Interreg Europe funded CLEAN project partner RASR, the Development Agency of Savinjska Region (Slovenia), will encourage families to adopt energy saving behaviour through a competition to reduce energy use. The action titled “A Challenge for Families - Less Energy Use” is based on a successful good practice transferred from SCIC 7 Vents in Normandy (France) , called “Positive energy families” and is expected to reduce energy consumption in households by up to 8% in the Savinjska region.

The essence of the action is the inclusion of families in the system of saving energy and water while simultaneously monitoring the living conditions (temperature, humidity & CO2) and microclimate in each household. Citizens who join the challenge will be divided into 8 - 12 family groups who will compete against each other to reduce their overall energy use by the greatest amount. Consumption will be measured through installation of SMART water, heat, electricity, and microclimate meters in each household. The families will be selected through an open & public competition, but it will be encouraged that these groups also reside in the same residential buildings - increasing their sense of belonging.

During the competition, each family "logs in" and enters daily, weekly or monthly expenditure in an online application. Automated entry of consumption data and quality of living comfort into an internal database is facilitated by the use of intelligent installations and modern ICT systems. Trained counsellors will mentor the families to advise them on how to use less energy. At the end of the competition, the municipality will prepare a picnic for all participants, where a symbolic prize is awarded to the winners.

RASR’s implementation will include municipalities and power distributors in the Savinjska region, and also involve local energy agencies, engineering companies in the field of energy efficiency and The Ministry of Infrastructure, Energy Directorate. Inclusion of these various different stakeholders will improve the impact of the action, strengthening the possibility for long-term behavioural changes with regard to domestic energy usage in the region.

This action successfully addresses the Energy Efficiency Action Plan for the period 2017-2020 (ANURE 2020) prepared by Slovenia, within the framework of Directive 2012/27 / EU on Energy Efficiency. The goal of ANURE 2020 is that primary energy use in Slovenia will not exceed 7,125 Mtoe in 2020, which means that it should not increase by more than 2% relative to the base year 2012.

Simple actions and implementations such as “A Challenge for Families - Less Energy Use” play an important role in encouraging positive energy behavioural changes in European regions. Citizens and communities who experience tangible benefits such as cost savings and improved quality of life are more likely to share the concepts they have learned with their peers, and also maintain the new behaviours long-term. This action is a prime example of Savinjska region taking a proactive approach to empower communities to take charge and implement changes from the ground up, saving money and reducing CO2 emissions in the region.