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ENERinTOWN: Monitoring & control of energy consumption in municipal public buildings over the internet - Project description and final conclusions

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Within the framework of the “Intelligent Energy Europe” European Commission programme, the ENER-in-TOWN project was recently completed. The project bares the more detailed title “Monitoring and control of energy consumption in municipal public buildings over the internet” and addresses the necessary minimisation of energy consumption in municipal, or more generally public, buildings and facilities, in the frame of a wider energy saving approach and policy. The importance of such a policy, as well as its elaboration, is profound, since it comprises a sustainable development practice initiated by public authorities and sets also an example for a prospective implementation in the private sector as well. Especially in the case of Greece, where the consumption figures of the public sector are enormous, such a project sets the standards for the realisation of energy saving measures in buildings and facilities of the municipal, prefectural and regional administration, as well as of the central government.

The project started in 2006 with a budget of 1,442,100 € in total and was co-financed by the European Commission and the “Intelligent Energy Europe” programme. The project elaboration was assigned to an international consortium of 10 private and public entities from 8 European member states. The ENER-in-TOWN initiative addressed the imperative need to efficiently control the energy consumption in municipal buildings by providing an integrated solution. The main issue in energy management of buildings is the presence of particular barriers in implementing its conceptual design. These focus on the lack of detailed knowledge of the actual consumption figures and the shortage in qualified personnel with technical expertise for the identification and planning of energy efficiency improvement actions.

The main objective of the project was the reduction of energy consumption in municipal buildings by the realisation of three processes. The first refers to the continuous monitoring of consumption via internet applications, that is the setup of a data transfer network and the respective management software. The target in this case is the provision of continuous monitoring and communication capabilities among the competent authorities, as well as the exchange of data and information. Furthermore, the second process relates to the implementation of particular low cost remedies for energy saving. These are realised by the competent service of the building energy manager, which operates under the supervision and responsibility of the local municipal authorities. Finally, the third process refers to the elaboration of a print manual that forecasts, analyses and specifies the terms, processes and quality and operation standards for the provision of energy efficient equipment by the municipal authorities.

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