Training session for end-users: “Reduction of residential energy consumption and costs”
An end-user training was organised on 31 March 2022 at the pilot site in Huldenberg, Province of Flemish-Brabant, Belgium. There were 30 participants present who live at the pilot site.
The aim of the session was to give the residents an understanding of the impact of the transition to an individual connection to the electricity grid (with digital meter) on their energy bills. This event was also an opportunity to highlight the challenges of the current energy market and make residents aware of the importance of reducing their energy consumption and consequently their CO2 consumption. The new residents were also given useful tools to manage their energy efficiency at home, including: a calendar for energy savings and management, a thermo- and hydro-meter, energy monitoring cards and information on local services that can help them manage their energy consumption and costs.
Prior to the training, many participants seemed to be worried about the switch to individual connections to the electricity grid and the impact this might have on their energy bills. Partly as a result of the training, they welcomed advice and tools on how to better control their energy consumption and how to reduce their energy consumption in their daily lives.
At the end of the year, an evaluation of the approach (i.e., the advice, actions and tools provided) will take place and the calendar will be fine-tuned before broader dissemination to future homeowners of small, affordable low carbon homes.
To kick off the event, a welcome and introduction was provide by Bruno de Stirum Limburg of Holiday Parks (home-owner and regional H4.0E subpartner of Province of Flemish-Brabant). He informed the residents of the upcoming transfer from the collective high-voltage grid to the local grid with intermediate electricity meters to individual connections to the grid with digital meters (i.e., planning, development of the works, etc.). The opening was followed by a presentation by Goele Daniëls of IGO, a service-providing intermunicipal association that provides regional services on energy and housing, on the consequences of the transition for the residents and the dynamics in the energy landscape today. She explained how (i.e., which elements) to consider when choosing an energy provider and a type of contract, including social tariffs. Sam Vanhalewijck from IGO then explained what the so-called “energy cutters” can do to support residents in reducing their energy consumption.
Next, Tine Bergmans of the Province of Flemish-Brabant, Lead Partner of the Interreg North-West Europe Housing 4.0 Energy project, and Silke De Greef of SAAMO (regional community building organisation) demonstrated their self-developed "Energy Calendar" and tools, such as the "Home-meter" (thermo-and hydrometer). Through their engaging demonstration, they explained how these tools can help to heat and ventilate correctly and save energy.
The session came to a close with tailored advice via a Q&A session with the homeowners, as well as some time for the participants to mingle.