The Energy Caravan comes to Luxembourg
The municipality of Strassen (LU) brings energy consultations to its neighbourhoods
Like other EU countries, Luxembourg is missing its climate targets in the building sector. The current renovation rate of 0.7 – 1% is significantly lower than the target of 3%. It quickly became clear to Climate Alliance Luxembourg that energy efficient retrofits must be promoted in a quick and efficient way. Since 2021, the team has been working to bring fesa e.V. and Climate Alliance’s successful Energy Caravan campaign byto Luxembourg. In May 2023, the first edition was carried out in the municipality of Strassen – with great success!
"With the Energy Caravan, we can reach a broad public and raise awareness for energy efficient retrofits. The campaign allows for a systematic and sustainable approach, it can be replicated and in the long run, it allows for independent implementation by cities and towns of any size. These arguments convinced us of the Energy Caravan", explains Pol Straus, coordinator of Climate Alliance Luxembourg’s Energy Caravan on the decision to run the campaign.
Together with Jan Schwarz of Climate Alliance and Brice Mertz of fesa e.V., the campaign concept and the working materials were adapted to circumstances on the ground in Luxembourg. The core elements of the campaign remained the same: The Energy Caravan brings energy consultation to citizens' homes. "We have also retained the campaign’s neighbourhood-centric approach, but there are many municipalities in Luxembourg with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants. That is why we have also made the target neighbourhoods smaller, around 100 – 250 households, all with high potential for energy efficient retrotfits," adds Straus. The mayor then invites the residents of each target neighbourhood to the kick-off event, where the campaign is presented. Afterwards, so called “climate teams” go door to door and inform citizens about the possibilities for professional energy consultation offered by the Luxembourg energy agency, Klima-Agence. "Since the personnel capacities in municipalities are often limited, we have built on existing, mostly voluntary structures with the climate teams. The climate teams were established in Luxembourg's municipalities with the Climate Pact in 2013," explains Pol Straus. These teams then pass consultation requests from interested citizens on to the national energy agency Klima-Agence, which in turn schedules the individual consultations and informs the interested citizens about funding opportunities for energy-efficient retrofit measures.
In the municipality of Strassen, this innovative concept could then be put into practice for the first time. On 22 May 2023, the kick-off event took place with Mayor Nico Pundel. In the following weeks, the Strassen climate team took to the streets ofthe target neighbourhood, informing citizens about free energy consultation services. Around a quarter of the households approached decided to take advantage of the free consultation offer. This means that the very first Luxembourg edition of the Energy Caravan reached the reference value for a successful municipal implementation of the campaign.
Climate Alliance Luxembourg also remains convinced of the campaign's approach. The next Energy Caravan is already in the pipeline and is to be implemented in the municipality of Betzdorf from 12 October to 30 November. The success of the first Energy Caravan in Luxembourg underlines just how flexible the campaign concept is – with adaptations to national framework conditions, the Energy Caravan can thus move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, municipality to municipality and even country to country.
Want to learn more? Contact Pol Straus (pol.straus(at)oeko.lu) for questions about the Energy Caravan in Luxembourg or Jan Schwarz (j.schwarz(at)climatealliance.org) for general questions about the campaign itself.
Learn more about the Energy Caravan.
written October 2023