Training Young 'Energy Detectives' to Save at Home
On average, Turkey's 72 million people use two to three times more energy on heating, per square meter, than residents of France or Germany. With most of the country's energy imported from potentially unstable neighbors, and consumption rising by more than 4 percent a year, improving efficiency would have strategic, environmental, and economic benefit--and a program to do just that seems to have been a resounding success.Buildings--which consume almost 30 percent of Turkey's total energy use and about 40 percent of its electricity--were an obvious place to start, and the focus of the enverIPAB Project, a European Union-funded effort last year to increase public awareness about energy efficiency. Officials with the Turkish Directorate General of the Electrical Power Resources Survey and Development Administration (EIE) traveled to Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, and Spain to observe energy-efficiency strategies in those countries and then received training and support to help them create effective public-awareness campaigns back in Turkey.
Focus on kidsAdvertisements, seminars, and educational booklets were prepared to target a variety of groups, including teachers and housewives, but with a special focus on kids. “The younger the people who gain awareness on energy efficiency, the more effective the outcome," said Burçin Pamuksuz, the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey's sector manager for energy and telecommunication. Students were deputized with "Energy Detectives" ID cards and badges for doing things like turning off lights in empty rooms, making sure the refrigerator door is closed all the way, and (a bit humorously) switching off the television if their father falls asleep in front of it.
Small steps, but taking enough of them can result in an energy savings of up to 25 percent--and a contribution of 7.5 billion Turkish Liras a year to the country's economy. Via: "Turkey will save 7.5 billion TL a year through energy efficiency," Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey
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