GreenDependent Institute has concluded its energy saving competition for households and communities, sponsored by E.ON Hungary. The objectives of the programme were to increase the energy efficiency of households and to promote low carbon lifestyles. The organisers’ aim was to highlight the fact that we can save energy – and thus money – with no investment through changing our everyday behaviour and a climate-friendly lifestyle can be achieved by anyone, and trying to achieve itcan be an efficient community building tool.
The award ceremony of the E.ON EnergyNeighbourhoods energy saving competition was held on 14 June 2014 in Budapest organised by GreenDependent Institute. EnergyNeighbourhoods are small groups or communities of 5-8 households saving energy together.
During the six months long competition that promoted ‘smaller carbon footprint’ lifestyles for communities and households, participants had to read their meters (electricity, gas, other heating sources, and water) every month and record it in the online calculator, and had to complete four creative tasks. In the first one they were asked to map their own energy consumption habits and draw up an energy saving plan for both their household and community (or ‘neighbourhood’). After this they had to put together an energy fast or plan a climate-conscious Easter party. Next, the mobility habits of members had to be considered, and finally a board game, a song or some other type of motivational tool was created by communities to help persuade others to lead more energy-efficient lifestyles.
The best performing communities (saving the most and creating the best tasks) reported on their efforts and results at the award ceremony and received their awards that will help them achieve more savings and lead low-carbon lifestyles. The winner group from Egyházasfalu saved an average of 34.6% energy compared to their consumption a year before, while the group coming second from Környe saved 11.2% and the third team from Győr saved 6.6%.
Adult Climate Coordinators and young Energy Hunters all over the country managed and helped the members of the small groups, or EnergyNeighbourhoods, to support each other and to find the best ways to save energy at home.
The organisers paid special attention to keep the carbon footprint of the programme’s events (trainings and the award ceremony) as low as possible. Thus, they arranged for organic, local, fair trade and vegetarian catering, had the events at places that could be reached by public transport or bicycle, and used as little energy as possible. To offset the carbon footprint, 130 native fruit trees will be planted. The fruit trees were purchased from a nursery specializing in saving the genes of native fruit trees.
The presentations as well as the detailed report on the award ceremony with photos, and the best creative tasks of the competition can be found at the project website: www.energiakozossegek.hu.
Dr. Marcel Szabó, Deputy-Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for Future Generations, as patron of the competition greeted the winners and the participants and highlighted the fact that there is no need to give up the important moments of our lives, the solutions and ideas from the EnergyNeighbourhoods help us all realise that by being attentive we can do much to save the environment. Meanwhile our life can be enriched with intellectual and spiritual values, and our overheads reduced.
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