County Durham energy saving work shown off to Swedes

Durham County Council staff with representatives of the Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden

A Scandinavian delegation has visited County Durham to learn about pioneering energy efficiency techniques.

A team from Sweden has visited sites owned and managed by Durham County Council to see first-hand the innovative software it employs to reduce energy use, and is now promising to roll out some of what it learnt back home.

The local authority uses energy management software to monitor, online, usage of utilities like water, electricity and gas across its sites.

This process has allowed the council to easily identify waste and save thousands of pounds in energy bills.

The Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden learnt of County Durham’s trailblazing use of the software after reading an online article in which it was hailed as an example of good practice.

The team was so impressed it arranged a visit to learn more.

The visit was arranged through the European Union’s Interreg Europe LOCARBO project, in which the council is the UK’s sole partner.

LOCARBO is a partnership programme which seeks to improve the energy efficiency of businesses in not just County Durham but Italy, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania and Portugal by exchanging best practice and experience.

The visit saw the team from County Durham giving its Swedish visitors an overview of how it reduces energy use as well as talking through LOCARBO projects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Lena Eckerberg, development manager at the agency, said: “We chose to visit Durham and look at the energy management software which has been highlighted as a very good example.”

The agency is jointly owned by all municipalities and regions in the south east of Sweden.

Elias Kristmansson, from Borgholm Municipality, added:“It was interesting to find out how to communicate and visualise energy use. We will pick up a lot of the ideas introduced in Durham and introduce something similar in Borgholm.”

Helen Grayshan, who manages the council’s Business Energy Efficiency Project, said: “We’re really pleased that our work in saving energy through careful monitoring has been recognised by partners in Europe and that we were able to share our knowledge with them. We look forward to hearing about them implementing similar systems in Sweden.”

The online article which prompted the Swedish interest in County Durham’s use of the software can be viewed at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/policylearning/good-practices/item/1616/systemslink-energy-management-software-at-durham-county-council/

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