SEAP-driven energy training for municipal staff to set-up and operate a local energy management agency and RES (geothermal heat pump system) installment
On-site, practice-driven energy training for municipal staff is a novel practice.
Such training was initiated by the Municipality of Rácalmás, to reduce energy consumption and to increase the use of RES in their region.
The training developed and managed by ENERGIAKLUB (NGO) was directly linked to a local SEAP of Rácalmás, since the document had the objective of setting-up a Local Energy Management Agency, which is a unique initiative in Hungary and not so prevalent practice across the EU-level either. The goal was to promote and facilitate sustainable energy investments and smart energy use to locals.
The employees of the Agency participated in a 5-day training, receiving the required knowledge and skills for the operation. The main goal was to incorporate the content of the SEAP in the everyday operation of the employees of two neighbouring municipalities, Rácalmás and Mezőfalva. The extensive programme included the following; climate issues, energy production, energy efficiency in buildings, green public procurement, strategic planning in Energy Management Agencies (SEAP, SECAP). The training was practical in nature with study visits used to underpin the knowledge acquired.
The Agency is set-up and running and a pilot investment, a geothermal heat pump was installed in a local kindergarden. Trainings and practical handbooks were delivered to ensure wide-scale dissemination of project results. Total costs were ≈ 850.000 EUR (95% covered by Norwegian Funds)
Financial: tutorial IT equipment, materials, rental fee (if relevant), and expert fees to execute the training.
Human: municipal staff, experts and specialists to provide knowledge and share experiences.
Evidence of success
1 Energy Strategy for Rácalmás (2017-2021);
1 Local Energy Management Agency; 2 municipal employees/experts, daily service;
Trained municipal employees;
Cca. 100 persons attended the training-series;
Practical training materials, 4 handbooks, 2 Newsletters, 2 short films to inform the public;
1 geothermal heat pump system; since Feb. 2017, fossil fuel (natural gas) usage was reduced by 80% concerning heating and hot water production. It is expected to rise up to 90% in a long run
To tailor the training material for a completely new entity and positions, with various levels of knowledge on energy-related issues of the staff to be trained. Moreover, neither the municipality nor its employees knew exactly what tasks and role the Agency will play in reality.
Potential for learning or transfer
A local energy management agency can be set up with limited sources. It depends only on the decision of the local board. The first tasks and goals could be specified on a very basic level e.g. organizing energy days, writing articles in local media etc., but importantly having interactive sessions with REAL practical tangible examples supports learning and appreciation of RES and energy effective solutions, resulting in favourable economic conditions when capacity is built. The training material is adaptable although its needs tailoring to the local situation and expectations are important also, it needs to be contextualized. It is important to find suitable partners for the training.
The support of the local board is an absolute essential; it provides prominence and justification for the training and the operation of the local energy management agency.
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