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SAVE AGE

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The SAVE AGE project supported by the IEE programme is the most important European initiative addressing energy efficiency in residential care homes for elderly people. The project is coordinated by E-zavod and includes 13 partners from 10 EU member states. The main aim of the project is to increase energy efficiency through raising awareness among management and residents of care homes. In the first years of project implementation analyses have shown, that residential care homes for the elderly lack knowledge and awareness of energy efficiency and are generally quite reluctant to acquire new technology. The main concern of the management is to provide the best quality care they can, while technical energy issues tend to be neglected. More than 90% of residential homes have not had any energy efficiency training for employees or residents nor energy efficiency information available. Although 98% of residents are comfortable with in-house temperatures, there are big differences among EU countries regarding temperature levels for the various areas during day and night. If EU standards on temperature would be applied, considerable energy savings could be achieved. In one quarter of the residential homes lights are always left on even when nobody is in the room, mainly in Slovenia, Greece and Italy. Places with the highest percentage of always-on lights are the kitchen (37%) and the laundry room (35%). The most energy inefficient behaviour can be found in the practice of ventilating the rooms while heating or cooling systems are on – this practice is found in half of the buildings. Knowledge on energy efficiency among management of residential care homes was raised by implementing 20 workshops and trainings with more than 540 participants. Useful practical application of knowledge is available online as a library of BATs for individual categories of technologies such as air conditioning, ventilation systems, heat systems, combined heat and power systems, insulation, elevators, washing and drying machines, refrigerators and freezers, stoves and ovens, office and entertainment equipment, lighting, and energy management. One of the project strengths was communication led by the European Association of Directors of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly, sending newsletters to 24.000 registered members. Beside this, a direct mailing list of 32,500 e-mail addresses was prepared by SAVE AGE partners used for sending e-newsletters and invitations to join the energy efficiency initiative. To date approximately 100 homes from 10 EU member states have joined the project activities and additionally more than 200 residential homes obliged themselves to sign the memorandum of understanding and thus expressing the willingness to increase energy efficiency. Based on the results of the energy analysis, SAVE AGE is now focusing on measures to improve the energy management and on the energy awareness and behaviour of employees and residents. The integration of the improvement possibilities in the daily routine has been discussed together with the pilot-facilities. The process has been planned over a period of two years and is basically based on three activities: the “Initial Energy Analysis”, the “Energy Controlling” and the “Energy Brings Happiness Campaign”. The project SAVE AGE is currently in the last 6 month run, therefore partners are working with residential homes to give them practical consulting support with national energy efficiency managers. Residential care homes have been provided with knowledge, and residents are guided by nice looking visibility signs and promotion materials. They can download and use the Benchmark Tool to calculate the energy consumption of the care home or fill in on-line survey. In order to give quick guidelines for residential home managers a check-list of 12 simple points to increase energy efficiency was prepared and disseminated. We invite all who are interested in energy efficiency to the final press conference of the project taking place in Ljubljana on 4th of April 2013. We also ask you to support our project by signing a memorandum of understanding, available at the bottom of the web site http://www.saveage.eu/ .