Tuesday, 07 June 2016 09:14

Free energy audits

With temperatures rising across the island, energy consumption for cooling is once again becoming a concern. To help Cyprus families with children cut their energy consumption, an EU programme offers free energy audits, funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme.

In addition, workshops are held at local schools to raise awareness among the younger population, brochures distributed and information stalls put up at public events. The Family Intelligent Energy Saving Targeted Action (FIESTA) project, which started in October 2014, is now at the halfway mark, ending in September 2017. Cyprus is one of the programme partners along with Spain, Italy, Croatia and Bulgaria and info desks exist in Limassol and Larnaca as part of 19 partner institutions in these countries.

In view of the ongoing climate changes, efforts are made Europe-wide to reduce energy consumption and thus greenhouse gas emissions.

“We can all lay one small brick against climate change,” says Demetris Theoti, Head of Municipal Health Services, overseeing the Limassol programme.

Suggesting improvements to save energy

The project aims to introduce improvements in families’ daily habits to make them more energy-efficient, particularly in their use of heating and cooling systems at home.

Special attention is paid to the involvement of vulnerable consumers such as families with low income.

According to FIESTA, the programme enables families to assess their energy consumption level and get to know their consumption pattern. It helps them consider the cost-effectiveness of readapting their habits as auditors advise families on how much energy they could save and how easily this can be done by simply changing behaviour patterns in their everyday lives.

Investing in more energy efficient appliances

The energy audits also guide families towards more informed investment decisions, providing them with the latest information on energy-saving, efficient technologies.

“Whether they take simple steps or make larger investments to improve their home energy efficiency, families will see lower energy bills.”

“Over time, savings will typically pay for the cost of improvements and put some money back in their pockets. Changing your old appliances for new, more energy efficient ones could lead to savings up to €800 throughout their lifespan,” says Fiesta.

EU energy labels which are now mandatory for all electric appliances sold in the EU are good indicators.

The energy efficiency of an appliance is rated in terms of a set of energy efficiency classes from A to G on the label, A being the most energy efficient, G the least efficient.

In an attempt to keep up with advances in energy efficiency, A+, A++ and A+++ grades have been introduced for various products. The labels also give other useful information to the customer such as annual consumption, capacity and noise emitted. According to recent studies, the household sector is still responsible for 29% of final energy consumption, despite improved energy efficiency across Europe over the last few years. Heating and cooling account for around 66% of the total energy use at home, thus becoming the largest energy expense for most families.

Practical energy saving tips provided

An energy audit is carried out by a qualified engineer who will analyse the building, the installations, the energy consumption and family characteristics and habits.

He will look at all electrical appliances and factors such as insulation and double glazed windows, the age of a boiler, water saving shower heads and thermostatic mixer taps, the use of blinds and shutters to keep out direct sunlight and the use of lamps and chandeliers with multiple light bulbs. Smaller factors that often go unnoticed include: the thickness of the layer of ice in the freezer, appliances on standby, unused but plugged in chargers, non-energy saving light bulbs, left on computers and so-called ‘ghost consumption’ through appliances on standby.

Easy application procedure

Families interested in having an energy audit can find an application form online or contact the Limassol or Larnaca Municipality. They will enter a lottery to win appliances including a/c inverters, fridges, washing machines and radiators.  The waiting period for an audit is about one month. Ideally the auditor has several hours in a house at his disposal explains Limassol’s auditor, Charalambides Charis, an Electrical, Energy & Lighting Consulting Engineer.

“If less time is available, having access to previous electricity bills and a plan of the house/apartment helps a lot,” he explains.

Contact details:
Limassol Municipality Energy Help Desk, Tel 25 365497, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Larnaca Municipality, Tel 24653333, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Stratagem Energy Ltd Consulting Group, Tel: 25 246802, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Additional information, downloadable brochures and audit application forms are available via www.fiesta-audit.eu 

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of may 27, 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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