The implementation of the Project was supported by the Prime Minister’s Office, as the Programme Operator, and the NFFKÜ – International Fund Coordination and Development Agency, as the Implementing Agency.
|Full Title of the Project:||Cooperation-based innovative service development to enhance energy consumption consciousness and to spread the use of renewable energy sources|
|Project Promoter:||City of Rácalmás (2459 Rácalmás, Szigetfő u. 11-13.)|
|Project start Date:||1 May 2016|
|Project End Date:||30 April 2017|
|Total Project Budget:||855 705,30 €|
|Support from the Norway Grant:||812 920,03 €|
One of the core outputs of the Greening Regions project is the Energy Strategy of the City of Rácalmás (2017-2021). The document was created in a wide-scale partnership, as a result of public consultations, including the exploration and identification of good practices in Hungary and Norway as well.
The Strategy’s vision is to create a sustainably operating municipality, which builds on renewable energies, energy-consciousness and social integration, and strives for ensuring self-sustainable energy supply on the long-term.
The City’s short term objectives are to
- reduce the energy consumption of municipal institutions
- exploit locally available renewable energy sources,
- strengthen cooperation among local actors, and
- increase energy-consciousness of citizens, businesses and municipal employees.
Based on these outcomes, on the mid-term Rácalmás aims to
- improve the safety of the City’s energy supply,
- prepare for further geothermal investments,
- attract more investors to the City using green technologies.
One of the key achievements of the „Greening Regions” project is the establishment of the Energy Management Agency. Its mission is to create an energy-conscious urban environment, to promote sustainability and to encourage local actors to use energy in a more conscious and more efficient way. The Agency provides useful knowledge to local citizens, businesses and institutions, helping them to make better and more responsible decisions – let it be about renovation of a building, more frequent use of bicycle or introducing „green office” solutions. These decisions not only help them to save costs, but will have a positive impact on the environment and the municipality.
The „Greening Regions” project made the full-scale energy reconstruction of the municipal kindergarten and nursery of Rácalmás possible. This pilot investment is an excellent example, showcasing how we would like to achieve the ambitions of the Energy Strategy. As a result of the reconstruction works the building is supplied with renewable energy with the help of geothermal heat pumps. To increase the visibility of the investment and raise awareness, a user friendly display has been installed, which presents the functioning of the system. Based on estimates, the building’s heating needs will be decreased by 40%.
Our next goal is to qualify as a “Green Kindergarten”, which is an eco-quality label that can be applied for by the institution. The significance of the investment is that it raises awareness towards green solutions already at a very young age. Besides, the renovated building also provides a great example and incentive for using renewable energy resources, which is not yet wide spread in the region.
In line with the principles of life-long learning, training materials dedicated to citizens, local enterprises and the staff of the municipality have been elaborated. For the citizens, we aimed to provide practical advises on being more energy conscious and using energy in a more efficient way. We paid special attention to women, as they have a key role in forming the energy consumption of households.
Businesses are also highly interested in reducing energy costs. Their competitiveness can be significantly increased by the utilisation of renewable energy sources and energy-efficient systems. Local enterprises received information from our trainings on using green energy and the related financing sources.
The trainings organised for the municipal staff were focussing on specific solutions for decreasing CO2 emissions, and provided practical information on the implementation of investments for energy-reconstruction.
Around 100 persons have attended the trainings, for which the professional content was provided by the Energiaklub. The Energy Management Agency will build on the elaborated training materials in its training and awareness-raising activities.
The „Greening Regions” project is implemented in the region of Rácalmás, but is highly open towards the experience of other regions. Rácalmás could learn a lot from the Norwegian partner cities, Stor Elvdal and Elverum. Their experts continuously assisted the implementation of the project with professional advises. They shared valuable experience regarding energy conscious operation of municipal buildings, planning energy investments and raising public awareness. The Norwegian good practices have been incorporated into our Energy Strategy. The knowledge we gathered in the framework of the „Greening Regions” project is summarized in practical handbooks, making it accessible to other municipalities as well. Newletters and short films developed throughout the projects also serve the purpose to spread information on our achievements.