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European Commission Concerto Funded Ecostiler

Households and schools alone contribute to nearly one third of UK's CO2 emissions. Older constructions, particularly those built before the ‘Building Act 1984', generally have poor energy performance. The EU project Ecostiler is currently trying to deal with these inefficiencies by retrofitting and installing on-site energy generation on a range of constructions in Europe. The project's goal is to reduce the buildings' carbon footprints, fight fuel-poverty and raise awareness to climate change.

In the pursuit of helping groups in delicate financial situations reduce their heating bills, Lambeth Council chose two social housing estates and six schools to be part of this ambitious project. A key deliverable of Carbon Descent's as project managers is the production of a socio-economic analysis to assess the impacts of the project.

These work packages were designed to monitor and evaluate the following impacts of the installed measures; energy efficiency, residents' perception of changes in well-being, health and awareness of the relationship between energy and climate change.

In consultation with Lambeth Council we designed the monitoring and evaluation process which ensures that the qualitative and quantitative project data will be comparable with other socio-economic data used for official EU statistics. This also includes the choice of research methods, such as door step surveys and working with focus groups. The data will be collected throughout the project and ultimately compared with the different constructions in Lambeth as well as the other projects in Europe.

The success of our report will be measured by the amount of data we were able to collect and analyse effectively. Another very important aspect will be our ability to detect, interpret and compare the intangible impacts of the project such as health and the focus groups' awareness and understanding of the relationship between energy, the environment andclimate change. As the project also tries to uncover the effects of different forms of energy efficiency advice approaches an easy comparison between the attendees' perceptions will have to be made on a local as well as European level.

Ecostiler has the following work packages:

  • Project management
  • Socio-economic analysis
  • Training
  • Eco-refrubishment
  • Polygeneration
  • Renewables

Ecostiler Solar Schools

To date, the Ecostiler project has completed the installation of solar PV and solar thermalpanels on three schools in Lambeth, with a further three due to receive their installations in early 2011. The schools were chosen based on a number of factors: the positioning of their roofs being most suitable for maximizing the power output of the solar panels; them having a sufficiently large, un-shaded, roof space to accommodate the installations; the school using a central boiler and hot water tank that the solar thermal system could link into; and lastly, other works already being scheduled meaning that the installations could be done in parallel with them.

These installations are a part of a wider, holistic project and will be used as a basis for education and awareness raising within the school and local community. In order that schools fully benefit from the installations, Carbon Descent are providing a range of services to aid the process. These are tailored to meet the needs of each particular school and incorporate and energy audit of the school, interactive class lessons, teacher training and continuous monitoring of energy use.

Carbon Descent work closely with the schools to engage the whole school community as this is vital to maximise the learning opportunities from the project. Face to face meetings were held providing an opportunity for the head teacher and wider school stakeholders to ask questions, exchange ideas and optimise the learning opportunities and chances to involve the pupils.


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