European energy saving project wins international award for student leadership

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© Union of Students in Ireland

The 2018 winner of the Student Leadership Category in this year's International Sustainable Campus Network Excellence Awards has gone to the EU-funded project SAVES2. The award was announced at the ISCN Awards ceremony in Stockholm this week.

The project was selected as "an outstanding example of excellence in student inspired and led initiatives, and is a project that exemplifies the principles of the ISCN".

SAVES2 is on a trajectory to engage over 200,000 students to save energy in university halls of residence and private rented accommodation in seven countries across Europe. Building on the success of the project SAVES funded under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme, SAVES2 organises an energy-saving competition between 144 dormitories by making use of a near-real time energy dashboard and by engaging student ambassadors to encourage fellow students to save energy through changes in their daily behaviour.

In parallel, the project reaches students that are looking for, moving into, and living in private rented accommodation. As these young adults are particularly susceptible to varying levels of energy poverty, the project has partnered with smart meter delivery agencies to inform students about the benefits these meters offer. It also provides training and support on tenants' rights, Energy Performance Certificates, low cost energy efficiency measures, and energy bill management.

Running for three academic years in 2017 – 2020 in Ireland, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and the UK, the competition and the private rented sector engagement programme are expected to bring combined energy savings of 30 GWh or the equivalent energy required to provide almost 3300 European homes with electricity for one full year.

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