EUKI’s YESclima project held a workshop in mid-September on “Energy efficiency in buildings and natural techniques to cool/heat buildings”. One topic at this workshop was a presentation of the results of energy audits, conducted by students trained in the project.
The Greek organisation Wind of Renewal hosted this event. They invited the project partners – the University of Cadiz, the Energy Agency of Cadiz, the Free University of Berlin and the Secretariat for Future Studies – to the Welcommon Hostel in Athens. Representatives of other organisations such as the Center for Renewable Energy Sources & Saving (CRES), the Hellenic Passive House Institute and the Mayor of Agios Dimitrios also took part in the event.
At the conference, eight students from Greece and Spain presented the results of energy audits at schools and other buildings in the regions of Cadiz (Spain) and Attica (Greece). The students had developed proposals for energy saving measures. These primarily focus on natural cooling and heating techniques and a change in the attitude of those who use the buildings. The students used energy bills to analyse the current situation in the buildings. They also reported on a study trip to Berlin at the end of August where they found out about natural technologies on cooling and heating in Berlin and Brandenburg.
The many experts present shared ideas about the opportunities and challenges of the work required to upgrade the energy performance of public buildings. “The difficulties are massive but the benefits are even greater,” commented Evi Tzanakaki from the CRES Centre. Stefanos Pallantzas from the Hellenic Passive House Institute added that action was needed quickly.
For example, George Drallos, a Board member of EBHE, the Greek Solar Industry Association, presented specific concepts. He emphasised: “Greece is the first country in Europe that has established significant production of thermal solar collectors and storage units.” However, energy efficiency also depends on how people use the buildings, commented Konstantinos Karampourniotis, Co-President of Living Prospects: “You make a difference if you change your user behaviour.”
More events for the project will be taking place in the next few weeks. YESclima, a project of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), promotes greater energy efficiency in public buildings in Greece and Spain and particularly highlights the possible positive effects for the labour market.