In addition, solar panels were installed on the facade of the building. And the «icing on the cake» was the installation of a demonstration stand with a bicycle generator in the lobby of the building. Anyone could pedal and see on the monitor how much energy they managed to produce.
During the implementation of the project, we encountered a number of administrative and bureaucratic obstacles, primarily related to the shortcoming of the regulatory framework. The Law of Ukraine on Energy Efficiency creates the most liberal procedure for balancing such works (performed at the expense of material and technical assistance), but bylaws have not yet been brought into line with the law. There are still some contradictory points in the regulations that can perplex the process as much as possible.
But, after all, we overcame all difficulties. And not in last place because the Ministry of Regional Development contributed to solving the situation. In fact, it, as the leader of the whole affair, decided, as they say, to «experiment on themselves» and show how this can be done so that other ministries and authorities have a clear example of implementing similar projects and solutions, including legal issues. Interaction with the authorities
In all projects, cooperation with the authorities was an integral part. Without it, to be honest, nothing could have happened in principle. More than once I heard the opinion: the authorities are not capable of anything. You know, they do not have the resources, motivation, competence and so on. I strongly disagree. Because the people, motivated by a certain interest, work in the governments. For some it is political logic (to be re-elected for the next term), for others it is a vocation, for others it is a thirst for professional self-realization. So, knock on the door - you will always be opened. I have seen this many times from my own experience.
One of the brightest examples is Okhmatdyt Hospital. We carried out work on insulation of the attic: these works were provided by our project, but the repair of the roof - no. And in order to patch the holes in the roof so that the rain would not flood our insulation, we addressed the Lviv Regional Council. Funds from the regional budget for these works were allocated as quickly as possible. This is just an example of such synergy.
Establishing productive cooperation with the authorities should be one of your priorities. Look for motivated and proactive. In essence, these criteria can influence the choice of the community in which you will implement the project.
We were lucky: often the mayors and heads of regional administrations were the first to contact us, involving us in their activities. The willingness of the authorities to be active participants in projects is always perceived as a positive signal for grant makers. They are willing to allocate funding for such projects. Not limited to the authorities
Even if you get on with the authorities perfectly, you should not neglect communication with local communities and the final beneficiaries of the project. It can be residents of the street, residents of condominiums, schoolchildren, library staff, parents ...
All of them should be well informed about the benefits that the project will provide. Especially when it comes to the deployment of any construction. From the situation in large cities, we see that residents are very cautious of any work in the historic city center. Therefore, the beginning of any project must be very well communicated.
It also matters if, for example, the authorities at some stage «lose tone» and interest in the project. This often happens after elections - with a change of government, when the new elected officials do not want to proceed with the projects of their forerunners. In this case, motivated local communities form a certain social demand for power and serve as a kind of «stimulus». That is, in fact, playing on your reinforcement. Our experience
The Eastern Europe Foundation is always open to cooperation. In fact, each of our projects contains an informational and educational component. Somewhere we work with the final beneficiaries (schoolchildren, residents, patients, children) - we hold lectures, develop board games on environmental issues, arrange excursions, arrange demonstration classes in schools.
But it is no less important that we ensure the exchange of experience at the expert and power levels. We hold thematic forums, speak at public events, conduct training for employees of public utilities, etc. After all, our task is not so much to modernize the facilities themselves (although this is certainly quite important), but to create the conditions for the multiplication of such practices.
By the way, we are currently preparing a forum for mayors - we want to create a platform where they can share with each other their success stories, talk about problems and ways to solve them. You can stay up to date with our news on the website of the Eastern Europe Foundation https://eef.org.ua and on the Facebook page: https://fb.com/eef.org.ua