New Year, Renewed Energy
One inspiring example of our work on the ground was recently shared by Flemish partner IGEMO. Together with nine municipalities in the region, IGEMO launched a one-stop-shop called Stekr in June 2020. Stekr centralizes a number of former customer service windows in the region related to housing and energy.
Masked & motivated volunteers
Last October, just before more stringent Covid-19 measures were imposed in Belgium, IGEMO (and Stekr) facilitated a course on thermography for a group of neighbourhood volunteers. Masked and motivated, the enthusiastic group of thermo-scanners hit the streets to gain more practical experience with making thermographic photos. All at the prescribed safe distance. These volunteers have a mission: to visualize energy losses in their community as clearly as possible!
While the mild temperatures weren’t ideal, these ‘energy-waste warriors’ found a number of problem situations: thermal bridges, badly shutting windows, insufficient façade insulation… Importantly, the thermo-brigade raised curiosity and thus awareness in the community, with residents spontaneously requesting to see the energy results of their homes. Thermal scans are a strong visual tool when encouraging energy renovation.
The real work
Following further training the group is now doing the real work. With the necessary know-how, they do home scans on request, record the energy leaks and send to Stekr. Here the results are bundled into an individual homeowner’s report with advise on how to upgrade the energy label. More than 50 scans have already been carried out by six volunteers!
The Flemish government aims to have an EPC A-label for all family homes and apartments by 2050. The current averages are E and C respectively. Clearly, there is work to be done.
From the homeowners’ perspective good insulation means lower energy bills, more comfort, and potentially higher property values. From a European perspective, the Green Deal is in place with an aim to significantly reduce C02 emissions across all sectors. Energy efficiency plays an important role in meeting the ambitious climate targets. Renovation (retrofitting) offers huge opportunities and allows people to actively participate in achieving a long-term goal – with short-term results.
With such inspiring initiatives as that of our Belgian partner IGEMO, smart digital support and an end-user approach, Stronghouse continues to agily adapt to the Covid-related limitations and ride the Renovation Wave - stimulating homeowners and creating strong energy communities.
Dutch speakers can visit the Stekr website for more information or read more about IGEMO.
Photos and original text input: Thanks to Evelien Impens, IGEMO