One can immediately notice the local authorities’ strong commitment to energy and resource saving in the city. The Khmelnytskyi City Council established the Energy Management Department to review energy consumption in public buildings, develop recommendations and attract international technical assistance for addressing local issues. The municipally adopted the ISO 50001 Energy Management System standard.
A year ago, the Energy Management Department opened the Energy Efficiency Centre, where the residents can learn about energy saving technologies and receive consultations from specialists. It occupies a small room on the ground floor or a residential house in the downtown that accommodates the energy managers’ workplaces and offers facilities for lectures that are held for small groups from time to time.
As mentioned by Dmitro Leskiv, Deputy Head of the Energy Management Department, 20-25 residents come every month now for consultations concerning thermal upgrades of their apartments and selection of household appliances. The energy managers’ main task is to review heat and power consumption in public buildings, identify and eliminate violations. Every day, responsible persons take meter readings in each reported building and enter them into a special online programme. The daily heat and power consumption control system allows saving 5-15% of the resources a year.
The Belarusian participants could see with their own eyes the upgraded facilities and learn more about aspects of their operation. Kindergarten No. 39 adopted a system of ventilation with recuperation enabling it to improve the room air quality and save electricity.
The Belarusian participants were particularly interested in the experience of installation of a building-level district heating substation in Gymnasium No. 1 that enables it to regulate the heat medium supply depending on weather conditions and occupancy level. The room temperature is reduced at nighttime and on weekends, and raised back to the standard level by the beginning of the school day. The substation is installed by a private firm under an energy servicing control, i.e., the municipality pays the company for saved heat only, and the title to the equipment will be assigned to the Gymnasium after 6 years of operation.
On 20 September, the Belarusians took part in the international conference “Energy and Climate Transformation for Sustainable Urban Development”. The conference participants shared their experience of adoption of new solutions in the area of waste management and relations with house owners’ associations. The Belarusian side gave a presentation about the waste collection and recycling system in the city of Slonim, as well as about the local initiatives of the Strengthening the Covenant of Mayors Movement in Belarus Project, which is financed by the European Union.
The tour for representatives of Belarusian cities/towns – signatories of the Covenant of Mayors – was co-arranged by Ecopartnership International NGO, the Energy Efficient Cities of Ukraine Association and the Energy Management Department of the Khmelnytskyi City Council under the EU-financed Strengthening the Covenant of Mayors Movement in Belarus Project.