T for Stick, Carrot and Tambourine

 

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Source: (Egger, Renovation as Driver for Economic Growth – the Experiences in Upper Austria)

The phrase “stick, carrot and tambourine” reflects the three pillars of the Upper Austria´s sustainable building strategy (policy packages) which are respectively legal and financial measurements along with information activities (Dell). In particular, Upper Austria constitutes one of the nine federal states of Austria where the legislation and financial decisions in the building and heating field are based on the state´s strategy and the energy action plan, as the increase of the renewable energy share and the energetic efficiency of the buildings are main priorities for the state. The goal that has been set by the local government is that by 2030 the total electricity and space heating needs will be exclusively covered from renewable sources, while there would be a reduction of heat demand by 39%, of electricity by 0,5% per year and a slump of CO2 emissions by 65% (Egger, Renovation as Driver for Economic Growth – the Experiences in Upper Austria).

Whilst the regional government provides the regulations regarding building construction, emissions standards for heating systems e.tc., different departments of the regional administration fund and implement main programs which are related to the heating sector such as housing programs (Egger, Regional Report: The RES-H/C market in Upper Austria , 2009). In order to meet the above objectives, the regional government has regulated a set of legal – “stick” and financial – “carrot” measurements for building renovation programmes. The former include energy performance certificate, minimum heating and cooling requirements, inspector of boilers and renewable heating obligations. As for the “carrots”, these are soft loans for energy efficient construction and renovation, grants for renewable heating and efficiency measures as well as pilot projects. Furthermore, in order to reach a more efficient energy policy, a focus on promotional and awareness rising activities – “tambourine” such as energy advice, publications, networking for private and public actors and comprehensive information campaigns was put. These are mainly carried out by the regional energy agency O.Ö. Energiesparverband. More specifically, in 2009 more than 10.000 free of charge face to face individual advice sessions on building renovation of private households occurred, while 12 information events with a total number of 5.326 participants as well as media campaigns were organized. On top of that, 28 training courses for energy advisors, municipalities, performance certification and around 300 press articles, radio and TV programs were applied (Dell).

Through the referred activities the regional energy agency has managed to raise the interest of a host of house owners. The continues – massive information that they receive from the media and the events constitutes one of the key elements of the policy as it provokes them to ask for further specific information for their own houses. The next step is the free of charge for a maximum of 1,5 hour session with the energy advisors (Egger, Regional Report: The RES-H/C market in Upper Austria , 2009). In many cases the house owners may have convinced to do the investment before this step. If not, the advisors suggest solutions that minimize the households´ doubts and make them confident as they become sure for their benefits. Someone may argue that these actions exist for manipulation reasons; however, the recorded results demonstrate that in any case they move toward the house owners and the environmental good. Particularly, between 1993 and 2007 more than 74.000 houses met the regulated requirements and received financial support, while they saved 350 million KWh/ year and in the year 2007 the CO2 reduced by 47.000 tones (Bureau, 2011).

 

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References

Bureau, E. E. (2011). Saving Energy in Europe: 15 Good Practice Case Studies. Brussels.

Dell, G. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Building Renovation Programmes in Upper Austria: http://www.wsed.at/fileadmin/redakteure/WSED/2010/download_presentations/Dell.pdf

Egger, C. (2009). Regional Report: The RES-H/C market in Upper Austria . O.Ö. Energiesparverband.

Egger, C. (n.d.). Renovation as Driver for Economic Growth – the Experiences in Upper Austria. Retrieved from http://www.renovate-europe.eu/uploads/REDay2012%20ppts/REDay2012_Christiane_Egger.pdf

 

 

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