Covenant of Mayors
  Covenant Newsletter September 2011  
Harvesting local resources, benefitting the economy
Interview with István Zachariaš, Mayor of Moldava nad Bodvou, Slovakia. Moldava nad Bodvou joined as a Covenant of Mayors Signatory as early as May 2008, having now moved into the implementation phase of its Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP). Located in the Košice Region of eastern Slovakia, the city lies in a territory with remarkable potential in the area of exploitation of renewable energy sources. Measures in this field thus constitute an important dimension of the city’s SEAP and a key driver to the local economy In an interview with the Covenant of Mayors Office, Moldava nad Bodvou’s Mayor shows how investment in renewable energy can be a job and wealth creator for the city.

Investment in renewable energy sources is key to achieving corresponding GHG emission reductions. Could you outline some of the city’s key measures in this field?

Moldava nad Bodvou is a small town which lies in the Region of Košice, Slovakia, home to an estimated 10, 000 inhabitants. Our first measures in the field of CO2 emission reduction date back to 2005.

One of our early endeavours was the operation of the local district heating system, which now supplies an estimated 2, 100 flats in our town. To reduce our dependence on coal, we commissioned the construction of a cogeneration power plant, supplying the city both with district heating and municipal public lighting.

In the residential block of flats owned by the municipality, thermal insulation work has been carried out by the buildings trustees and administrators, along with the set-up of thermostatic controllers.

In the city area, we installed new photovoltaic power plants, a biomass power plant is now under construction and a biogas station is to be operational by early 2012.

Recently, we approved plans for the construction of a single transport terminal which is to merge all means of passenger transportation (including rail and road transport lines, cycleways and other individual means of transport). The project also foresees the electrification of railway transport within the Košice region.

What have been the economic and job creation impacts associated with these investments?

The thermal insulation work I mentioned before has led to the creation of numerous business opportunities for smaller companies and consultants located in the territory of Moldava nad Bodvou and its surroundings.

With easier access to small contracts, construction companies were presented with more opportunities to recruit new staff. As a collateral benefit, households also experienced a decrease in heating costs.

The construction of photovoltaic power plants resulted in the creation of new direct (e.g., maintenance men) and indirect (e.g., security guards) jobs in the city.

Likewise, the on-going construction of the new transport terminal is set to bring long-lasting economic and social benefits to the city. Apart from the creation of new jobs in the fields of rail and road transport, inhabitants from the Košice region will benefit from new transport connections and reduced ticket fares.

How do you raise your citizens’ awareness of the benefits of these renewable energy projects? What specific measures have you put in place to encourage households to move towards a more efficient and responsible use of energy?

Shortly after we signed the Covenant of Mayors, the city launched a series of campaigns aimed at raising citizens’ awareness in the field of renewable energy resources. On the occasion of several events such as the Mobility Days, we invited experts and companies to set up stands and showcase their latest technologies. Municipal staff was also present on this occasion to inform and advice consumers and households about the concept of passive house retrofit and low-energy consumption.

In the same spirit, Moldava nad Bodvou entered into an agreement with an energy consultancy, with the objective of providing information and counselling to the general public on how to bring down heating costs, capitalise on renewable energy investments and construct new buildings according to low-energy standards.

Last but not least, we recently started to lay down the conditions for participating in an annual award to be granted to households demonstrating the most efficient use of alternative energy sources.

    >> Covenant Monthly Newsletter September 2011 <<
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  The sole responsibility for the content of this newsletter lies with the Covenant of Mayors Office. It does not necessary reflect the opinion of the European Union. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The Covenant of Mayors was set up with financial support of the European Commission and consists of five associations of European local authorities: Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, Eurocities, CEMR, Fedarene, and ICLEI Europe.

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