Starting conference – 13/08/2020
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 – 13/08/2020
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 – 03/02/2021
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.
Third project partner meeting – 26/05/2021
On 26th of May 2021, the third project partner meeting within project CO-EMEP was held in Lentiszombathely located outside the city of Lenti. The meeting was organized by Zala County Government. In addition to the thematic part of the meeting where the partners discussed the project activities that follow as well as the expected results and responsibilities, the Mayor of Lenti, Mr. László Horváth presented a project related to the establishment of a geothermal heating system in public institutions in the city of Lenty and pointed out that below the surface of the city is a huge potential for the use of geothermal energy.
Afterwards, the meeting participants visited the Energy Yard in Lentiszombathely, a pilot investment funded by the joint transnational project RURES which was implemented within Interreg Central Europe program.
Work group meetings
First work group meeting in Čakovec, Croatia – 20/10/2020
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 – 30/10/2020
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 – 19/02/2021
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.
Fourth work group meeting in Čakovec, Croatia – 11/05/2021
Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. held in Čakovec on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 the last national work group meeting. With experts from the Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. the meeting was attended by experts from other relevant institutions who are dealing with the problem of energy poverty in Croatia on a daily basis.
The main topics of the meeting were the following: presentation of the conclusions from the last national work group meeting held in February 2021, the establishment of HU-HR cross-border network of supporting institutions to reduce energy poverty, public call for private house owners/co-owners struggling with energy poverty in order to include them in the implementation of pilot actions, energy poverty mitigation planning at local and regional government unit level with elaboration of the structure of guidelines for energy poverty mitigation planning.
In addition, the participants of the meeting discussed the challenges and obstacles with whom employees in local and regional government units face on daily basis and potential measures to mitigate energy poverty at the local and regional level.
Fifth work group meeting in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary – 25/05/2021
On May 25, 2021, Zala County Government held its second working group meeting within the framework of the CO-EMEP project. The event started with the greetings of Imre Pácsonyi, Vice-President of the General Assembly of Zala County, then Róbert Musits from IMRO-DDKK Nonprofit Ltd. presented the results of the first working group meeting. His expert colleague, Gábor Heves, introduced the definitions and criteria of energy poverty, and the content of the public call for 10 households was reviewed. Finally, the participants were informed about the establishment of a Croatian-Hungarian network of institutions aimed at reducing energy poverty.
Sixth work group meeting in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary – 31/05/2021
On May 31, 2021, Zala County Government held its third working group meeting within the framework of the CO-EMEP project. Imre Pácsonyi, Vice President of the General Assembly of Zala County opened the event with his greetings, then the experts of IMRO-DDKK Nonprofit Ltd. presented the results and consequences of the second working group meeting. Following this, the participants were informed about the current status of the public call for 10 interested households, and the content of the Guidelines on Energy Poverty Mitigation Planning was discussed. At the end of the meeting, an energy efficiency project called GreenReg was introduced, the aim of which is to increase the environmental competencies of the institutions in the Slovenian-Hungarian border region.
First workshop for planners on regional and local level, Zalaegerszeg – 24/06/2021
Zala County Government organised its first workshop for the local and regional planners on the 24th of June 2021 in Zalaegerszeg within the framework of the CO-EMEP project. The event started with a general overview of the project, including the implementation period, the partnership, the budget, the aims and the activities that have been already carried out.
Afterwards, the participants could hear an interesting presentation about the problem of energy poverty, during which the term and its criteria for the Croatian-Hungarian border area were also described. Thirdly, the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy resources were listed, and some investments and good practices in Zala county were reviewed regarding this topic.
At the end of the workshop, the audience gained a comprehensive view of the possibilities of utilizing geothermal energy.
Second workshop for local and regional government units and other local and regional planning institutions, Čakovec – 08/09/2021
Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. organized on Wednesday, 8th of September 2021 in the premises of Medjimurje County Knowledge center in Čakovec educational workshop „Local and regional planning from energy poverty aspect“.
The main goal of the workshop was to inform local and regional government units and other local and regional planning institutions about the issue of energy poverty, potential measures for its mitigation and how to include them in future strategic and planning documents, all with the aim of increasing their knowledge and awareness of the existence of this problem and the importance of solving it at the local and regional level.
During the workshop, four lectures were held on the topic of energy poverty, the problem with whom an increasing number of citizens are facing today. At the very beginning, the CO-EMEP project, its activities, goals and expected results, as well as the positive effects that will result from the implementation of the project were briefly presented. After that, a Public call for collecting applications from interested citizens – owners or co-owners of family houses with the aim of assessing the risk of energy poverty and/or the level of energy poverty was published in May 2021, based on which family houses were selected was presented. After that, the Deputy Director of North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency, Ms. Slavica Robić briefly presented the concept of energy poverty. At the very end of the workshop, Guidelines for energy poverty mitigation planning for local and regional government units developed within the project were presented.
First workshop for citizens, general public and social welfare institutions, Lenti – 21/07/2021
Zala County Government organised a workshop for the general public and social welfare institutions in Lenti, on the 21st of July 2021. The event was opened by Imre Pácsonyi, Vice-President of the General Assembly of Zala County, then both the project and the term ‘energy poverty’ were introduced to the participants.
After that, Dr. Kornél Németh, associate professor at the University of Pannonia – Nagykanizsa, informed the public about the results of a comprehensive Hungarian survey. It focused on the advantages/disadvantages of renewable energy sources by presenting some implemented investments and good practices in this field.
At the end of the event, the possibilities of institutional and residential use of geothermal energy were discussed.
Second workshop for citizens, general public and social welfare institutions, Čakovec – 01/09/2021
Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. organized on Wednesday, 1st of September 2021 in Čakovec educational workshop „Energy poverty in households and how to prevent it“.
The main goal of the workshop was to inform the general public and social welfare institutions about the issue of energy poverty, potential measures to mitigate it as well as measures to increase energy efficiency in energy-poor households in order to increase their knowledge and awareness of this problem with whom a large number of citizens face today.
At the beginning of the workshop project CO-EMEP, its activities and expected results were presented. After that, the concept of energy poverty, its definition for the HU-HR cross-border area developed within the project as well as the causes and consequences of energy poverty were clarified. The further topic presented during the workshop was related to improvement of energy efficiency of the households, where potential measures with detailed financial analysis of investments and savings were presented. At the very end of the workshop, the pilot activities of the CO-EMEP project which include the implementation of energy audits and energy certificates and the measurement of general construction characteristics for 10 family houses selected within the public call for collecting applications of interested citizens – owners or co-owners of private family houses with the purpose of the risk of energy poverty and/or the level of energy poverty assessment published in May 2021 were explained.
**The content is the sole responsibility of Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union and/or the Managing Authority.