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7th Framework Programme  

Workshops on Energy Efficiency offering an opportunity to build a Community of Practise

Five consecutive workshops organized on a weekly basis, starting from 18th of April 2013 by the Gyor-Moson-Sopron County Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Gyor-Moson-Sopron Country Chamber of Architects and the Energosys Zrt.The workshops took place in the framework of regional co-operation between Austria and Hungary and were financed by the European Union. These workshops brought together the different actors active in the field of energy efficient retrofitting in the county, like SMEs, representatives of the city municipality of Gyor, different professionals and experts, consultancy companies, ESCOs as well as housing cooperatives and condominiums. The aim of the workshops was to enable participants to exchange information and to lead a discussion about the technical, economic and administrative requirements of energy efficient investments into buildings. A further aim of the workshops was to discuss the possible financial solutions, the risks and warranty questions involved in the retrofitting business. The combination of presentations and discussions allowed the participants to form the basis to build a Community of Practice in the future.

Metropolitan Research Institute participated at the opening workshop, which provided a general introduction to the entire problem of energy efficient renewal in the housing sector. Within this framework the presentation held by József Hegedüs, representing MRI at the occasion, created a broad overview about the how the question of energy efficiency in the housing sector is approached in the EU. Furthermore, it analyzed the different factors influencing the outcome of a retrofitting project, and highlighted the barriers that have to be overcome in order to achieve success. The presentation concluded with the introduction of the Proficient project: its goals and the role it can play to advance energy efficient retrofitting and building programs. Other presentations at the workshop included the introduction of the ESCO model to the participants (by Benigna Boza-Kis). This presentation largely focused on introducing the concept of ESCOs and showing the advantages of employing an ESCO company. Furthermore, Boza-Kis underlined the importance of energy efficient solutions in the Hungarian housing market by showing that 15% of Hungarian households are unable to heat their dwellings to an appropriate temperature. She also emphasized that 24% of the households plan to carry out some kind of investment improving the energy efficiency of their home in the next 3 years. Research shows that the biggest obstacle households have to overcome are the high investment costs (most likely the high upfront costs) and the lack of technological knowledge. On both points ESCOs can be helpful, as their presence can diminish the upfront costs and bring the much needed technical knowledge. Demonstrating how an ESCO works in practice was Enrique Grosser Lagos, who showed in detail on the example of the Raab-Sol project - a demonstration case for the Proficient program - how a large scale retrofitting program can be assembled and managed with the help of an ESCO. The presentation also highlighted the technological component of the retrofitting just as well the questions of credit management. Giving a review about the retrofitting programs in Gyor in general for the last decade and showing what possible steps a municipality can take to promote retrofitting was János Gyertyás. He has been overseeing the retrofitting project from the municipality’s side in Gyor over the last decade. And finally, showing how retrofitting worked on a country level was László Csider, who gave an overview of the successes and failures of the energy efficient retrofitting program for the pre-fabricated buildings in Hungary between 2002 and 2012. Csider, who oversaw the running of the program from its beginning in 2001 until 2010, showed how over the years the program evolved, responding to changing needs and a better understanding of the market. He demonstrated that the program grew to prefer more complex interventions and as a result of learning from the mistakes the regulations became more precise and the technical requirements more exact.


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