In recent years important efforts in applying energy management processes have been focused on the building sector, which demonstrates increasing energy consumption index. It was due to the rise of this energy consumption index that the European Commission released the directive 2002/91/EC regarding the buildings’energy efficiency. This directive foresees an energy efficiency certificate for every building, setting its minimum energy requirements, according to its size in m2. The Directive had estimate a cost-effective savings potential realisable by 2010 of around 22% within the building sector – if this potential was realised, around 20% of the EU Kyoto commitment could be met. Moreover, the EU Member States had to collectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 8%, compared to 1990-levels, between 2008 and 2012.
SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC, leader in implementing building management solutions stated that the objective of its technological innovation is to integrate systems that allow its users to supervise energy consumption real-time. This permits the end user to react positively to the information and progress on reducing energy consumption, ultimately helping to protect the environment in a context of global warming. Expressing consumption kWh/m2/yea r is not very understandable for users. Better if it is done in Euros or equivalent CO2 emission information. This instantly allows the user to realise which offices or floors are the most “efficient”, and which are underperforming. This promotes forthright good practices and awareness of environmental issues such as the adaptation of human practices and habits to the climate change.
The main action of the LIFE+ 2009 GREENCITY project was to implement an electricity water and gas consumption control and management software in public buildings in the perspective of a more integrated urban management. The GREENCITY solution is coupled with intelligent electricity water and gas consumption meters. These intelligent meters will allow the software to gather necessary data to monitor the energy consumption within the equipped public buildings.The environmental hypothesis is verified through the monitoring of performance indicators – such as water consumption per person. The project established an action plan of technical and behavioural measures to be taken.
The approach to the GREENCITY project started with project activities (goal-oriented actions) rather than the general and specific objectives (action-oriented goals). While both planning strategies connect activities and their objectives or expected results, action-oriented goals (such as reducing energy consumption by up to 20% and thus reduce equivalent CO2 emissions by up to 10%.) tended to be abstract and overly ambitious compared to goal-oriented actions (for example, setting up a multi-stakeholder committee to manage a region’s resources more fairly).