Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources in Public School Buildings in the Municipality of Serres

Countries

Greece

Policy areas

Organisation name Municipality of Serres

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Contact person: Athina Kokkinidou, Head of EU Programmes and Development Department

The Municipality of Serres is committed to achieving the EU climate and energy targets for reducing CO2 emissions. In this context, it has complied with the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in 2015 and later, developed a Sustainable Energy Action Plan. This forms the backdrop to the measures for increasing renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficiency, to mitigate climate change effects. The Municipality of Serres’ approach towards environmental protection consists of the introduction of RES systems in public school buildings and the overall upgrade in energy efficiency.

The idea of introducing RES and energy efficiency measures in public school buildings is a flagship project for the municipality, because it is considered to be the first major step towards fulfilling the European and national energy objectives at municipal level.

With the pupils, students and teachers being the direct beneficiaries, the energy interventions that took place in the public school units resulted in addressing needs that fall broadly into four categories:

  • the need to fulfil energy efficiency targets, which refers to the commitment of reducing CO2 emissions and achieving the EU climate and energy targets;
  • the need for financial security, which refers to the excess of electricity produced and the reduction of the heating costs;
  • the need of a welcoming educational environment;
  • the need to promote green awareness through the active engagement of students and the knowledge built regarding the benefits of a sustainable green culture.

The innovative interventions pursed by the project brought to a range of benefits. Not only did the use of RES and the subsequent increase of energy efficiency meet the strategic priority of environmental protection, for example by upgrading the examined buildings’ energy ranking from Z to B or higher, but it has also resulted in reduction of time and costs in energy management and increased awareness of green culture among students. From thermal comfort to indoor air quality to security, the effect on the educational process is undisputable, providing students with important information regarding the footprint of their actions and leading to a long-term positive environmental behaviour.

The socio-economic effects are also significant. The shift towards green energy raises awareness and sets the foundation for good practices aiming to protect the environment, thanks to improvements such as thermal comfort, indoor air quality and security. The installation of energy meters and the monitoring in real time of the energy consumption engage students and provide them with important information regarding the footprint of their actions, leading to long-term positive environmental behaviour.

The savings in the municipal budget derived from the reduction of the energy cost are redirected to other educational and operational needs, thus offering better services to pupils.

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