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Verona - Italy

Verona - Strong involvment of different local actors - a national and european success story

Background

The municipality of Verona joined the Display®Campaign in 2004.

Since then, a lot of effort has been invested to promote Display amongst decision makers, citizens and technicians. About 45 municipal buildings have been evaluated and awareness campaigns conducted in schools.

In October 2006 the municipality of Verona was awarded "Ecosistema Urbano – Menzione Speciale 2007" in recognition for the launching of the Display Campaign in the city. This prize, presented by Legambiente, the largest NGO for environmental issues in Italy, is awarded every year to cities who conduct particularly innovative projects related to the protection of the environment.

Furthermore, Verona received a general prize for the first "Towards Class A -Award" of the Display® Campaign that took place in Riga during the BISE forum.


Project Description

Global Strategy In the past, little attention has been paid to the theme of energy consumption in buildings. For this reason, the Display® Campaign is seen by the local coordinators of Display as an important step in the right direction.
After the difficulties met with the beginning of the Display® Campaign, the leaders of the Campaign in Verona decided that the efforts made by the different actors involved in Display had to be stronger to have an impact on the overall agenda of the city. The following strategy was adopted :
- different departments in the City Council were involved, namely the EU Policies Department, the Environment Department and the Press Office in order to strengthen the campaign and to convince other decision-makers.
- cooperation with other municipal companies (AGEC-AGSM, e.g.) was established to make the action more complete and to facilitate the collection and the exchange of relevant data. Thus, a network was created to help with common actions on important energy issues.
- the activities were focused on the population, and especially on young people
- the city of Verona wants to act as a good example for the small municipalities in the province. Once the small towns are involved in the campaign, their good practice will hopefully spread and have influence on the energy performance of other cities in Italy.
Communication strategy to involve managers of Verona and of other cities The communication strategy has been conducted on two fronts : at political level, the efforts were focused on the involvement of the entire Administration : from the Mayor, to the Environmental Office, to the managers of the buildings ; at advertising level, with several articles on the local newspapers, among them an article on the Municipality newspaper with a circulation of 120.000 and a couple of articles with regional circulation.
The objective is to put in place a continuous activity of communication, which could be even more effective.
Key Points The EU Policies Department together with the Environmental Department calculated more than 45 buildings in the city in Verona by means of the Display-tool. On this basis 41 posters were created and some of them were hung permanently.

_ The greatest difficulty was to get the consumptions data and the characteristics of the buildings. AGSM Verona Spa, the local company managing energy supply, provided the Council with data about the consumption of energy for the buildings.

_ In cases where buildings shared a meter with other buildings, it was difficult to distinguish the origin of the consumption. Therefore, focus was placed on the one hand on buildings that are less complicated and on the other hand on single buildings.

_ AGEC, the local company that manages the public residential buildings gave support to gather and analyse the data of 10 buildings where an intervention for the improvement of energy efficiency was deemed necessary. The calculator on the display website in addition to the posters produced by the municipality helped the company with their calculations.

_ The installation of a co-generation unit in one building and the arrangement for green energy installation measures should lead to an improvement of the buildings by about 1 class (from F-G to E-F). The actual consumption of liquid gas for hot sanitary water and heating is around 340.440 Nm³ annually ; the calculated saving will be around 59.000 Nm³ annually, which means a saving of 17.34%. We will have a total annual saving of 115,64 CO2 Tons in the atmosphere.
Press conference and launch of the Display Campaign (November 2005) _

_ During the conference, the Energy Manager Riccardo Tardiani introduced the audience to the Display® Campaign explaining its objectives and the Display®-related activities undertaken by the city of Verona. For illustration, Display® posters were shown.

_ The conference was attended by the Mayor, the councillor for the environment, the General Manager of the Municipality of Verona, journalists and people responsible for the management of municipal buildings.

_ 20 posters were presented by projector in the town hall, Palazzo Barbieri, and lately in the Museum of Sciences and the 8th town district.

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Natural History Museum

“Settimana ambiente”, a week dedicated to the environment” (March 2006) In the framework of the "Settimana ambiente", various activities were undertaken. Display® Posters of schools and other buildings were hung up. Public awareness was raised with the help of specially designed Posters “What is Display” and “Display campaign in the schools”. On the occasion of the general conference, the energy manager presented the Display® Campaign and the TCA Award via a Power point presentation. Among the public was the councillor for environment, several private companies involved in the building business as well as Mr Sandro Picchiolutto a strong Display and Energie-Cités promoter.

_ A Display® poster was temporarily presented in the Building of Gran Guardia.
“Maggio scuola” – May, the month of schools (May 2006)
"Maggio scuola" is an event that, already for the seventh time, involves schools throughout Italy. The theme of "Maggio scuola" treated by schools in Verona this year was the electromagnetic pollution.

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_ In the framework of this project, space has been reserved for the Display® Campaign. In order to promote Display in the schools, Display-Posters of the schools and of other buildings were hung as well as Posters prepared by the students illustrating the measures undertaken by them and exposing the analysis of the collected data. In addition, toys running on solar energy were exhibited.

_ Legambiente – which is an important NGO dealing with environmental themes in Italy – prepared the final show for the schools.
Educational activities in schools (September 2005 to May 2006) The activities in schools that took place from September 2005 to the end of May 2006 involved a total of 1000 pupils.

_ In each of the four schools, Legambiente Veneto organised three general meetings and several lessons for each class.

_ The measures were divided in three phases :

_ In the first phase, meetings were held by Legambiente in all the four schools with the objective of informing the children about general environmental issues and more specifically energy.

_ In the second phase, which was aimed at the involvement of the learners, the class leaders were responsible for measuring water, electricity and gas consumption of the school. They also had to regularly measure the room and the outdoor temperature of the school building using thermometers provided by the municipality. The temperatures had to be noted down each day in an especially distributed display-calendar. Furthermore, every class participating in the campaign had to measure the temperature of their class-room every day to become aware of their heating use.

_ In the third and last phase, the results of the measurements were analysed and discussed with the teacher.

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“Mi illumino di meno” Day (16th of February 2006) A highlight during the year was the anniversary of the signing of the Kyoto Protocol on 16th of February.

_ To attract the attention of citizens, the Administration decided that for one day they would turn off the lights of the most important building in the city : the Arena. For the occasion, all the students involved in the Display Campaign were presented with an energy saving bulb, as a prize for the engagement of learners. This initiative was partly sponsored by AGSM.
Benefits The students are considerably more conscious of the issue of energy saving, than they were at the beginning of the activities. They are also aware of the importance of their own individual contribution to achieving improved energy consumption. They expressed their will to continue with the initiative next year.

_ In order to continue the education of the students for energy issues, the idea was brought up to install a meter in the schools, visible to everyone. With the help of this meter, different consumptions could be compared from one year to another, checking if the students’ behaviour has led to concrete energy savings.
Costs Staff of the Municipality + around 6000 for materials and various activities of Legambiente.
Reason for inclusion as Shining Example First and foremost, the activities of Verona are outstanding because of the exemplary cooperation with local actors. In particular, the City Council of Verona played on the information resources of their partners (AGSM and Agec) regarding data about buildings. Furthermore, the didactic activities conducted by Legambiente in schools played an important role for the learning process of the children. These could not have been provided by the Council itself.

_ Secondly, the idea of approaching a totally new target group, that is to say children in primary schools, is innovative and trend-setting.

_ Maximise the impact of a Display event through use of the media

Partnership details

Partners & roles Established relations with local energy agencies and Legambiente as well as the cooperation between the different departments of the City Council turned out to be a key element for the success of the measures undertaken.

Recommendations

Achievments The PR-activities organised by the City Council resulted in two main benefits.

_ The first one is the growing visibility of Display. Posters of buildings attract the public and motivate building and energy managers to improve the performance of their buildings.

_ The second one is the change in behaviour of the pupils. The strategy to focus on young people has been a great success. The experiences made, confirm that in general younger students show a greater involvement and engagement than adults. The pupils of the four schools involved in the campaign have shown that they assimilated the lessons and made significant efforts to analyse and observe the negative situation regarding energy consumption and thereupon to change their own behaviour.
Lessons Learned The communication campaign of Verona involved a wide range of actors. Without the contribution from local partners, the campaign would not have had the same success.

_ The wide range of supporting communication materials that were developed by the City Council and used during the campaign helped a lot in transmitting the message of Display. Besides the posters, the material included thermometers and calendars distributed in the schools, Display-Campaign Posters elaborated by the Council , a Power Point Presentation about display as well as newspaper articles.

To know more

Organisation Comune di Verona
Contact InformaEnergia - Ufficio Ambiente
Phone +39.045.8078666
Email energia@comune.verona.it
Website http://portale.comune.verona.it

Realisation

Publishing date 08/01/2007

 
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