means.

On a quarterly basis, a report on the monitoring of this Agreement shall be submitted to the Regional Government, drawn up by EREN, which shall contain a quantification of the consumption of electricity and gas and a comparison with the consumption recorded in the same period of the previous year. EREN shall be responsible for providing technical assistance to the different bodies of the administration within the scope of its powers.

In terms of speeding up the processing of renewable projects, the Regional Government published the Decree Law 2/2022, amended by Decree Law 4/2022, following the European Commission indications to facilitate and increase new renewable energy installations in operation.

Finally, EREN also developed an energy-savings press and radio campaign during two weeks in November 2022, with a budget of €0.15M:

EREN: Para empresarios / for employers
EREN: Para hogares / for households
EREN: Para trabajadores / for workers

This article is a preview of FEDARENE’s forthcoming “Sustainable Regions in Action 2023” brochure. As part of the recently-launched “Winter measures for now & 2050” campaign, FEDARENE is sharing select articles to help promote innovative actions helping to deliver the REPowerEU plan.