A five-party consortium designed and developed a mobile, flexible and "on-the-spot" information centre - the Polish Energy Bus - to provide energy-related information, display energy technologies, hold workshops and train key personnel throughout Poland. The Energy Bus was officially opened to the public on September 10th, 2003 and is touring across Poland according to a previously defined route until August 2005. The Energy Bus visits cities, towns and small municipalities where it can be visited by the public during its opening hours.
In addition to disseminating information and displaying technologies, the experts accompanying the Energy Bus are conducting workshops and seminars on specific topics for targeted audiences (e.g. local business, school children, municipal employees) and training personnel. The main funder of the project is the European Commission in the framework of the SAVE II programme.
|The outside of the Polish Energy Bus||The inside of the Polish Energy Bus|
The Polish Energy Bus is an overwhelming success. Since its start in September 2003, the bus has visited over 200 municipalities in Poland, attracted over 50,000 visitors and organised about 35 seminars and workshops on energy related topics in the framework of local or national events such as the annual Poleko fair for environmental technology in Poznan. This means that the Energy Bus has visited twice the number of municipalities compared to the original project proposal and reached well over three times the number of individuals. In addition, many more requests by municipalities to book the Energy Bus cannot be honoured due to the ending of the project at the end of August 2005.
Of the visitors, 76% stated to be interested in the Energy Bus for private use, 24% for professional reasons and for 9% the Energy Bus is the first ever contact with energy related topics.
The main topic of interest is energy efficiency with 65%. Renewable energies are interesting for over 50% of the visitors divided up according to: 54% solar energy, 34% wind, 30% water and 23% biomass (multiple answers were possible).
Almost all visitors intend to use the knowledge gained from the Bus. 29.7% stated that they want to implement measures immediately, while 55.9% stated that this would take place some time in the future.
Only 0.9% declared that they would definitely not use the information at all. In addition, the majority of visitors intend to spread the information they gained within their own environment. The most frequently mentioned intended improvements were: use of solar energy, heating based on renewable energy sources, purchase of energy efficient light bulbs and basing purchasing decision of household equipment on the energy efficiency of the equipment according to the EU labelling scheme.
Due to the active dissemination activities by all project partners and the media patronages that were negotiated, the Energy Bus is well known throughout Poland. Especially the production and airing of a 30-second TV spot on the Energy Bus on regional TV prior to the Bus's arrival in the region has proved very successful in attracting attention for the bus. Nearly 20% of the visitors stated to have heard about the Energy Bus from TV, with the remainder coming from newspaper advertisements (15.1%), posters (14.8%), friends, (11.7%), website (10.7%), radio (5.7%) and other (36.6%).
Given that this project focuses on education/information of end-users, the actual savings in energy and CO2 etc. cannot be estimated. However, there are a number of long term benefits: