When it comes to energy savings, everybody has a role to play. From pupils to policy makers, all stakeholders need to be involved in the development of creative solutions to make the cities of tomorrow more sustainable, breathable and energy efficient. To address that challenge, partners from AlpS compiled the lessons learnt from the Sinfonia Smart City initiative in a dedicated online knowledge database. The tool presents best practices and recommendations gathered from the experiences of the two pilot cities of the Sinfonia project: Innsbruck (Austria) and Bolzano (Italy).
How to make renovation a real benefit for tenants?
Energy efficient refurbishment touches our way of living, our everyday habits, our plans for the future. If tenants do not take part in the decision-making process, the implementation of renovation measures might become a source of conflicts, misunderstandings and reluctance, leading to less effective results and restricting the potential for replication of energy efficient refurbishment projects in the neighbourhood. From the couple who recently bought a custom-made kitchen hampering the installation of the new radiators, to the disabled person who cannot afford to leave the building during the renovations, the two pilot cities leading the Sinfonia Smart City Initiative had to face very different situations among the tenants. In that sense, partners from these cities recommend to involve tenants since the very beginning of the process, providing them transparent information about the refurbishment measures and their costs, the duration of the works and the potential disturbances, and allowing specific demands from tenants to be taken into account. In that sense, experts advise to give tenants the option to refuse single refurbishment measures, whenever possible. Moreover, an effective training of the technical teams implementing the renovation measures can also be a good solution to reduce the duration of the works and minimise the inconveniences for tenants.
Training to foster efficient energy savings
To guarantee the positive effects of energy efficient renovations over the long run and avoid the so-called “rebound effect” leading tenants to heat more when they see their energy bill decreasing, effective training also needs to be implemented for tenants. In Bolzano, it took the form of demo apartment visits, where tenants could discover the new appliances to be installed in their apartment and learn how to use them efficiently while maximising their energy savings. In the schools renovated in Innsbruck, training was oriented towards the future citizens of the municipality.
With the organisation of the ‘Competition of ideas’ and dedicated events for pupils such as the ‘Junge Uni’ days, children were invited to learn about the cities and energies of tomorrow, using quiz on energy savings and games to foster the adoption of sustainable living practices.
Beyond tenants and pupils, the recommendations formulated by the experts from AlpS, on the basis of the experiences of the cities of Bolzano and Innsbruck, also address owners, housing companies, energy providers and policy makers, suggesting proven solutions to involve them successfully and gain their support in energy efficient retrofitting projects. The tool addresses methodologies at different levels, from building to district and city scale, providing a set of solutions for each category of stakeholders on different topics.
If you are interested in energy efficient refurbishment, you can access the tool and browse through its sets of proven methodologies for effective stakeholder engagement at the following link: http://alpsthu.bplaced.net/wordpress/