December 1st 2021 marked the year 1 of the Lightness project. The Consortium held its 12th month General Assembly meeting virtually (although the original plan was to meet in person in The Netherlands) due to Covid-19 restrictions. Despite it all, partners have managed to keep their spirits lifted and continue to do a great job working towards the promotion of Citizen Energy Communities.

Lightness is taken upon the challenge of empowering citizens to be main actors in the green energy transition in Europe through the implementation of Citizen Energy Communities, a new figure that opens up numerous opportunities for restructuring the energy market while advancing on the EU’s objectives of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

This is an exciting task that joins innovate technologies (smart grids, renewable energy, demand response, flexibility, EV, storage) with innovative solutions and business models, putting in the center of the action the Citizen as an active actor, changing its traditional role from simple consumer to well-informed and active prosumer that takes decisions on the energy market.

With 7 pilots covering different types of communities and located in different geographical areas, the Lightness Consortium is in a privileged position to provide these innovative solutions. One main barrier though, is the lack of national regulation developing the concept of energy communities, making it difficult to implement them . Nevertheless, we are working with citizens and relevant stakeholders to be ready for the explosion of this new figure, trying to get ahead before the future regulatory framework.

In regards with the work package “Replication, Exploitation and Market Uptake”, R2M has guided the Consortium in the identification of 12 Exploitable Results, ranging from technological solutions (demand response services, IT assessment tool, platform for management of projects, etc.) through sociological and policy solutions (evaluation models, design of processes, policy advice, roadmaps, etc.). The Lightness project will continue working in developing the exploitation strategies to make sure these innovative solutions have an impact in the energy system.

On June 30, 2021 г. Sofia Energy Agency SOFENA, together with Energomonitor Bulgaria, organised training for energy supporters as part of the PowerPoor project at the Vocational School of Electronics and Automation.

The training was held as part of the extracurricular activities at the end of the school year, it was attended by over 60 students from the last grades and some of their teachers. The training was structured as a series of lectures related to: introducing the PowerPoor project; the notion “energy poverty”, a map of energy poverty in Europe; EU policies aimed at mitigating energy poverty; household energy performance; simple energy efficiency measures and practical tips; collective innovative action tackling energy poverty; collective energy initiatives; innovative financing of energy initiatives, crowdfunding.

The Energomonitor Bulgaria team introduced the audience to the opportunities for energy saving in households by using the innovative real-time energy monitoring system Energomonitor, as a soft measure in tackling energy poverty.

The training ended with a certification test for energy supporters and 56 students past the test successfully and received certificates for energy supporters. All supporters received PowerPoor brochures and T-shirts with the project’s logo. In order to facilitate future surveys and to raise awareness among households, three Energomonitor electricity monitoring kits were donated to the school.

SEA SOFENA is a partner in the PowerPoor project, which started in September 2020. The PowerPoor project aims to tackle energy poverty and to support energy-poor households through advice and information on funding opportunities for home renovation and for the use of renewable energy sources.

The PowerPoor project envisages the creation of a national network of certified energy supporters and mentors of energy communities, whose activities will be coordinated by several energy offices, as well as by local municipalities. As a result of the activities of these supporters / mentors to inform and support the energy poor, citizens are positioned at the heart of the solution through a gradual transition from an energy poor citizen towards an informed consumer and later an active prosumer.

The project is an initiative of the National Technical University of Athens with funding from the European Union Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”, grant agreement № 890437. More information about PowerPoor can be obtained here: https://powerpoor.eu/

 

On May 27, 2021, Sofia Energy Agency SOFENA organized an information day on the PowerPoor project at the Federation of the Scientific Engineering Unions (FSEU). The information day was held jointly with the John Atanasoff Union of Automation and Informatics (UAI), and the role of building automation for efficient use of energy and energy production from installations using renewable energy sources was discussed. More than 50 people took part in the event. The main goals of the PowerPoor project and the activities to be carried out in the next 3 years were presented.

SEA SOFENA is a partner in the PowerPoor project, which started in September 2020. The PowerPoor project aims to tackle energy poverty and to support energy-poor households through advice and information on funding opportunities for home renovation and for the use of renewable energy sources.

The project is an initiative of the National Technical University of Athens with funding from the European Union Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”, grant agreement № 890437. More information about PowerPoor can be obtained here: https://powerpoor.eu/

 

SOFENA`s team prepared the structure of the training program in TRECE project.

The 6 modules aim to develop the key competence of social workers in their daily duties of support and help of energy poor people and households in each of the 5 partner-countries.

In the training could participate also representatives of NGOs and local and regional public authorities that have tools to help vulnerable people in situation of energy poverty.

The last but not the least target group is this part of the population that is defined as energy poor. The modules: EE appliances and equipment; Energy suppliers and billing and Subsidies for energy poor people are of great importance for them as they aim to provide tools for improving their comprehension in energy consumption, give them information for financial mechanisms for support and provide solutions for reducing the energy consumption by easy and useful change in their behavior at home.

The duration of each module is supposed to be within 4-6 hours and will include theoretical and practical part with a test in the end of the training.

All partners will take place in the preparation of the modules. The structure of the training program and the responsible partner for each one are as follows:

  • Energy saving measures and measures of energy consumption interpretation – SOFENA
  • EE appliances and equipment – ENERO
  • Energy suppliers and billing – SOFENA
  • ICT tools and solutions for EE at home – SGS
  • RES and climate change – CRES
  • Subsidies for energy poor people – financial models in each country – LEAG

For more information, please visit also project`s website on: http://trece.eu/.

The Kick-off Meeting of the Trece Project under Erasmus + program took place on 21st and 22nd October 2019 at SGS office in Valencia. This hashtag#europeanproject aims to reduce energy consumption through actively involving citizens and social agents. SOFENA is a partner in a consortium of 5 organizations from Greece, Romania, Spain and Slovenia. SGS is the lead partner. The duration of the project is till 30.09.2021.

The last meeting of project MEM took place on 24th and 25th September in Kaunas, Lithuania. KREA as a host welcomes the participants with a short introduction to Lithuanian culture and history. The first day was dedicated to the respective work packages and their progress, the second day included an excursion with technical visits.Within Day 2 partners participated in a technical visit to two municipal buildings, the library and the tourist information centre of Jurbarkas. In addition, the mayor of Jurbarkas welcomed the delegation to discuss MEM and sustainable energy efforts.

The 3rd MEM Project Meeting was held in Sofia from 26th to 27th March 2019. The participants from Germany, Lithuania and Slovenia, as well as the host from Bulgaria – SOFENA discussed the achievements in the project in Energy Controlling of municipal buildings and the organizational measures in the municipalities. The Capacity Building Support implemented by different training sessions in all the countries was presented by successful training formats. An overview of the financial models for the implementation of investment measures in EE was done by Nadya Nikolova – chairwoman of SOFENA`s Board of Directors.

The second day of the meeting was very intensive and full of on-site visits. Among the municipal buildings that the participants visited were: kindergarten № 191 and a clinic center on the territory of Sofia Municipality and the school “St. St. Kiril and Metodii” in Novi Han, as well as the building of the Municipality Elin Pelin. The Director of the school, Mrs Nikolova warmly welcomed the guests and presented the heating system of the building that was renovated in 2012 under another EU project. At the municipality of Elin Pelin,  the deputy mayor Stoyan Stoyanov welcomed the guests and presented the projects that the municipality is implementing at the moment regarding the renovation of municipal buildings on the territory of Elin Pelin district.  All of the buildings are examples of well-organized process of energy management in the building stock. Of course there is a possibilities for improvement that were presented and discussed with the partners.

 

A workshop on”Dissemination and Public Relations Training for EUKI Implementing Organizations and Partners” was held on 7th and 8th March 2019 in Berlin. Different communication strategies, the use of social media in implementation of international projects, as well as the creation of video and small reports on topical issues were presented. SOFENA also participated in the training as a partner in the project “Municipal Energy Management”.

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