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energy consumption

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The Siemens Building Technologies Division has won the 2015 European Energy Service Award (EESA) in the Projects category for its implementation of an Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) project in the Polish city of Sosnowiec. This project focused on the heating systems and energy management in 87 public schools and preschools in this industrial city in the Silesia region. All heating and lighting systems in the buildings were modernized from the ground up in a period of just ten months. In addition, the Advantage Navigator energy monitoring system was installed to remotely monitor overall energy consumption.

The system allows personnel to remotely control the room temperature in every classroom and set it to the desired target value. “In the past, classrooms were typically kept too hot, which made it difficult for students to concentrate. Thanks to the state-of-the-art heating system and continuous energy monitoring we are now able to provide a comfortable learning environment for students,” says Marek Tobiacelli of Siemens Poland.

At the same time, Siemens has guaranteed heating cost savings of approximately 31 percent, electricity savings for lighting of 21 percent and a reduction of CO2 emissions by 5,220 t/year compared to the initial situation. The measures are financed through an Energy Performance Contract with Siemens. This means that the city of Sosnowiec’s initial investments of approximately 4 million euros will be paid back through the guaranteed savings realized over the ten-year contract period; interim financing is provided by Siemens.

The impressive energy and cost savings for the city as well the positive impact on the environment are a big win in and of themselves. However, the results achieved also benefit students and teachers who are now able to learn and work in classrooms offering a comfortable temperature – and hence a healthier environment.

The European Energy Service Award (EESA) is part of the European Energy Service Initiative toward the EU 2020 Energy Saving Targets (EESI 2020). This initiative aims at fostering the use of Energy Performance Contracting in Europe. The EESA honors outstanding efforts and achievements in the field of energy services in Europe. This year’s award ceremony will be held in Brussels.

Hospitals built in the last decade are characterised by a substantial increase in the ratios of constructed surface area for the same portfolio of services and hospital beds. Moreover, they have been designed and built using the latest technologies and, in architectural terms, in some cases have applied bioclimatic design criteria, implementing passive design measures, enclosures providing greater protection, etc., all of which measures aim to achieve a reduction in the energy consumption

Along these same lines and from the engineering standpoint, active systems can also be applied, in particular the installation of efficient energy production equipment and installations, low consumption lighting systems and the digital management of the entire facility, thus maximising the implementation of energy efficiency and saving measures. The scant or zero implementation of renewable energy should also be mentioned, except where required by the Technical Code regulations (solar thermal and photovoltaic).

A key aspect today concerns the sustainability of the building, which is understood as being both environmental and economic. As such, energy efficiency has to be considered in terms of sustainability.

However all the energy efficiency measures described do not manage to bring down the energy consumption of these hospitals. Indeed it is true to say that the energy consumption ratios increase in relation to the consumption per constructed surface area in kWh/m2 and year (kWh/m2 year). Read more…

José Luis López González
Engineer, Lucus Augusti Hospital (Lugo). Member of the Managing Board of the AEIH,
the Spanish Association of Hospital Engineering).
Master in Healthcare Architecture

Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2015

Buildings today are responsible for 40% of Europe’s energy consumption and have become a key challenge to achieve energy saving objectives. Public buildings have to set an example as they have a savings potential of up to 35%, maintaining the same degree of comfort. Thanks to EC-financed projects such as EPLACE and TEDS4BEE, the achievement of these savings will lead to a more efficient, sustainable and cleaner Europe to the benefit of all.

Energy efficiency has been one of the key commitments for achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. A number of European directives and national policies have been published that aim to achieve three goals: a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; achieving 20% production from renewable sources; and increasing energy efficiency by 20%. These targets could become more ambitious for the 2030 horizon, setting threshold objectives of almost 30%.

The 2012 Directive on energy efficiency (2012/27/EU) and the Directive on the energy performance of buildings (2010/31/EU) place emphasis on the example to be set by the public sector and encourage each Member State to establish more ambitious objectives for buildings occupied by public authorities. Spain has an electricity consumption saving and efficiency plan – Horizon 20151 and a more general savings and energy efficiency action plan for 2011-2020. Read more…

EPLACE and TEDS4BEE projects communication team

Article published in: FuturENERGY June 2015

June 5, World Environment Day, was the elected framework for organizing the SuSoh Congress dedicated to energy efficiency and access to finance in social houses, which made gather professionals from the construction and finance sectors at the European Commission Representation in Spain. The 19 experts that had come from different parts of Spain and Europe centered their talks around district regeneration and passive measures implemented in a type of highly polluting housing zone with important energy consumption levels such as social houses in order to reach Europe’s energetic sustainability goals.

The event was organized by ENACE, the Spanish Association of Energy Auditors and Certifiers under the patronage of the European Commission as one of the Spanish events taking place in Madrid during the 2015 edition of the EU Sustainable Energy Week.

Alfredo Paz, Director General of ENACE welcomed with satisfaction the important support received by EU institutions for the work realized by ENACE in building capacity to prepare a sufficient number of competent professionals on the European market that help to effectively implement Directive 2012/27/EU about energy efficiency.

The keynote speaker Paula Rey García, Buildings Team Leader at the European Commission DG Energy’s Energy Efficiency Unit stressed the need to facilitate access to existing funding sources for energy retroffiting of buildings so as to achieve energy performance improvements  and at the same time stimulate the local job market and create between 20-35 jobs per million € invested in energy retrofitting, according to studies carried out by DG Energy. Due to the economic and financial crisis that has been affecting Europe, there is not enough public money available for energy reconversion. Therfore, alternative funding sources are a conditio sine qua non for massively upscaling building renovation rates. It was highlighted during the event that improving the energy performance of Europe’s building stock on the one hand boosts the European economy’s growth and, on the other hand, remedies fuel poverty, a severe phenomenon affecting an important fringe of society incapable to pay energy bills.

Brian Field, Urban Planning and Development Adviser at the Luxemburg-based European Investment Bank highlighted the fact that at the same time as the EIB is not for profit, it also is not for loss, having as a consequence that the guarantees being requested from borrowers are important and funding rates vary. Among the speakers were also several representatives of the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group EEFIG, created by the European Commission and UNO in order to release attractive alternative funding schemes such as capital funds specialized in energy efficiency.

During the last session 6 showcases for rehabilitation of social houses in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and other European cities benefitting from EU funding (H2020, LIFE, IEE) such as RESIDE, FRESH, iNSPiRe, REFAVIV, Newsolutions4OLDhousing were presented and discussed.

The event was moderated by Francisco González Montalvo, Technical Director of ENACE and expert representing Spain at the European Standardization Committee CEN, who in his conclusions highlighted the urgent need for normative stability through legislation and standardization.

Presentations are available online and free of charge at the multimedia section of the SuSoh project website www.susoh.eu.

Factorenergia presents “FactorSmarthome”, a revolutionary project for home energy management that allows families reduce their electricity bills by 30%, saving more than 200€ a year.

Against the backdrop of the transition towards the hourly energy billing system that will be fully effective on 1 August, Factorenergia is leading the sector to transform the way in which families consume electricity with the aim of achieving a considerable energy and economic saving. Through “FactorSmarthome”, a service that is freely available for both clients and non-clients, the company is offering energy assessment and training in new behaviour to generate new consumption habits.

According to Factorenergia’s managing director, Emilio Rousaud: “The company’s maxim is to guarantee consumer saving, quality and transparency with the aim of breaking with the dynamic of a low quality service associated with monopolised sectors. Now, with “FactorSmarthome” we can take another step forward in our commitment to families to turn traditional homes into ‘smart homes'”.

This project also promotes responsible consumption, energy efficiency and green energy, incentivising families to consume renewable energy. As such, Rousaud highlights that: “This initiative reaffirms our commitment to sustainability and the fight against climate change. We are convinced that small attitudes can bring about big changes”.

From a traditional home to a “smart home”

“Factor Smarthome” is based on two platforms: a website (www.FactorSmarthome.com) and a mobile app, available for iOS and Android, via which a range of functionalities are implemented so that consumers, for the first time, can achieve a significant saving on their energy bills.

In May, Factorenergia launched a service that displays the actual daily price of electricity by hour and indicates the time slots, that vary widely depending on the day, when electricity is more economical and, alternatively, the times when it is more expensive. Thanks to this invaluable information, families can adapt their consumption behaviour as to when to use the washing machine, vacuum cleaner or dishwasher, to make the most of the hours when electricity is at a reduced cost. In turn, this promotes green energy as it is precisely during optimum moments that renewables make their biggest contribution.

In June, a new function will be launched that will allow the consumer compare their consumption habits with that of their neighbours. This useful tool provides an analysis and a full assessment of the user’s current consumption as well as a comparison with their neighbours, highlighting the most efficient so that the user is able to evaluate how they are managing their energy expenditure and take steps to become more efficient.

In July “FactorSmarthome” will incorporate energy coaching that will offer a fully personalised assessment. This service will simulate the individual characteristics of each home depending on the information provided by the consumer (type of home, geographical location, home appliances, temperature control, etc.) and will offer tailor-made recommendations to optimise electric consumption.

On 1 August every functionality of the new smart meters will be activated and hourly energy billing will come into effect. Factorenergia will help families make the most of the new tariff system, obtaining consumption-based reports and standardised amounts with an evaluation of every supply point, the impact of the efficiency measures, the consumption pattern and the savings potential.