May 2009 saw representatives of 7 partners from 3 countries come together in Stavanger, Norway, to plan how to engage communities and schools in the urgent need for energy efficiency. The discussion focussed on ANSWER's innovative displays of real-time emissions in schools and community centres.
These barometers will allow members of the pilot communities (ranging from whole towns to schools) to understand their current environmental impact - making
carbon visible. They will also be able to measure their progress, and compare their successes with groups in other countries. We want to see Norfolk pupils take up the challenge of matching achievements in Swedish schools, and vice versa.
This presents considerable technological challenges; ranging from collecting accurate data rapidly, to taking into account the geographical variations of weather, energy mix, etc. The meeting in Stavanger resolved most of these issues - the barometers should become reality in the near future. It also gave partners a chance to discuss how we can support those engaged by the pilots to take meaningful steps towards energy reduction, with the expansion of schools programmes and personal support being offered.
Whilst in Stavanger, we took the opportunity to meet with some of the local teachers who will be helping their students to make these changes. ANSWER's pilot barometer also made a striking addition to the international Electric Vehicle Symposium.