The energy efficiency projects are a necessity for the educational institutions, both from the Călărași district, as well as from all over the country. Such projects will increase the quality of education, and it is also necessary to improve the conditions in which the children study. The opinions were expressed by the teachers from the Călărași district, sixty of whom participated on Thursday, February 11, in a workshop concerning the role of citizens in prioritizing energy efficiency projects at the local level.
The opinions expressed by the educators will be taken into consideration at the elaboration of the 2021-2023 Action Plan in the field of Energy Efficiency, especially when drafting the chapter concerning the public buildings of the Călărași city. In this regard, the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives “Viitorul” is conducting three workshops to define the priorities and actions to be included in the plan. The activities are part of the project “Promoting energy efficiency in Călărași district.
IDIS “Viitorul” expert, Ion Muntean, stated that Călărași already has a model of an energy-efficient educational institution, the DoReMiCii's kindergarten. He also, noted that the local authorities take important steps for the city and district to become an example with regard to the implementation of energy efficiency measures. The development of the local action plan was highlighted as an example.
Another IDIS “Viitorul” expert, Victor Parlicov, specified that presently there are many opportunities for financing energy projects, but what is necessary is more involvement and willingness to assume the implementation of such initiatives. In this context, the expert talked to participants about the role of citizens in solving energy efficiency problems at the local level.
The director of theoretical high school “Mihail Sadoveanu” from Călărași, Valeriu Gorincioi, stated that the teachers are on the frontline of promoting energy efficiency in their schools, but also that more openness is necessary to be displayed also by other actors, as showcased by the fact that there are still no specific plans for implementing energy efficiency principles in educational institutions.
The workshop participants mentioned that energy efficiency is not only about insulating the walls of an institution, but must be approached from all perspectives, tackling also the issues concerning replacement of doors, windows, roofs, heating systems, etc. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic was said to force community members to adapt to shifting energy consumption realities, as in the current situation there is a significant increase in the employment of technology, especially computers, something that is increasing the levels of consumption. The experts mentioned that computers, in general, do not consume much energy, but that the issue is, perhaps, due to the fact that machines are old. Other issues discussed during the workshop concerned the usage of led bulbs, which are efficient, but must be replaced since they are harmful to children’s eyesight. The participants also stated that, on the on-hand, energy efficiency reduces consumption and maintenance costs, and on the other hand, safeguards the health of teachers and students.
The project manager, Carolina Ungureanu, stated that the purpose of this workshop is to draw up a transparent action plan, where the opinions of citizens would be taken into consideration. She also, noted that the energy efficiency issue must be tackled in a more decisive manner because more and more difficulties arise in the public finances management sphere due to the requirements entailed by the maintenance of public buildings.
The first workshop which was held online on Thursday, February 4, was attended by about 30 high-school students from several educational institutions from the district. The second workshop will be organized on February 18, with the participation of civil society representatives.
The Institute for Development and Social Initiatives ”Viitorul” is a beneficiary of the Local Grants Program of the European Union (EU) and implements the project "Promoting Energy Efficiency in Călărași district.
The Local Grants Program of the European Union (EU) is launched based on the Single Support Framework of the European Union (EU), granted for the Republic of Moldova (2017-2020) under the European Neighborhood Instrument, through the project "Empowering citizens in the Republic of Moldova" (2019-2021), funded by the European Union and implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ Moldova).
The project implementation partners in the Central Development Region of Moldova, are the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance “AGER” and AO "HABITAT".