The GreenLight and Green Building EU awards, launched by the European Commission in 2000 and 2005 respectively, promote the reduction of energy consumption by public and private organisations on a voluntary basis. One of the 12 award winners in the 2010 edition of the GreenLight programme is Dagda town council in Latvia, which reduced its energy consumption in lighting by 85% after joining the initiative in 2007. In the GreenBuilding category, two of the best refurbishment projects, an office building in Austria and a secondary school in Germany, have achieved over 80% of energy savings. These initiatives count over 700 participants all over Europe, who save approximately 545 GWh each year. This is equivalent to the energy used by two mid-size European cities over the same period.
Managed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), the GreenLight and GreenBuilding programmes are voluntary schemes that invite private and public organisations to reduce their energy consumption in their premises. GreenLight encourages partners to install energy-efficient lighting, while the GreenBuilding initiative promotes improved energy efficiency in buildings through several measures such as thermal insulation, efficient heating and cooling, intelligent control systems, PV panels etc.
The two award ceremonies took place in Frankfurt on 13 and 14 April during the "Improving Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings" Conference (IEECB’10). A total of 24 participants receive awards in this 2010 edition for their results or their innovative projects. Decisions are based on their energy savings, technologies used and the sector they belong to (public buildings, retail, offices…).