The FIESTA project set out to tackle both heating and cooling efficiency in households by setting up Energy Helpdesks at local level to deliver behavioural tips, low-cost measures, and investment support to families in Southern Europe.
A free of charge Energy Helpdesk was set up in 14 cities in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Italy, and Spain, providing person-to-person and online advice to citizens; providing customised door to door energy audits to families; organising annual energy saving lotteries, and hosting workshops for schools, social housing residents, and appliance retailers & installers.
After applying the recommendations of the audit, the Rodríguez family from Logroño in Northern Spain said about their energy consumption "it was lowered in the following year from a consumption of 11.578 kWh to 6.826 kWh of natural gas with a saving of 300€ approximately, and from a consumption of 2.082 kWh to 1.958 kWh of electricity with a saving of €35 approximately. The audit report estimated a saving of 373€, a value similar to the real saving of €335".
Overall, FIESTA has delivered over 2.300 home energy audits and over 350 workshops for more than 8.500 participants. The primary energy savings add up to more than 500 toe/year, with over 320.000 citizens directly informed about the project. The municipalities also set up or promoted existing consumer purchase groups or discount programmes with the support of consumer organisations, retailers and installers, thereby allowing families to exploit their collective buying power to secure better deals on energy efficient products and RES installations.
Whole families can get involved: a number of energy saving tips are offered in the FIESTA Energy Efficiency Guide, helping householders to manage their energy consumption, while the younger family members can learn about energy saving through one of the five FIESTA animations (available in EN, IT, ES, EL, HR, and BG) as well as through workshops at schools.
Thanks to the success of the FIESTA approach, the 14 Energy Helpdesks will continue to operate after the end of the project and almost 40 other European cities have officially committed themselves to replicating the FIESTA model. The project was funded under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme and implemented through collaborations between technical know-how providers and municipalities.
Image credits: Fiesta project school workshop in the City of Rijeka