A domestic energy-saving campaign in the city of Sabadell promoted co-responsibility of citizens in greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction. There was a two-month open call in 2009 to get households involved. Volunteers received smart meters for a six-month period providing instant information in terms of kWh, kg of CO2 equivalent and costs in Euros. This enabled families to monitor consumption and implement energy-saving practices. The 29 family dwellings involved were 76 to 100 m², with a contracted power/tariff of 4.4 kW and provided with a natural-gas heating system and air conditioning, consuming 8.8 kWh daily on average, or GHG emissions of 3.32 kg of CO2. Smart meters were used to characterise energy use and promote awareness raising as they are reusable and affordable at around €90/unit. Funding came from two main sources: the municipality and the Catalonian regional government.
Savings achieved by families during the six-month period came to 11.8% on a weekly comparison between the first and last weeks of the campaign. On a monthly basis, the savings were 14.3%. Expected annual CO2 savings for all 29 households is estimated to be 4.1 tonnes; projected CO2 emissions savings for 2020 are 180.6 tonnes. The project will be developed in sequential phases with an average of 30 dwellings per phase.
This campaign has shown extremely positive results in implementing energy saving projects to final domestic energy users. It can be replicated anywhere anytime, so it is universal as families or inhabitants have to improve their energy profiles by themselves. With energy market liberalisation within EU countries, this campaign is specially oriented to guiding individual energy users for tariff comprehension and selection. When replicating this experience, it would be helpful to get ‘associated’ households or families that have previous contacts to multiply the impact on daily behaviour.