The project ‘Monitoring of Energy Resources and Thermal Refurbishment of Buildings Using Renewable Energy Sources’, being implemented with the European Union’s support, has been under implementation in the town of Ukrayinka, Kyiv region, since May 2018 and aims to improve local energy policy. Its cost is 1 mln. 78 thousand Euros, and 75% of the amount is provided by the European Union, while 25% – by the town.
We have had a talk with the project manager Olha Levshunova about the course of the project implementation, its special features and achievements.
Tell us about the project in brief. What will the town get from its implementation?
The project consists of several important components complementing each other. An important stage in the attainment of its objectives is complex thermal refurbishment of the Palace of Culture and Sports Complex ‘Enerhetyk’. These works will enable to use energy carriers in a more economical way, to save budgetary funds, to preserve the environment as well as will make the stay of Ukrayinka residents in those buildings more comfortable.
Installation of the automated energy monitoring system in the town’s public facilities constitutes one more project component. This system was put into operation in the town in the late 2019. Its application will enable the town to save energy resources and to control their spending.
Popularizing of economical treatment of energy resources, drawing attention to the issues of environment conservation among the town residents also constitutes an important part of the project. With this in view we hold Energy Days every autumn, involve Ukrayinka residents in the discussion of energy efficiency topics via local mass media, social media, events held.
What energy–efficient technologies are used in the project implementation?
The project intends to install solar collectors for heating the water people going in for sports in Sports Complex ‘Enerhetyk’ premises will be using on the roof of the Sports Complex. And solar panels that will partially cover energy needs of the building will be installed on the roof of the Palace of Culture.
What difficulties arise in the project implementation in Ukrayinka?
The first difficulty our team was faced with was the change of local authorities during the project implementation. Respectively, we had to establish relations with new people, explain the essence and importance of the project to them, tell about its special features, its importance for the reputation of the town. We believe that we have coped with the task since, despite everything, the project is going on and all the measures planned are taken by the clear deadlines. Now the town is involved in the process of amalgamated territorial community shaping, therefore, we, the same as other towns, are in for a regular local election in autumn. We hope that these political events will bring no significant turmoil for our project and we will manage to successfully complete it.
Another special feature is the fact of dismantling of the bas-relief that was located on the façade of Sports Complex ‘Enerhetyk’ thermal refurbishment of which is a part of the project. For many of us this bas-relief used to be a certain symbol of the town, one of the ordinary things that existed in its routine daily life for many years. However, that is all about security. And here the issue of security, life and health of the town residents is in the first place. The bas-relief was in emergency condition and was beyond repair, as experts confirmed. It had to be removed, in spite of all the sadness and nostalgia. The Town Council made a survey among the town residents as to what should be placed there instead of the dismantled bas-relief, and the residents got actively involved in the discussion. We hope that the decision passed will satisfy most of them.
Also, during thermal refurbishment of buildings there arise some problematic issues with design documents that were hard to predict before the works were commenced. We are trying to efficiently settle them for the project to confidently keep moving on.
At what stage is the project now? What has already been done and what remains to be done?
As I have already mentioned, in the late 2019 an automated energy monitoring system was installed and put into operation in the town’s public facilities. Respective equipment was installed in the secondary general education school No.1 and No.2 of the town of Ukrayinka, kindergartens ‘Khorovod’ and ‘Sonechko’, wrestling gym, the premises of Ukrayinka Town Council, Sports Complex and Palace of Culture. Automatic monitoring provides for the system of sensors and meters that enable to automatically transfer all the energy resources use figures to the dispatch centre (to the town’s energy manager) located in the Executive Committee of Ukrayinka Town Council. That makes life easier for the staff of those institutions who used to take the readings manually.
The system of automated energy resources monitoring enables to quickly identify overcosts and emergencies, minimize energy carrier spending, improves the efficiency of equipment settings, removes human factor during primary data collection, ensures efficiency of data collection and detects emergencies in the grids.
An important stage in the attainment of the project objectives is complex thermal refurbishment of the Palace of Culture and Sports Complex ‘Enerhetyk’. To get clear as to what thermal refurbishment works need to be performed, a technical examination and an energy audit have been conducted. On the basis of their results experts have approved energy-efficiency measures to be implemented in these buildings. We have done all documentary works for these two facilities: design and estimate document development and their examination.
Since April works have been going on in Sports Complex ‘Enerhetyk’. Window systems have already been replaced there with energy-saving ones, injection of fissures in the brick walls has been performed, priming, reinforcement and placement of leveling plaster on the external surface of walls, the socle has been insulated and the lightning protection of the buildings has been arranged. Partially the façade has been insulated and painted. Also, the repairs of the roof above the gym of the complex have been 95 % completed. The works are going on, and they are expected to be completed by autumn.
Now we are getting ready for announcing a tender to select the performer that will perform thermal refurbishment of the Palace of Culture. Here water ceiling panels with radiation heating will be installed in the audience hall, air curtains will be installed in the foyer, windows and doors will be replaced with energy-saving ones. Also, it is planned to partially modernize the supply and exhaust ventilation with heat exchange, to insulate fencing structures and the basement of the building, to reconstruct the heating system, to partially upgrade the lighting system, to insulate the roof on which solar panels will be installed later, to improve the water supply system and to replace sanitary ware.
Is this the first energy efficiency project in Ukrayinka?
No, some energy efficiency projects have already been implemented in Ukrayinka. For example, joint project of the European Union and the UN Development Program ‘Community Based Approach to Local Development’. Among the towns of Kyiv region the winners of the contest that was held in 2015 within this project were two towns – Ukrayinka and Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi. In May 2015 the Cooperation Agreement between Ukrayinka Town Council and the UN Development Program (UNDP) was signed. The project was under implementation from 2015 to 2017. It helped the residents of Ukrayinka to create condominium associations. Besides that, current condominiums also got some help for performing partial capital repairs.
In 2016 partners from UNDP suggested that the town should participate in the new component – ‘Smart City’. Thanks to that our town managed to introduce two innovative projects. Over three years of cooperation between the UN Development Program and the Executive Committee of Ukrayinka Town Council 21 microprojects were implemented.
Besides that, Ukrayinka has successfully implemented two more projects supported by the European Union, but they were not related to energy efficiency issues. That is the project ‘Sustainable Urban Development’ (2010-2013) and the project ‘Access to Public Information in Small Cities of Ukraine’ (2013-2015).
What are the prospects for further cooperation of Ukrayinka and the EU? What kind of projects could these be?
I think that our town has proven to be a sustainable partner capable of attaining the goal set. There are many more problematic issues in the town, that cannot be solved by us without the assistance provided by partners and donors. For example, the building of secondary general education school No.2 requires complete refurbishment of the heating system, façade insulation and roof repairs. We also have kindergarten ‘Sonechko’ that requires reconstruction. And probably, within further cooperation there will take place the reconstruction of our quay – as a tourist recreational area on the Dnieper, that is so much loved by the town residents and guests. And there are a number of other issues that need to be solved.
I am sure that we will manage to bring everything we plan into life, since we have the main thing – love for our town and willingness to change it for the better!