2nd workshop of the EURONET 50/50 MAX project devoted to the issue of energy saving at schools

On the 7th of October 2014 our Association organised in Cracow 2nd national workshop of the EURONET 50/50 MAX project, which was devoted to the practical aspects of energy saving and implementation of the innovative 50/50 methodology in schools and non-school public buildings. The workshop was addressed to the representatives of Polish municipalities and schools (both teachers and caretakers) involved in the project, as well as other people interested in the 50/50 concept. In total over 150 persons took part in the event.

The aim of the EURONET 50/50 MAX project is to mobilize energy savings in public buildings through the implementation of 50/50 methodology in 500 schools and nearly 50 other public buildings from 13 EU countries. The 9-step methodology increases energy awareness of the building users and actively involves them in energy-saving actions. Achieved financial benefits are equally shared between the building users and the local authority which covers the energy bills. Our Association is responsible for implementation of the project in Poland.

The workshop was officially opened by Maria Stankiewicz, Advisor of the PNEC’s Director, who shortly introduced our Association and its activities. She also announced a contest for the most interesting educational games devoted to the issue of energy saving and climate protection. The contest is addressed to all energy teams created in schools participating in the 50/50 Network. Many attractive awards await for the winners. Details of the contest and its rules will be published soon on the Polish version of the project website: www.euronet50-50max.eu.

The next presentation was given by Anna Jaskuła, Director of PNEC, who reminded the participants main assumptions of the EURONET 50/50 MAX project and the 50/50 methodology. After this theoretical kick off a practical part started. The participants got familiar with the new tools available on the project website that will help them in implementation of project tasks. They also got many useful guidelines and tips on how to organize work with schools’ energy teams and what possible improvements can be introduced in buildings to save energy.

At first Patrycja Płonka, Project Manager, presented on-line energy savings calculation tool that the schools can use to calculate their energy and financial savings, as well as demonstrated its operation. The programme is very intuitive and easy to use, therefore it will significantly simplify the work of the persons responsible for official assessment of the performance of the buildings involved in the 50/50 scheme. It will also ensure that all the calculation were made following official calculation methodology. The tool will also enable comparison of the results achieved by different schools and non-school public buildings (on the local, national and European levels). 

Next Paulina Kozubek, Project Assistant, discussed important role of communication and exchange of experience between schools involved in energy saving actions and presented the project’s Facebook that will be used by participating schools to effectively communicate and cooperate with other schools from Poland and from abroad, which may result in new joint initiatives! Afterwards, Agnieszka Nykiel presented EURONET 50/50 MAX project website. She encouraged the participants to visit it regularly, get familiar with methodological and educational materials published there and to use it for promotion of their own achievements and good practices.  

Next part of the workshop was focused on practical, low-cost solutions for reducing energy consumption at schools. In her presentation Patrycja Płonka gave many useful hints showing that change of behaviours, small repairs and low-cost investments can save a lot of energy. 

Then the floor was given to the teachers involved in the 50/50 scheme - Iwona Dzwolak from Primary School n° 9 in Dzierżoniów, Marta Barbasz-Sztajno from Primary School n° 32 in Bielsko-Biała and Krzysztof Świerczek from Primary School n° 1 in Miechów – who showed that the children really enjoy the EURONET 50/50 MAX project and are very creative in finding ways of reducing energy consumption in their schools. Therefore, we would like to thank the teachers for those inspiring presentations that proved that there is a lot going on at schools in terms of energy saving and climate protection, as well as showed how important it is to engage persons from outside the school (parents, representatives of local authorities, representatives of energy utilities and other partners) in project activities encouraging them to share their knowledge and experience with the pupils. 

The workshop ended with a special session for caretakers who play very important role in schools’ energy teams. Being the persons who know the school building(s) very well, they help the children to understand how energy is used at school and where does it come from, as well as they support them in introducing energy saving measures.  Anna Jaskuła thoroughly discussed key role of caretakers and gave them many practical tips how to handle the energy team.