While a second school is being renovated in Innsbruck as part of the Sinfonia Smart City Initiative, several cities in Central Europe are following the same example. The building sector, and in particular the public building stock, offers significant opportunities for energy savings and the integration of renewable energy sources. Indeed, energy consumption in schools is the second highest expenditure within a municipalities’ total running costs, thus making them a priority for energy efficiency programmes.
Within the ENERGY@SCHOOL project, funded by the Interreg Central Europe programme, 41 schools will be renovated in eight different pilot districts by the end of June 2019. Among other municipalities from Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Germany and Italy, the city of Klagenfurt, member of Sinfonia and EU-GUGLE Smart City Initiative, will take part to this innovative project to bring energy efficiency to the centre of pupils’ everyday life.
To increase public authorities’ capacities to implement smart energy efficiency strategies for schools, the ENERGY@SCHOOL project will apply an integrated approach, training school staffs and pupils as Senior and Junior Energy Guardians. As part of the project, one transferrable and eight customised strategies for smart school development will be developed, one joint and seven tailor-made smart school management plans will be elaborated and three smart phones apps for Energy Guardians will be created. In addition, tested solutions to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy integration in schools will be integrated into a set of guidelines, a toolbox, and a series of best practices documents to foster the replication of the project results. As of now, 246 pupils and school staff members have already been trained within the project and even more will get the opportunity during the new school year.