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COMMUNITY STRATEGIES FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY Successful Examples from Austria

Abstract
By : Inge Strassl

 
The responsible politician for environment in Vorarlberg spoke at the Energy Gala in November 2002 in Bregenz and said: "It is necessary not only to discuss central regulations but to invest more in decentralised actions". The communities are central players in this field because they can act in various ways: as authority, owner of buildings and as motivator for the people. Two examples of strategies in Austria are introduced: e5 - program for energy efficient communities (congruent to the European Energy Award) This program supports communities with high ambitions on energy and sustainability. The program helps to give structure, tools and a quality insurance system, so that even smaller communities can act in a professional and efficient way. Additionally it is a labelling and awarding system, which is quite important because a lot of work in the communities happens voluntarily and it is important to give approval to these actors. Energy point system in housing subsidies In the federal state of Salzburg the energy point system is a subsidy system for energy-saving measures and the use of renewable energy in housing. Quality points are given, depending on the energetic and ecological quality of a building. Every point increases the subvention that is granted by the government of the federal state Salzburg. Additional points exist, for example, for the use of biomass, solar energy and controlled living space ventilation. Using this simple system, the quality of sponsored housing was increased significantly and the use of renewable energies was successfully introduced into social housing. Today more than 80% of the residential buildings in Salzburg are heated by biomass and more than 60% of the buildings are using solar energy for hot water and heating.
Keywords : Community Strategies, European Energy Award, Motivation Program, Energy Efficiency, Thermal Solar, Biomass.

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