A rapidly growing population followed by increased energy consumption is causing GHG emissions to continue to skyrocket. In line with this, climate change and unpredictable weather events represent one of the greatest challenges in Medjimurje county, Croatia.
Investments in EE and RES are often costly, since they involve high capital expenditures. So, in addition to private participation, European and national funds are the most common financing tool for their implementation. Faced with these challenges, Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. (MENEA) has implemented several projects in order to improve EE of public buildings located in the Knowledge Centre Čakovec (an ex-military complex), where MENEA is located. One of the buildings in question – MENEA’s headquarters, is a hundred-year-old administrative building in ex-military complex, where through the years several solutions for fostering EE and RES utilisation were installed.
After the building was refurbished in 2008, in 2016 a 75 kW pyrolytic furnace was installed, which was the first step in transforming the building into a highly energy efficient one. The pyrolytic furnace replaced the previously used inefficient gas boiler. Since firewood is considered to be a neutral fuel in terms of GHG emissions, thanks to the investment, the pollutant emissions into the atmosphere were reduced by 100%. Following the path in making the building more energy efficient, it became a part of pilot investment within the project RURES financed by INTERREG Central Europe programme. Investment included installation of solar thermal collectors for DHW, a calorimeter and a smart metering system for monitoring energy consumption. Within the investment the building was equipped by new highly efficient LED lighting and new A+++ kitchen appliances. Another valuable project was carried out in 2022, which made the building not only energy efficient but also energy independent, refers to the installation of a 20-kW solar power plant and air-to-water heat pump with 37 kW nominal power for cooling and heating.
The investments resulted in a wide range of positive effects including GHG emissions reduction, monetary savings, etc. The greatest benefit of implemented investments lies in the ability to replicate them in other buildings which will foster the implementation of EE and RES measures and ensure further education of the local population and raise awareness on benefits of EE and RES. Finally, with the implementation of all mentioned measures, the building consumes less energy-intensive and becomes more energy efficient. Since the building is public, it can be accessible by wide range of users, resulting in wider impact on raising awareness.
This best practice is issued from our publication “Sustainable Regions in Action 2023”. Find out more by clicking here to discover many more best practices from FEDARENE members as well as an overview of our activities.