Energy Agency of Podravje (Energap) in cooperation with the Municipality of Maribor and a private company launched campaign to raise awareness among visitors and citizens of Maribor with so-called “Icy challenge” project.
Energap strove to find a good approach to implementing measures that could save energy and increase renewable energy sources (RES). In addition to highlighting the importance of every-day small actions individuals can take to achieve a greater goal, in combating climate change, our important message was that building insulation reduce energy consumption, energy costs and as a result the city's carbon footprint.
In one of the main squares in the city the Lumar company built a model of "insulated house" (wooden cube), with the best characteristics on insulated passive house at that time. Its volume was filled with a mass of 1 m3 of ice. The model of the insulated house was placed for one month and during that time the citizens were challenged to test their suggestions about the amount of water that will run out from the house after one month. After the expiry of that period the amount of water that melted and ran out of the house was measured. The closing event was at the city square with prizes to win advertised.
Purpose of this project was to present the importance of energy efficiency in practice – the impact of a well – insulated – low energy or passive house.
The passive house model which was placed for one month was very attractive to the passers – by and journalists. A monitor placed with the latest information of the temperature inside and outside the house was installed on the outside of the house. In addition to temperature monitoring, information about technical data and house characteristic, useful information on the energy performance of buildings, energy saving options in household and information on the benefits of good isolation were installed on the exterior walls.
And How much ice melted in a period of one month? From the amount of 1 m3 of ice 759,7 litres (0,759 m3) of water were formed in one month (May – Jun). The “Lumar pasiv” design of the house has shown that with a good insulation of a house it is possible to prevent house from overheating and heat loses. However good insulation is crucial for pleasant living climate.
The passive house model has encouraged citizens to think about energy issues and to raise awareness about energy saving potential. Citizens were engaged in predicting and calculating the amount of water that will flow out from the house after one month. This was the essence of our campaign - to attract people with certain issue/task and to encourage them to act as responsible consumers when it comes to energy. Allowing people to see, touch and maybe try – that’s what influences their decisions the most.
The overwhelming positive response of “Icy challenge” campaign encouraged Energap to consider expending information and education activities to a wider group of people, not only locally but also regionally. In order to achieve this goal Energap has prepared a comprehensive information programme called ˝Energy Days˝ for smaller municipalities in the Podravje region.
Statistical data showed that more than 100.000 people were reached during awareness raising campaign: Municipality of Maribor has 120.000 of them and more than 35.000 people come to work from other municipalities every day. Our project was presented in the one of the main squares in the city for 21 days and each day a lot of people passed the Ice cube. Information about the campaign was also published on Municipality of Maribor webpage, Energap and Lumar company webpages. Local radio which is heard in almost every city in Slovenia promoted the “Ice challenge” every day of the month. More than 10 journalists from radio stations and TV journalist took part at the opening and closing ceremonies.
However, the end-users play a very important role in the way energy is used. Especially in behaviours to improve energy efficiency by avoiding unnecessary waste of energy. Promotional campaigns are crucial to encourage citizens to use energy more efficiently.
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