Stronghouse

Noordenveld's Energy Café - a neighbourhood event

09 May 2022 - Published by Deirdre Buist
Now that physical meetings are possible once more, the Municipality of Noordenveld held their first ‘Energy Café’ in the community centre of Roderwolde on 29th March. This informative session attracted many local homeowners as well as those from surrounding villages.

For Energetic Roderwolde , now an official working group and part of the village’s  interests association, it was time to show face so they took the initiative to inform and inspire the locals about the  sustainable initiatives currently taking place in their neighbourhood.

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The Municipality and the Energy Cooperative Noordseveld facilitate the local work group Energetic Roderwolde in the process of creating a sustainable environment for Roderwolde and the surrounding areas by 2030. Representatives were joined by energy coaches and a couple of independent energy advisors, each  providing guidance for homeowners in designing a tailored plan for their energy renovation project.

Community support 

An important message was delivered during the opening session. According to an Energy Cooperative spokesman:  “ The energy transition presents huge challenges, but by approaching this as a community we can support each other, find the best solutions for all and make real steps towards a gas-free future. Start with simple steps -  every measure makes a difference to your home comfort and your energy bills.”

Heat pumps

As gas prices go through the roof, there is enormous interest in heat pumps. During the Energy Café an independent advisor translated the technicalities for the potential end-users – with success. This is all part of the Stronghouse customer journey and neighbourhood approach. Understandably,retrofitting one’s home is a big investment for many people but the meeting also provided  support for the financial aspects as the citizens’ group were guided towards more information and coaching platforms.  Stronghouse colleagues from the www.drentsenergieloket.nl were also there to provides an overview of the subsidies now available in the province of Drenthe.

Neighbourhood plan

Responsibility for the actual execution of the heat transition is in the hands of Dutch municipalities. National rules require that each municipality has a community implementation plan which is why Noordenveld has developed a vision showing which neighbourhoods will be supported, before 2030.  The Municpality has now assigned Ekwadraat to design a sustainable energy implementation plan for the community of Roderwolde, together with the work group and villagers. 

Mentimeter

During this gathering, Mentimeter was used  to collect information and live feedback from the neighbourhood residents. Some notable points were distilled:

  • Working together gives extra energy
  • All attendees are enthusiastic transition leaders/ambassadors
  • Many homeowners made a direct appointmenst for their energy renovation plan.
  • Besides financing, people want more information, good examples and calculations.
  • More than half of the participants want to actively participate in a neighbourhood approach.

Technology v people

Stronghouse project Manager, Roy Stavenga from the Municipality of Noordenveld has been quoted on numerous occasions, and again at the end of this energetic neighbourhood gathering: “The energy transition is not just about the technological possibilities, it’s about people.”