Partners involved in an innovative European project aimed at promoting energy efficiency have been sharing ideas at conferences in Italy and the UK.
The Renovation for Energy Efficient Buildings (REBUS) project sees eight public authorities from countries across Europe come together to share good practice and learn more about new alternative energy technologies.
As the UK partner, staff from Durham County Council led a delegation of organisations to participate in a conference in Florence which brought together 14 European projects with a focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy and low carbon technologies within the public and community sectors.
The conference, titled Interregional Cooperation for Energy Transition, was also attended by a national government representative from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and a representative from the Voluntary Organisations Network North East.
Rich Hurst, sustainability education development advisor at Durham County Council, said: “The conference was a great opportunity for us to share our work with a particular focus on our School Energy Reduction programme which has been running since 2010.
“We are now working with over 240 schools to help them reduce their energy use and offer them support on a regular basis.
“We also work closely with the pupils themselves to help them understand the impact they can make and encourage them to set up their own energy savers team to drive forward the change within their schools.”
Earlier in the week, council staff involved in the project also presented at a conference in Manchester run by Community Energy England, where they shared their experiences with other individuals and agencies from across the country.
“Hearing from those who are facing similar challenges around energy efficiency is very useful and we have certainly taken away a lot of good ideas which could be put to use here in County Durham,” added Rich.
Maggie Bosanquet, Durham County Council’s team leader for the low carbon economy team, said: “This is a very exciting time for Durham as we are involved in game changing work on renewable energy and energy efficiency across all sectors.
“We are always keen to share the great work we are doing with our partners and to learn from them in exchange.”
REBUS, is a five-year project funded through Interreg Europe.