German-Belgium Twinning continued in Biovallée, France
From 10th till 12th June 2014 the twins Aller-Leine-Valley and Province of Luxembourg reconvened for a second study tour in Biovallée,France. The project of interest: the Dorémi. Put in a nutshell, Dorémi is an operational tool for the energetic renovation of private houses. The concept seeks to train building companies in carrying out high-quality thermal renovation with the aim of achieving Class A energy consumption for private houses. With this study tour the learning territory, Province of Luxembourg, pursues to find out in how far the concept of Dorémi could be transferred and applied to its own regional context.
A taste of French Best-Practice
DOREMI is run and applied in 102 communes in the Biovallée. The professional building associations CAPEB (professional association for craftsmen in the building sector) and FFB (French building federation), the négaWatt Institute and Néopolis are experts in providing training on sustainable development. In a joint endeavor they offer professionals’ training in how to achieve high-quality energy-efficient renovation. Moreover, the associations offer house owners free of charge advice, when carrying out renovation works. Biovallée as a region offers help in compiling the paperwork that provides the basis for requesting financial assistance.
The overarching aim of the project is to renovate 100 private houses per year up to 2015 and then 600 after 2020, in order to contribute halving energy consumption in the region. The operation intends to generate 150 jobs per annum and €1,260,000 p.a. in VAT, while reducing households’ exposure to the vagaries of the energy market.
Knowledge exchange at Écosite du Val de Drôme
The Twinning consortium consisting of 10 persons participated in a 2-day event on knowledge exchange about the Dorémi project.
DAY 1: The group got first introduced to the ambitious sustainable energy policy in Biovallée with a special focus on thermal renovation as well as to the background and motivation of the project. In the afternoon the group took part in a guided tour to three project sites, where the participants were familiarized with the technology, the financing concept and long-time planning. The private house owners were present at the project sites and were happy to share their personal experience with the project with the German-Belgium study group. In the evening the twins met key politicians and experts from the region for dinner to engage in a more personal knowledge and experience exchange.
DAY 2: The study tour closed with an expert workshop session. Here the Belgium team got the opportunity to scrutinize in more detail in how far a concept like the Dorémi could be implemented to the Province of Luxembourg.
Picture: Day 1: Site visits in Biovallée. Introduction to technology. The Twinning team is being introduced to the measures and technology of the Dorémi project by visiting actual project sites and meeting the house owners and craftsmen involved.
Picture: Day 1: Site visits in Biovallée. Introduction to the process. The Twinning team is being introduced to the measures and process of the Dorémi project by visiting actual project sites and meeting the house owners and craftsmen involved.
Lessons Learned for the “Learning Territory”? - Conclusions for the Province of Luxembourg
What has been learnt from the Biovallée?
One key lesson learnt for the Belgium Twinning-team was to realize that an actual implementation of a project like the Dorémi strongly depends on the following elements:
- a strong and clear political commitment
- a mobilization of financing partners
- a mobilization of house-owners
- a good communication plan
- a clear selection of pilot sites/ private houses
- a mobilization of craftsmen
- an identification of a territorial moderator and trainer
- a financial contract
- the foundation of a training programme for craftsmen.
What is the most important lesson from the Aller-Leine-Valley in this context?
Although the Aller-Leine-Valley was not chosen as destination of this study tour, its experience and advice was useful again for the learning twin: The concept of the Dorémi would work even stronger if it got inspired by the communicative strengths and the strong label of the Aller-Leine-Valley. Without such a measure to raise awareness among citizens and house-owners it is difficult to win sufficient support for the tool to be sucessful.
What would be the benefits for the Province of Luxembourg to replicate the principles of the Dorémi project ?
The Belgium team was impressed by the effectiveness of the Dorémi project. By the end of the study tour there was consensus among tour participants that a similar project would bring several advantages to their region:
- a sustainable economic potential for local businesses and jobs in the region
- the development of sustainable eco-friendly products
- a raised value of private houses through renovation
- a smart financing concept for a sustainable policy.