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Promoting best practices to support energy efficient consumer behaviour on European islands (PROMISE)

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PROMISE was born as a response to the need of reducing residential energy consumption in European islands. Domestic energy use is still largely invisible to the user, while rapidly increasing due to larger homes, new services and additional appliances. By sharing information and experience, energy agencies from Samso (Denmark), Iceland, Rhodes (Greece) and Tenerife (Spain) aimed to promote tried-and-tested methods for reducing the energy consumption of households. Knowledge has been transferred through capacity building workshops, EASWs (European Awareness Scenario Workshops) and awareness raising campaigns accomplished in each target island, i.e. Iceland, Rhodes, Tenerife. Each awareness campaign addressed targeted groups of island households, included at least 35 home energy checks in each target island and made use of energy efficiency tools developed throughout the project. Public authorities, both local and national, have been involved and policy recommendations with concrete action lines have been elaborated that favour energy efficient consumer behaviour. A European awareness campaign disseminated project achievements to a wide network of islands and involved six new islands as so-called ‘island buddies’ in the project.


Result 1: Reduction of household energy consumption. On average, 1.300 to 8.200 kWh of calculated energy savings per household (5-20% per household) by:
  • implementing capacity building actions: 4 workshops and 3 EASWs
  • realizing 3 awareness campaigns, one in each target island (Iceland, Rhodes, Tenerife)
  • accomplishing more than 200 home energy checks
  • involving local and national media (radio, TV, press)
  • developing and promoting innovative energy efficiency products and tools
Result 2: Island-tailored analysis of detected savings in terms of energy (kWh) and money (Euro or local currency). The technical analysis shows main saving potentials for different island contexts, e.g. energy to be saved in the house envelope, through temperature control, by focusing on electricity, heating, etc. The analysis is presented like a text book, translated in five languages (EN, DA, EL, ES and IS) and used as training material during the project and beyond.Result 3: Development of easy to use energy efficiency tools:
  • Interactive cash flow calculators for evaluating investments in renewable energy and energy saving appliances as e.g. solar heaters, heat pumps, wind turbines.
  • Roof insulation calculator
  • Light hour calculator, including an APP for smartphones
  • Electricity price calculator
  • APP ‘Eco-Calc’ for smartphones to carry out an own energy check at home
  • Checklist for home energy checks (Excel spreadsheet)
Result 4: Energy checks and the roof insulation calculator identified important saving potentials in the Icelandic target groups. Converting currently paid subsidies into energy efficiency investments has been discussed with the National Energy Authority. As result, 25 oil heated houses in Grimsey (Icelandic island) got better roof insulation, and 31 electricity heated households, spread all over the country, are going to be financed half of the material costs paid for a better roof insulation.Result 5: Direct impact reached in 14 islands and dissemination to European networks and initiatives involving over 200 islands (ISLENET, Pact of Islands, DAFNI, ESIN). The European Awareness Conference ‘Save Energy Now’, taken place in Brussels on 16-17 April 2013, has been one of the milestones in the European awareness raising activities. The involvement of six new islands as ‘island buddies’ in the project has been a further main result which exceeded the initial expectations.

Lessons learned

Interactive and tailor-made workshops involving the locals are an efficient tool for finding consensus-based action lines.The capacity building workshops and EASWs perfectly suited the objective of finding consensus-based action lines for the local awareness campaigns. Especially the participatory approach used during the EASWs has been very efficient as it communicated to the local people that they are the key actors of the activity and that the project team did not intend to impose anything.Preliminary home energy checks have been helpful for providing first insights into people’s energy behaviour and make subsequent activities more tailor-made. Initially conducted energy checks gave the opportunity to shed light on main saving potentials and the difference in pricing and subsidy systems in the islands. This allowed for a fine-tuning and adjusting calculated energy savings better to each local context which has been supportive for the awareness campaigns and the next energy checks.Savings per household in the target islands range from 1.300 kWh (Tenerife) to 8.200 kWh (Grimsey) depending on the local climate, with an average of 4.000 kWh per household.The average energy savings are based on 175 home energy checks and correspond to 5 – 20% of the household fuel energy, where the first 5% are due to inexpensive behaviour changes. Larger amounts of savings include improvements to the building envelope and replacement of the heating unit.

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Antje Klaesener
+39 06 400 40 358


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01/06/2011 to 30/11/2013
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