The European Campaign for Smart-energy Buildings, aiming at investing smartly in energy efficiency and renewable energy for the building sector, was launched on 24th of May 2011. The campaign invites citizens, building owners, and public authorities to interact, get informed and act to create smart energy buildings. Based on the Obama presidential campaign, ‘Smart-e Buildings’ is unique since it uses social media to mobilise and empower people. The Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Commission supports the campaign.
Smart-e buildings aims to exploit the huge energy-saving potential of the building sector. The sector currently represents 40% of the EU’s energy consumption, which is even more than other energy intensive sectors such as transport sector. This massive untapped potential of the building sector to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions needs to be exploited if Europe wants to meet its short and long term energy and climate goals, the 3×20% described in the EU Climate and Energy Package (1) .
Reaching these objectives requires the involvement of all actors from legislators, to building professionals, to building owners. This is the reason why, local authorities networks and the European building, energy efficiency and renewables industries have joined forces and created innovative communication tools to invite people to “take their energy back” for the sake of energy-efficient buildings. The campaign’s webportal gives owners of both public and private buildings, public authorities and citizens access to targeted and practical information on the refurbishment and construction of energy-efficient buildings, thus enabling them to take action and invest smartly in their buildings.
Toolkits, a collection of good practices and RSS feeds from precious sources will be completed by information on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. People will have the possibility to share knowledge by uploading their own good practices, starting discussions and showing support for the campaign. And to continue the Smart-e Buildings mobilisation campaign “offline”, a network of national and European Parliamentarians has been set up. Local authorities will be invited to spread the message and encourage investments in buildings via local campaigns. The mobilisation campaign will continue for at least two years and the website will stay live even afterwards.