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European Oscar of sustainable Energy 2013
Monday, 24 June 2013


Use Efficiency project nominated for the Sustainable Energy Europe & ManagEnergy Award.

From a total of 224 projects submitted for the 2013 competition, Use Efficiency was announced as amongst 25 shortlisted projects selected this year by a high level Jury in the headquarters of the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI) in Brussels.The projects in each category were selected on the basis of the provided scores from the five members of the Jury for each of five assessment criteria.The Awards Ceremony will be hosted by EU Commissioner for Energy, Günther H. Oettinger. The gala will take place in Brussels on the evening of June 24, 2013 at the Viage Theatre, 30 Galerie Anspach. It will be the official launching event of the European Union Sustainable Energy Week 2013.We received many congratulations for the nomination of our project, whose work was disseminated across a network of European universities.It is the wide geographical spread and climatic coverage of the consortium that allowed crossover of methodologies on a professional and technological level. “Eventually we found - when identifying the main tools of energy efficiency, namely skilled technologies per climatic area, use of automation, conscious behaviors – that they all require aimed training, on the user’s as well on the professional’s side” says the project coordinator professor Angelo Spena. “Quality of life can also be improved by the heritage of past rules for the inner environment management, but to do this we must contribute, at home like at workplace, literally, by our hands. This is the message resulting from the exploitation of the first three years of Use Efficiency, and I hope – concludes professor Spena - that its diffusion will promote the awareness of urgent actions needed in Europe in favor of both employment, especially of young people, and technological innovation. Also for this I’m grateful to all the Partners and people that contributed to our success. For people by people was the slogan indeed that I launched during the kick-off meeting!”.The project activities were specifically conceived to be replicable and transferable across Europe. “The project was so much successful that it creates the conditions to start its real impact beyond the end of the funds” explains assistant coordinator Daniela Melandri. “ It has started its real EU dimension now.”
USE Efficiency December 2011 - January 2012 activities
Wednesday, 01 February 2012

There were two important events in months December and January.

First the Regional event took place in Thessaloniki, December 13, 2011. It was a Workshop, entitled ‘Assessing the energy performance of University Campus buildings, the USE Efficiency project’ and targeted mainly students of the AUTH. More than 120 people, mostly students attended the event.

The workshop was opened by the Vice Rector of AUTH, Prof. J. Pantis. In his speech he presented the scheduled activities towards a sustainable University, presented the on-going work with the energy management system in AUTH, the installation of photovoltaics in 30 AUTH Campus buildings and declared his strong support to activities like those of the USE Efficiency project, since the moving force of AUTH is its staff but mostly its 90.000 students. He assured for his continuous support in every USE Eff related future activity and asked us to put him in our mailing lists, regarding the progress of such activities.

After the welcome speeches the workshop started with Prof. G. Papagiannis presentation, the local coordinator of the USE Efficiency project. In his presentation, entitled ‘The European Energy Policy and the USE Efficiency project’, Prof. G. Papagiannis presented the EU policy for energy towards 2020, the supporting activities of EACI and the IEE programme and the USE Efficiency project.

The final part of the workshop was dedicated to the USE Efficiency students. The student groups who participated the Valencia summer school were there and they presented the work they had done during the second level audit in the two AUTH buildings and their experiences from the Valencia summer school. They highlighted the professional expertise gained during the project, the experience to work with students from other regional, academic and professional culture and they concluded that the participation in the USE Efficiency project was one of the most important experiences during their studies.


The Workshop attracted a significant number of students and market players, who had the chance to listen to the latest developments in the area of energy efficiency improvement in big public buildings and the EPBD implementation process in Greece. Furthermore, with the help of the AUTH Press and Publicity Office, the Press release for Workshop was published in 4 newspapers and in 23 websites, either news-sites or ecology sites or local activities sites. Prof. G. Papagiannis also gave 2 interviews, one for a newspaper and the other live in the Municipality of Thessaloniki radio station.

The other event was the final event of the project that took place on 12-13 January, Budapest. Though the event was called “final event”, all parties agreed that this is also the start of a new period.

Therefore the aim of the event was not only to close the USE Efficiency project, but to explore market player’s expectations and needs from high level education in the field of energy efficiency in the building sector.  The participants consisted of a wide variety of stakeholders: EACI, universities, students from summer school and from other universities, representatives of market players, international and national energy experts, Energy Agencies, media and others.

The welcome speech was delivered by Mrs. Márta Szigeti Bonifert, Executive Director, REC-Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe.

It was followed by the presentation of Mr. Pau Garcia Audi, EACI on The 20/20/20 EU target and energy efficiency.

The opening sessions was closed by the presentation of Mr Sergio Tirado-Herrero from the host Central European University. After the summary of activities and the lunch break, the discussion of market needs and high level education was in the focus in the afternoon. Ms Sunita Gordon from the Guardian talked about the market players’ expectations towards the high level energy education while Mr. Pál Baross, Vice President of Green building council, Hungary Market about the trends and green job opportunities.

In the second part of the afternoon participants were divided into two groups and had facilitated group discussions around two topics:

  1. Building energy/design problems and solutions versus energy awareness
  2. Need for sustainable financing as market product

All sessions were followed by Questions and Answers section.

The second day was dedicated to discuss the future plans which have two main directions: the continuation of the summer school with a wider network or Universities and students and the new IEE call.

The idea is to structure the next Summer School along the lines of the London Olympic Games 2012. The Summer School will be entirely centred on sports building’s energy savings and best practices, and the event will offer a most valuable opportunity for young engineers and market players to interact and work in a challenging environment.

As for the new IEE call, it has just been published with a budget of 62 millions Euro dedicated to actions in the field of energy saving and Renewable, focusing on changing behaviour, raising awareness, communication and education. Based on the winning experience of the first USE Efficiency, and with a starting consortium of 9 universities, plus new 5 ones, The Guardian and RAI as Media partners, the idea is to participate to the new call with a new submission.

Finally, we had two national events in January.

The first at VGTU on the 19 of January. The "Use Efficiency" project, its results and future opportunities were presented to Lithuania market players representatives, meaning around 20 companies.

The second took place on Thursday 20th of January 2012 at IHA. The day was an information meeting and project exhibition, for people interested in the engineering field and others. 18 projects were chosen among these the USE Efficiency project.

People invited were:

  • Students
  • Engineering companies and other market players
  • The press
  • The Danish Society of Engineers, IDA (more than 88.000 members)

Estimated participants 200-300 attended.


USE Efficiency Final Conference
Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The USE Efficiency Final Conference took place on January 12 and 13 at the Central European University.

The conference was co-organized by the Regional Environmental Center and the Central European University, together with more than 10 universities across Europe, the European Commission and representatives of important international media.

The USE Efficiency project was funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (EACI - Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation) with the aim of improving energy efficiency in tertiary buildings and establishing training programmes for university students. The project benefited from a very powerful exchange of experience and know-how through the participation of many universities and students from different parts of Europe.

The core of the USE Efficiency project was the Summer School 2011, during which more than 100 students from 15 different nationalities shared their knowledge and collaborated in working groups to develop projects for transforming existing buildings into low-energy buildings.  The summer school resulted in a new, unique multiethnic sharing experience around sustainability issues for university students from Europe. Some of the Summer School participants were able to share their experiences at the Budapest conference.

The final Use Efficiency conference in Budapest provided a perfect opportunity to think about new actions and synergies for the future. Discussions focused on possible new partnerships, involving market players, universities and local authorities. The conference also allowed new actors to learn more about the achievements of USE Efficiency and their impact on the European educational system.




January 12 presentations - First Part (Zip file, 38 MB)

January 12 presentations - Second Part (Zip file, 36 MB)

January 13 presentations (Zip file, 53 MB)


USE Efficiency November 2011 activities
Tuesday, 29 November 2011

November was the month of national events. Starting with Brunel`s Second National Event, it was unique in the sense that it was a series of events in October and November. It consisted of presentations to students in three universities and an international conference.

Presentation of UK student project to AIVC International Conference 12 October 2011

A paper based on the UK student project was presented to the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Conference on 12 October 2011, held in Brussels.  The conference was attended by 160 delegates from many countries.  The presentation was well received and the paper with USE Efficiency project was explicitly mentioned.  More information on the AIVC 2011 conference can be found on www.aivc.org .

Presentations on passive energy strategies for buildings:

1. Seminar to architectural students at Oxford Brooks University, Oxford, 19 October 2011

The project was presented to about 15 students and principles.

2. Seminar to architectural students at London Metropolitan University, North London,

26 October 2011

The project was presented to about 25 students and some principles.

3. Seminar to engineering and architectural students at University College London, London, 2 November 2011

The project was presented to about 45 students and some principles.

AUTH is having busy months touring around with the project in Europe. Between November 6-10, 2011 a visit in Romania took place, where the USE Efficiency project and its outcomes were presented to students and professors from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and the University of Oradea. They presented the USE Eff philosophy, targets and results in three sessions to 160 students from different engineering Faculties and to more than 15 Professors. The interest was great, the discussions fruitful and the willingness to participate in any future project secured.

Between November 16-18, 2011 a visit in FYR Macedonia took place by Prof. G. Papagiannis, where the USE Efficiency project and its outcomes were presented to students, professors and experts in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies of the Ss Cyril & Methodius University of Skopje, and in the Faculty of Technical Sciences of the University St Kliment Ohridski of Bitola.

UNITOV also organized its first National event in Rimini on 11 and 12 November.  The second national event will be in Rome in 30th November and 1st December 2011 with the involvement of politicians and market players.

HCU and IWU organized its national event on November 17th as part of the 47th conference of the “Arbeitskreis Energieberatung”. They distributed a flyer and sent out 3000 invitations by email. The event was also posted on the ENOB-Homepage (http://www.enob.info) and in the Energy Forum of HIS, the Higher Education Information System (http://www.his.de). The topic of the conference was: “Energy Efficiency in existing non-residential Buildings”.


USE Efficiency October 2011 activities
Wednesday, 02 November 2011

The biggest happening of the month at HCU was the meeting with the summer school students on the 26 October. Five (out of ten) HCU students attended the meeting with Prof. Dietrich and Ms Sonja Schelbach to discuss about the summer school. Altogether the feedback was very positive, and students would definitely attend such a summer school again. They most liked and enjoyed the diversity of the cultures and backgrounds. Though they suggested some improvements like only 5 days were dedicated to work on the projects and students would have liked to have much more time for that and less time for lectures.

Following the decisions of the last project meeting in Aarhus, Denmark, the AUTH USE Efficiency team started the dissemination campaign to other Universities in Greece and in neighboring countries. On October 11-13, 2011 a visit in Cyprus took place where the USE Efficiency project and its outcomes were presented by students and professors from the University of Cyprus and from Frederick University.

The AUTH team consisted of Prof. G. Papagiannis and Dr. Th. Papadopoulos, both involved in the USE Efficiency project. The project and the overall background have been presented in 3 presentations, as well as a short film from the Valencia summer school. The first presentation by Prof. G. Papagiannis dealt with the EU energy policy, the energy saving potential in buildings, the EPBD and its implementation, the barriers and the role of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme, the presentation of the USE Efficiency project, the milestones achieved so far and the targets reached. In the 2nd presentation, Dr. Th. Papadopoulos presented in more details the specific work that has been done in AUTH and in the other participating Universities, regarding the first level audit, the selection of buildings, the training courses and the 2nd level audits by the students. The 3rd presentation by Prof. G. Papagiannis was about the Valencia Summer School, starting from the targets and going on through the actual work that has been achieved in the summer school, till the results obtained and the overall evaluation. The presentation ended with a 2 minute short film about the Valencia USE Eff summer school.

IWU started to prepare the national event on November 17th.  They distributed a flyer and 3000 invitations have been sent out by email. It was posted on the ENOB-Homepage (http://www.enob.info) and in the Energy Forum of HIS, the Higher Education Information System (http://www.his.de). Writing this summary, about 70 attendees have registered already.

Brunel was busy with the 2nd national event that they are organizing with three universities and about 100 students altogether.

UPVLC also started the planning and preparation of the 2nd national event where Use Efficiency results will be presented. They expect 100 participants: students, market players, professors.

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