On 13th of August 2020 at 11:00 a.m. Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. organized the starting conference of the project CO-EMEP in the premises of Technology and Innovation Center Medjimurje, at the address Bana Josipa Jelačića 22B, 40 000 Čakovec. The conference was organized in order to officially start the implementation of CO-EMEP project. The conference was participated by thirty participants and during the two-hour conference, among other topics project team members presented the project CO-EMEP, activities which will be implemented during the project implementation as well as the expected results.
The conference was opened by Josip Grivec, Deputy Prefect of Medjimurje County, and the introductory words were given by Maja Bratko, senior expert associate for project preparation, implementation and monitoring at Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. Veronika Kárpáti from Zala County Government presented the Hungarian partner and Danijela Vrtarić, expert associate for project preparation, implementation and monitoring in Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. presented the project and project activities.
Project partner meetings
First project partner meeting
After the starting conference of the project CO-EMEP, Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. also organized first project partner meeting. The main topic of the meeting was the implementation of the activity A3 – Defining the concept and the term energy poverty with development of guidelines on energy poverty mitigation planning. This activity is the starting point for the implementation of other thematic activities within the project. The main outputs of the activity will be the Definition of energy poverty for the CB area and the Guidelines for energy poverty mitigation planning for local and regional planners.
Furthermore, the partners agreed that for the purposes of informing and promoting the CO-EMEP project and its results, they will publish several articles in local newspapers and Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. will produce two TV coverages in the local TV station. In addition, project partners will create a leaflet about the project and will provide all the necessary information related to the implementation of the project within their official web pages.
Second project partner meeting
On 3rd of February 2021, the second meeting of project partners within the CO-EMEP project was held. Due to the current epidemiological situation caused by the COVID-19 virus epidemic, the meeting was held virtually via the ZOOM platform. Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. presented the project activities that have been implemented and will be implemented in the period until the end of 2021.
During the meeting, activities related to management and administration, information and promotion as well as thematic activities of the project were elaborated. The thematic activities which were the topic of the meeting are: defining the concept and the term energy poverty with development of guidelines on energy poverty mitigation planning, identification of problematic sectors with organisation of thematic workshops and info days and development of a comprehensive online energy management tool
The meeting was very productive and project partners defined joint activities that will be implemented in the coming months of project implementation.
Work group meetings
First work group meeting in Čakovec, Croatia
Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. organized first working group meeting within the project CO-EMEP on 20th of October 2020. The meeting was attended by director of Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd., expert associates from the Agency, representatives from Medjimurje Social Workers Association and the director of the Regional Energy Agency North – Ivan Šimić.
All participants were introduced by Alen Višnjić, director of Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. after which Danijela Vrtarić, expert associate for project preparation, implementation and monitoring at the Agency briefly presented the project, its objectives, main activities and expected results that will result from the implementation of project activities. Afterwards, all participants participated in four discussions where they presented their views on the problem of energy poverty, helped to distinguish the differences between the concepts of poverty and energy poverty, helped to identify relevant criteria for defining energy poverty and gave guidance to project team members on the data that will be needed while developing energy poverty definition.
Second work group meeting in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary
Zala Count Government organized second working group meeting on 30th of October 2020. The event was opened by Imre Pácsonyi, Vice President of the General Assembly of Zala County. In his speech, he confirmed that the aim of the project takes a prominent role in the current development plans of the Hungarian government. Following the greetings of the Vice-President, the CO-EMEP project was introduced. A general overview about the project was provided: its timeframe and budget, the aims to be achieved, the partners, the target groups and the activities to be implemented.
The second presentation focused on the problem of energy poverty. The expert explained the difference between poverty and energy poverty, and made the participants aware of the differences between social assistance and energy efficiency investments. The conclusion was that social assistance does not contribute to the reduction of energy povery. The reason is that social assistance meant greater expenditures to the country, but residents would have still low incomes. This way, CO2 emissions remained unchanged, and the situation of energy poverty would not be solved in the short and long term. On the other hand, energy efficiency investments provide a solution to the origin of the problem and are efficient and enviromenty-friendly, as well. With the energy refurbishments, households would have to spend less money on adequate heating and cooling systems.
The last topic was the introduction of a new Horizon2020 project called renoHUB. The aim of the project is to contribute to the significant transformation and more sustainable energy supply of Hungarian households. Achieving this goal will be supported by the development of a Renovation HUb model based on a “one-stop shop” system, with the help of which the energy, technical, legal and financial issues arising during the renovation of houses will be solved together at the same time. Within the framework of the project, all non-financial obstacles that may cause difficulties in the implementation of the process will be identified.
After the presentations, the participants had the opportunity to ask questions and start a discussion about the topics.
Third work group meeting in Čakovec, Croatia
After two working group meetings within the CO-EMEP project held in October 2020, Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. held the third working group meeting on 19th of February 2021 in the Medjimurje Palace of Tourism, address Bana Josipa Jelačića 22E in Čakovec. In addition to experts from Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd., the meeting was attended by experts from the field of energy, public administration and social welfare system who jointly discussed the criteria for defining energy poverty and energy poverty definition proposed by Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. based on the conclusions established after the first meeting in Čakovec held in October 2020. Due to the complexity of energy poverty problem and the large number of indicators, i.e., the criteria needed to define energy poverty, the members of the working group suggested to experts from the Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. to propose a simple definition and criteria based on currently available data from institutions that have dealt with this problem so far.
In addition, during the meeting the guidelines for local and regional government units on the inclusion of measures to reduce energy poverty in their administrative area were presented. Since Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. presented only the structure of the document, it was agreed that after the preparation of the draft version of the document, it will be sent to the members of the working group for insights and comments. The document will be then finalized in co-operation with Hungarian project partner and their external experts.
Since one of the activities within the project includes publishing a public call for collecting applications of citizens (co)owners of family houses at risk of energy poverty for the purpose of their involvement in the implementation of pilot projects, one of the meeting points included a discussion on this topic. Pilot projects include the implementation of energy audits and measurements of basic building construction characteristics and the development of energy certificates for 10 selected households in the cross-border area (5 in Medjimurje County, 5 in Zala County). Experts from Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. presented the call and the criteria to be used for selecting 10 households to be involved in the implementation of pilot projects, to which the members of the working group based on their knowledge and expertise gave comments. All comments given by experts will be taken into account in the creation and finalization of the public call which will be created in cooperation with the Hungarian partner, Zala County.
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