Podravje Energy Agency

Energap – Energy Agency of Podravje – Institution for sustainable energy use is public agency working in the North Eastern region in Slovenia.

Podravje Energy Agency

Background

Energy Agency of Podravje (ENERGAP) was established in June 2006 by Municipality of Maribor under the European Commission programme Intelligent Energy Europe. Energap is located in 2nd the biggest city in Slovenia – Maribor. Maribor is economic, university, cultural and sports centre of the north-eastern part of the country. Energap covers area of 200.000 inhabitants and 17 municipalities around the city of Maribor. It is financed by Municipality of Maribor and other municipalities and projects. The decision-making body of the Energap consists of Agency Council and Council of Experts. Municipality of Maribor with its energy agency of Podravje is one of the most advanced local authorities in sustainable energy management in Slovenia. Maribor has been the European capital of Culture in 2012.

Mission

Energap vision is, together with experts, to prepare an effective energy strategy and lay the foundation for its implementation in the Drava region and establish a center of projects, knowledge and ideas that lead into the future, based on the principles of sustainable development. The mission of the Agency is also the dissemination of knowledge and to be active in the field of energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy sources (RES).


The Agency helps develop ideas, projects and deepening knowledge for energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, which leads to a reduction in emissions gases, mainly in areas where market mechanisms are not sufficiently effective. Citizens and businesses are considered means of energy management, which are key to lowering energy costs and increase the competitiveness of the business sector. The Agency provides assistance in the interpretation and implementation of European and Slovenian legislation at the local level as well as assistance in obtaining financial resources, particularly in the area of investment in RES and RUE.

Objectives

Energap is regional centre of knowledge and ideas. It supports the introduction of good energy management practices, advocate the concept of sustainability, provide information and guidance, and offer a number of other local services based on specific local energy needs. Energap operate impartially on both energy demand and supply issues and reflect the local situations, economic and social circumstances and the geographical size of the relevant local area.

Activities

Our main activities are:

  • Support for the implementation of local/regional energy plans.
  • Energy audits of public and private buildings.
  • Raising awareness on energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and transport issues.
  • Search for energy-management incentive funds at national and international level and studies on innovative financial mechanisms.
  • Information, advice and training on energy management issues.
  • Energy and mobility management for local authorities, public and private companies.
  • We can give wide-ranging advice on all aspects of energy, as well as technical assistance in the design of energy projects, heritage and infrastructure and provision of public information on these topics.
  • We are cooperating in many local, national and international projects.
  • Our main goal is to implement in practice all good ideas that are set in many different documents.
  • As one of the first cities in Slovenia we have implemented the central energy management system for public buildings in Maribor.
  • We act as a contact point for relations with European networks and institutions as well as an intermediary to local, regional and national players.
  • Support on developing more in detail energy management system, connection with smart metering and smart grids.

Energap can give wide-ranging advice on all aspects of energy, as well as technical assistance in the design of energy projects, heritage and infrastructure and provision of public information on these topics.

The Energap acts as a contact point for relations with European networks and institutions as well as an intermediary to local, regional and national players. Energap has also the function of energy manager for Municipality of Maribor for local communities in order to carry out all activities and to achieve the goals set in the local energy concept.

Achievements

On April 2011, the Mayor of Maribor signed a declaration to the Covenant of Mayor with the help of Energap. The city of Maribor committed to reach the sustainable energy aims: more than 20 % savings and more than 30 % of renewable energies and to reduce CO2 emissions. It has also committed to implement the tasks devoted adequate human resources, to encourage civil society in their geographical areas to take part in implementing the action plan, including the organization of local energy days, and will be mutually connected with other cities.

Energap won Managenergy local action award in 2010 as one of the three best practices for central management energy system for Maribor, the second biggest in Slovenia and the same project was nominated as the best energy efficient project in Slovenia for 2010.

Energap was in 2013, twice nominated for the recognition by the European Commission – “Sustainable Energy Europe Award” and “Managenergy Local Energy Action Award 2013”. First, as one of the top five projects at EU level in the context of awareness and education in the field of energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources and, secondly, as one of the best 10 projects for activities implemented at the local level.

Awareness Campaign

Energap constantly and actively operated in the fields of information and raising awareness of citizens and the wider public since the year 2006. Special attention is given to informing the public of special theme world days and on such occasions, we also organize special activities: expert excursion, publications in media, providing information and advices on the stand in city center, workshops for schools, organizing prize games and so on.

Promotional campaigns to encourage citizens to change their everyday behaviour, to think about possible changes in their lifestyle and to think about possible investments for the purpose of reducing energy consumption can be effective in mobilizing citizens to achieve this potential.
Energap implemented two very high-profile awareness campaigns.

  • First called Ice challenge was undertaken in spring 2012 with the purpose to present the importance of energy efficiency in practice – the impact of a well – insulated – low energy or passive house. Model of ˝insulated house˝ with the best characteristic of insulated passive house was filled with a mass of 1m3 of ice and placed on one of the most frequent places in the city center. During one month of campaign citizens were challenged to try their suggestions about the amount of water that will run out from the house after one month shown how much ice was melted.
  • Second campaign called 1 tone of CO2 was undertaken in spring 2013. The main object of the campaign was 8.22 m high cube representing the volume of 1 tone CO2 placed at one of the main city squares. Purpose of the campaign was visualization of the CO2 connected to the energy use and at the same time highlights the possibilities to reduce emissions. More than 100.000 people were reached during each campaign and lot of them was actively involved in specific activities.

Energap is also very active in the field of education for pupils and teachers in primary and secondary schools. Ensuring all citizens are ‘energy aware’ is a key factor, and the role of education and information initiatives are crucial. Education has a strategic role in improving energy efficiency. The use of initiatives in schools to promote energy awareness and inspire changes in behaviour links with many aspects of the formal educational curriculum.

Energap implemented one innovative design of educational approach for preschool children – to encourage kindergarten children to think about environmental issues through the variety of different games, homemade tools and Slovene folk fairy tales.

  • To engage pre-school children with the topic of environmental issues, in particular energy conservation, it is important to communicate the message in a simple way which they can understand. Children in kindergarten are familiar with the world of fairy tales. A well-known Slovenian folk fairy tale was selected as a basic tool for delivering content on the themes of saving energy, upgraded using elements from within the field of energy use, which children need to recognize during storytelling. The story tells about the girl who finds a coin. She bought a large pot which becomes her home. During the night forest animals knock on the door of the pot and ask girl to open up because they are cold. Most animals that are taken under the roof do something wrong, for example they leave the door open, or they don’t turn off the light, or they keep the water running, etc. After storytelling, the children are encouraged to think about what each animal has done wrong, why this is wrong and how they should behave. The educational goals were as follows: With the appropriate approach, to involve and motivate the youngest to start thinking about environmental issues linked to energy: to demonstrate several different approaches to integrate environmental content into the preschool curriculum. Also, to encourage their teachers to plan similar activities for children in the future, and in doing so, to highlight the importance of the user’s behaviour in energy use status of specific buildings.

EU Projects

The Energap acts as a contact point for relations with European networks and institutions as well as an intermediary to local, regional and national players. Energap is involved in many local and national projects. The Agency also cooperates in a lot of EU co-financed projects. Below you can find some of them:

  • TRIO – Three4Climate – Think European-Act Local
  • ALPGRIDS – Increasing RES uptake through Microgrids in the Alps
  • INTENSIFY – Increase carbon reductions through increased community engagement
  • MLFE – Making learning fun and ecological
  • EMPOWER – More carbon reduction by dynamically monitoring energy efficiency
  • PEGASUS – Promoting Effective Generation and Sustainable USes of electricity
  • MEM – Municipal Energy Management
  • RESOLVE – Sustainable mobility and the transition to a low-carbon retailing economy
  • POWER SAVING CHECK – Coming of age
  • INVOLVE – Involving the private sector in Mobility
  • FRONTIERCITIES – The project which will support web-developers, SMEs and start-ups develop smart mobility applications for cities across Europe.
  • BENEFIT – Promotion of public transport
  • MINUS 3 % – Energy efficiency in public buildings
  • SO-PRO – Solar Process Heat
  • RETS – Renewable Energies Transfer System
  • LEAP – Leadership for Energy Action and Planning
  • ADVANCE – Auditing and certification scheme to increase the quality of sustainable urban mobility plans in cities
  • OCR – Sustainable developing in street lightning
  • GREEN PARTNERSHIPS – Local partnerships for greener cities and regions
  • EPC – STREETLIGHT – Creating demand and supply for EPC projects in 9 regions by setting up regional EPC facilitation services
  • EMOBILITY WORKS – Encourage municipalities to create new partnerships with the private sector, such as energy companies and vehicle manufacturers
  • BIOREGIO – Green cross-border region” is aimed at increasing the competitiveness and sustainable economic development of the whole border area covered by the project
  • mOIDom – The main purpose of the project was to be able through the e-Services of mOIDom discovered why is our neighbour more environmentally efficient from us, and to get more advice on how to raise our environmental competitiveness and thus save our costs.

In the news

Vlasta Krmelj, Jury Member of Roger Léron Award

Vlasta is one of the Jury Members of this last edition of the Roger Léron Award. Through her interview, she unveils what are the essential attributes for leaders in the area of energy efficiency, alongside with her experiences about the field