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E.ON EnergyNeighbourhoods

E.ON EnergyNeighbourhoods programme

ENERGY SAVING - LIFESTYLE CHANGE - COMMUNITY

It has been generally agreed that our carbon emissions need to be reduced in order to protect the environment and to save money (the latter may be more tangible to many). Resulting from unpredictable energy prices, energy dependence and climate change, many households and communities would like to do something actively. However, they are often confused about what to do exactly. Alternatively, they think they are unable to change their consumption patterns (and thus, have any influence on their emissions) because of the lack of money (to invest, insulate, etc.). The EnergyNeighbourhoods programme and methodology aims to reveal that enormous results can be achieved both in terms of saving energy and money through changing our behaviour.

Main features of the EnergyNeighbourhoods programme and its specific methodology:

  • it contributes to building a connection between climate change and everyday life;
  • it aims to save energy without reducing the quality of life;
  • it provides participants of the programme with information and guidance about what to do in their homes and how to save energy with no investment;
  • by cooperating with other families and using the support and advice of experts, participants encourage and inspire each other to implement more sustainable lifestyles;
  • participants save energy, reduce their consumption in a friendly and supportive environment as members of a community, while they also have fun.

Poster presenting feedback of participants of the programme

(Some quotes from the poster: „Conscious consumption = saving while having the same standard of living.” “The program helped us recognize new values and it opened new possibilites for us.” „The program made our days more colourful. It brought people closer." „[Participating in EnergyNeighbourhoods] is the least we can do to survive the climate crisis.”)

 

The residential energy saving programme called „Energy Neighbourhoods” was first implemented between 2007-2009 organised by an international consortium, involving 11 partner organisations from 9 European countries. From 2011, even more, already 16 European countries took part in the continuation of the programme. As a partner organisation, GreenDependent Institute represented Hungary. More information is available on this link (and also here) on the international programme funded by IEE (Intelligent Energy Europe) programme of the European Union.

In the autumn of 2013, GreenDependent and E.ON Hungaria, a multinational utility company, partnered to continue EnergyNeighbourhoods in Hungary as "E.ON EnergyNeighbourhoods". Small groups (of families, friends, colleagues, etc.) continued to be formed by 5-10 households, and they competed for saving the largest amount of energy only through changing their behaviour and everyday consumption patterns. Each group is supported by a volunteer adult coordinator, so-called „Energy Master”. Energy Masters support activities of the groups, organise meetings and motivate their members.

GreenDependent provides trainings to Energy Masters, involving professional topics (energy use and savings at home) as well as group management and motivation. The small groups, or EnergyNeighbourhoods are supported by GreenDependent Institute who provides them with professional advice, brochures, saving tips and trainings held for the coordinators to achieve more efficient consumption reduction.

 

Compared to the previous international programme the E.ON EnergyNeighbourhoods programme has several new features. Among these, the most important new item is the more active involvement of children and young people in the process of energy saving. Another new element is that EnergyNeighbourhoods need to complete 3 creative tasks in addition to reducing their energy consumption and reading their meters.

The E.ON EnergyNeighbourhoods programme has been organised successfully for 6 years. During this period, as shown in the table, almost 180 Energy Masters (group coordinators) were trained by GreenDependent and more than 800 of households participated as members of the small groups (EnergyNeighbourhoods). Many of them returned to the programme several times.

Participant EnergyNeighbourhoods were able to save energy each year during the three seasons completed. As it is shown in the table, on average, energy consumption was reduced by 5.6% in 2013/14, 8.87% in 2014/15, 9.92% in 2015/16, 0.85 % in 2016/17, 4,99 % in 2018/2019 and 8,5 % in 2019/2020 as compared to the previous (reference) year.

 

For offsetting the CO2 emitted as a result of the programme’s events (trainings for Energy Masters, closing award event), GreenDependent Institute distributes local, native fruit trees among participants at the end of each season. During the running of EnergyNeighbourhoods Programme (including the two international seasons), a total of 734 fruit trees have been planted.

One of the main objectives of the E.ON EnergyNeighbourhoods programme is the motivation and reinforcement of local communities. It is time to learn from each other and to encourage other families and households to change their lifestyle. This can be done in a friendly and supportive environment as a member of a community while also having fun. It is guaranteed that everyone participating in the competition will win. :)

 

The EnergyNeighbourhoods program will start again this autumn with the 6th season. We are already waiting for the applications from families, households.

For more information please visit the website of the programme (only in Hungarian) or write to info[@]energiakozossegek.hu

Participating in the programme is free of charge, and no preliminary knowledge about climate change is required.

 

The E.ON EnergyNeighbourhoods programme is the continuation of our EU-funded EnergyNeighbourhoods programme.

Related news:

Sientific article about the program and the results:

Vadovics, E., Boza-Kiss, B. (2013) Voluntary consumption reduction - experience from three consecutive residental programmes in Hungary

EnergyNeighbourhoods as a case study:

Some sample materials from the EnergyNeighbourhoods project:

 

 

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We are members of the following organisations:

 

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