Nottingham City Council is taking part in a new project looking at how people and technology can work better together to reduce the energy demand within its building buildings to further reduce running costs and minimise their carbon footprint.

The Council has been actively investing in energy efficiency and generating technologies across its buildings to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions stemming from their operations. Last year alone the Council invested £400,000 in over thirty energy saving projects to bring about annual savings of £100,000 with an average project payback of less than four years.

It is widely recognised that how people use a building and its technologies can have a significant impact on the building’s energy bills however encouraging people to be more energy efficient is a challenge faced by many organisations and businesses.

The Council is now looking at how people who work and visit their buildings can be more energy efficient and only use the energy they need.

To further understanding of effective behaviour change, the Council has joined the eTEACHER Project, working in collaboration with twelve partners across six European countries to see how people and technology can work better together to reduce the energy demand within their buildings.

The project will develop tools to raise awareness of energy efficiency by building users and make it easier for the people there to be more energy efficient. Twelve Pilot buildings across Europe will receive new technologies and training for the people who use them. The overall goal of the project is to encourage a behavioural change in energy end-users to achieve energy bill savings and improve the buildings’ comfort to support health and wellbeing.

The project will develop bespoke packages based on the buildings purpose and the types of people using them. A broad variety of building types in different climatic conditions (UK, Spain and Romania) will be included in the pilots to ensure a comprehensive model is developed.  The project aims to bring about an annual energy reduction of 10% for the pilot buildings.

At the end of the project, the Council will have a better understanding of how people use energy within their buildings and how technologies can be better utilised to ensure that the buildings are adequately heated or ventilated whilst also being as energy efficient as possible.

Buildings in Nottingham that will be included in the trial are The Council House and Djanogly City Academy. The Council House will be particular challenge due to its listed nature. If the pilots are successful, the technologies will be rolled out across other heritage buildings and schools in Nottingham.

City Council Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability, Councillor David Liversidge, said: “This project is a great opportunity for us to learn more about how we use our buildings and how our behaviour can positively impact energy bills and the environment.

It supports our ambitions to reduce carbon emissions that arise from our operations, reduce our operating costs and to help improve air quality for the city”.

Find out more about the project