We live in a time when construction of family homes, public buildings and business facilities is changing dramatically. Increasingly expensive energy and environmental requirements result in stricter planning permission, building regulations and installation, maintenance and operating standards. The modern construction is in all respects almost completely different from the construction a decade ago. This is why the investor (too)often doesn’t have access to the right information, doesn’t know where to look for help, who is responsible for a certain question, who is in charge, who should do what … Due to the lack of credibility of information, the investors make hasty decisions or take questionable advice from their relatives, friends, contractors or merchants.
To avoid this, we designed a portal NEP Slovenia, as a tool to facilitate decision making process. Thus, each investor can find credible, non-commercial and useful information for two key segments of each new building, which are the thermal envelope and heating of the rooms and sanitary water
The project results from an urgent need for energy efficiency (EE) and the implementation of renewable energy sources (RES) in all areas of energy use and with all stakeholders. This reduces the ecological footprint, impact on climate changes and financial depletion of the energy users (energy poverty). The users in turn experience an increase in the quality of living and knowledge, as well as promotion of voluntary work.
Why NEP Slovenia?
The user’s energy should be examined from different points of view. The best information about the functioning of the entire building or each EE and RES measure can be delivered only by the users themselves. Out of 660 buildings from all over Slovenia, the users can get the idea of the houses they would like to build or restore themselves. The question is not WHAT but HOW. By using the efficient systems and technologies, which are presented on the NEP portal and by discussing different issues with the user, 40-60% of energy can be saved in the field of general energy consumption. Different sections are designed to enlighten the secret of a new construction or a renovation of a building: articles, black spots, energy errors, videos, calculator … The NEP Slovenia portal is designed because:
- energy is too expensive to “be thrown out of the window” due to our ignorance and because we shouldn’t put an unnecessary pressure on the environment, our health and our wallets,
- it is urgent to “translate” all the sophisticated texts of different directives, resolutions, rules and laws into a user-friendly, practical language,
- we have to tell and show the investors clearly what is good and what is bad,
- it is necessary to show the contractors, supervisors and designers the differences between good and bad solutions.
Establish a publicly accessible infrastructure of diverse examples of good practice of EE and RES dwelling culture concerning individual and collective housing, commercial buildings and industrial facilities … in Slovenia which are easy to find and visit. Simplicity, transparency and usefulness are the key factors of the project and the NEP Slovenia portal.
What is it?
The National Energy Path (NEP) allows all investors to see the planned investment in EE and RES measures in real situation and gain direct experience from the users. Energy has a great influence on the quality of our lives; it is closely connected to the cost of living, operating costs, health and satisfaction …, not to mention our responsibility for the environment. A wide range of NEP’s welfare activities includes education, interest-based social interaction, volunteering and active citizenship. This principle follows a famous thought by John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
The welfare of implementation of energy culture in households is in the increased quality of living (life), lower energy costs and a smaller impact on the environment. General energy consulting achieves its goal when the prospective investor learns from the user’s experience in implementing the measures. Thus, the aggressive influence of the commercial providers, such as producers, retailers, fitters, designers and private energy consultants, decreases dramatically. Study circles have contributed significantly to the idea of NEP Slovenia. In the study circles general public learns through the mutual transfer of knowledge, experience and skills. This makes it easier to take decisions and prevent commercial providers from making decisions on their behalf.
Who is involved?
- The most important players are the owners, managers, principles or directors, who voluntarily and free of charge open the doors of energy efficient buildings or allow access to interesting energy solutions. They are willing to show all they are justifiably proud of to all interested and to share the good and the bad points of each measure with them.
- Vitra team and its contractors that have been developing the multi-level NEP Slovenia project since 2006.
- Financial support: in the years 2008 - 2009 the project NEP Slovenia was supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. In the years 2012-2013 it was supported by a donation from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union.
Who is it for?
Households that are deciding on EE and RES investment,
- institutions of formal education from primary school to university,
- organizers and participants of non-formal education,
- planners (architects, designers),
- contractors (constructors, fitters),
- retailers and energy advisors,
- managers of public and private buildings,
- politicians and professional services of the public sector
All above mentioned can, during the visit and through the discussion with the user, make it easier to decide on energy efficient investment. Besides, the students and their teachers got a practical teaching tool. The planners and contractors can refresh their knowledge by examining the good practices and they can glance at their competitors’ work. Managers, politicians and public sector employees can get the answers to the question how precisely each of the investments was planned, realized, monitored and evaluated.
How to find what I need?
The portal provides four search options:
- You enter the desired word (firewood boiler, SSE, heat pump, underfloor heating, ... or a person, place, community, address, ...) into the section searching the NEP. The result is a selection of ALL facilities in Slovenia that contain the word you are looking for. By clicking the facility you get to the page with the searched word in the text.
- In the section searching the NEP database by energy measures you choose the desired measure such as: biomass boiler, passive house, ventilation ... The result is a selection of search action from all the buildings in the database, that is, from ALL OVER Slovenia.
- Clicking on the selected region on the map of Slovenia allows you to search by REGION. As a result, you can find ALL buildings in the region, with all measures presented and listed by the measures.
- The section Advanced search, where you define the search by individual parameters, provides the most accurate search. As a result, you can get access to ALL buildings that meet the searched parameters. By clicking on the selected building, you can go to the page where the building is presented.
What was done in the first four years?
Statistics of the first four years of the portal NEP Slovenia is inspiring. We started on 11th April 2009. By 10th April 2013 there were 1,337,742 clicks from 91 countries, of which 95% from Slovenia. There were 160,827 visitors altogether, of which 92,599 (57.58%) used the portal once, while 68,228 people (42.42 %) used the portal several times.
Let us also highlight other content, temporal and quality aspects:
- first building entered (03/03/2009), now there are 660
- first news published (04/06/2009), now there are 83
- first black spot entered (23/06/2009), now there are 13
- first “energy error” entered (28/01/2010), now there are 109
- first article published (11/04/2009), now there are 73
- first question asked (20/05/2009), now there 455 questions and answers
- first 2x20 videos (16.03.2013), there are 4,896 visits up to now
- maximum number of daily visitors (04/01/2011) – 609 people
- first post on FB (29/01/2010), today there are 424 likes