Clean Energy Brigades in the Czech Republic
The Clean Energy Brigade, led by the local NGO Hnuti DUHA
Rainbow Movement, is a project to promote energy-saving and conservation by
directly installing energy-efficient technologies in homes and public
buildings. The activities are based on co-operation with municipalities and
provide the following services to participating building owners:
- Installing window and door insulation
- Placing insulating and reflecting pads behind radiators
- Inserting insulating tubes for heating systems
- Installing compact fluorescent light bulbs
According to research accumulated after the winter of 1994-95
in the areas served by the Clean Energy Brigades, the average energy saving is
20% of the former consumption. This improvement saves the country the expense
of and emissions from 1,350 tons of coal every year.
The cost of the insulation materials is covered either by the
building owners or by funds provided by following organisations: The
Environmental Partnership, The Slunicko Foundation, PHARE, The Regional
Environmental Centre, Stichting Doen, The United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), The US Peace Corps.
The return on investment for customers has been calculated at
less than two years. But, as the project is partially financed by customers'
contributions, the major difficulty currently faced is lack of money in the
municipal sphere. This holds back activities in public buildings: school,
kindergardens, city halls, and flats owned by municipalities.
Recently, though, the municipalities are beginning to show
greater initiative. With increasing frequency, they are asking for technical
and educational support rather than for direct technical help. In particular,
they are requesting training seminars for unemployed residents of the area on
installing energy-efficient technologies.