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International Energy Efficiency Day - press-conference in Saint-Petersburg

On November 10th NGO "Friends of the Baltic" initiated press conference devoted to the International Energysaving Day. Urgent issues related to energy efficiency in educational institutions, in the residential sector, in the historical center of St. Petersburg and the role of education for the implementation of small energy-saving measures were covered.

International Energysaving Day 11 November was established in 2008 by international SPARE network (school project on application energy and resources). This Day is celebrated in many countries not only by schools and community organizations, but even plants or municipalities, not knowing about its "public" origin.

Energy efficiency in buildings gives comfort, helps to save money, contributes to the conservation of nature and climate. Unfortunately, not all residents are aware of the measures by which we can save energy. Such measures can be divided into two levels: government policies and personal involvement in the process of saving.

Dmitry Bychkov Deputy Director of S. Petersburg energy efficiency Centre spoke about its work. Centre was established in the middle of 2013. Its main function is education and dissemination of best practices in the field of energy saving. The priorities of S. Petersburg in the field of energy efficiency are: reducing energy intensity of the gross regional product by attracting extra-budgetary sources: for example, energy-service contracts in the public institutions for modernization of street lighting. Such projects are implemented in Petrodvortsovy district and Kolpino.

Olga Senova, Chairperson of environmental NGO "Friends of the Baltic" and SPARE coordinator in Russia spoke about measures that each of us can use every day. "According to the International energy agency, energy derived from energy efficiency and energy saving, costs FOUR times cheaper than the energy obtained at the expense of building new power stations. The most simple energy efficiency measures available to everyone and can be applied at home or at work, for example, insulation of buildings, replacement of lighting, public transport instead of car, and other things. It gives cost savings, and reduces the consumption of fossil fuels, thereby reducing the negative impact on nature and climate”.

Irina Komolova Member of the legislative Assembly raised the question about the legal aspects for a systematic approach of state to adopt laws in the field of energy efficiency measures. We already have a law on overhaul of residential buildings, it has an idea of energy efficiency measures implementation. But efficiency also needs to be linked to the implementation of programmes for the preservation of the historical center of St. Petersburg. "It is already clear that the overhaul law and the future law on the preservation of the historic center superimposed on each other.... Petersburg should soon begin to develop a law that would bind the adoption of the energy efficiency program with a major renovation and preservation of the historic centre”.

Nicholas Pitirimov, Chairman of the Municipal Association of homeowners, spoke about the experience of energy efficient renovation of residential buildings. According to him, energy service contracts provide an opportunity not to increase energy payments for 3-5 years.

For educational institutions approaches to energy conservation in buildings are the same as for residential buildings, but there is a difference. In the framework of the state program on energy efficiency the majority of educational institutions provided with energy audits, and created plans for energy efficiency. Many of the recommended measures require large investments but at centralised financing is usually a long process. But simple measures with the participation of the whole staff provide quick and substantial savings.

Sanna Kauppi, Center for continuing education Palmenia University of Helsinki, spoke about Ecosupporters network, which at their workplaces (schools, municipalities) help staff to save energy and implement energy efficient solutions. Project was launched in Finland in 2006. In St. Petersburg project is implemented by the organization "Friends of the Baltic" and 45 teachers received the status of Ecosupporters that helps them to make School Ecocouncil, the function of which is to assist the school in implementing environmental solutions and, first of all, energy efficiency measures in close integration with the SPARE project.

In the framework of the project "Ecosupport" in mid-November, a group of Finnish experts and students conduct energy audit in the historic building of Palace of children's creativity "Voznesenskiy bridge”. Interesting result will be a comparison of the energy audit, made by Russian and Finnish practices. And also recommendations to improve the inner climate of the building taking into account the possible energy efficiency measures, with the participation of SPARE project participants and ecosupporters.

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