About 2 years ago, Ikalto Kindergarten in the Municipality of Telavi used to have wood heating that could heat up only 40% of their building in winter. The situation changed after the building alongside other facilities was rehabilitated by the EU-funded project “Biomass Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies as Sustainable Energy Solutions for Covenant of Mayors Signatories”.
With a total budget of over GEL 800 thousand, the project provided complete thermo modernization of the building, use of energy efficient technologies and other rehabilitation works. As a result, the kindergarten is finally fully heated without any need for firewood or natural gas in winter.
The EU allocated fund for installing a central heating system operating on biomass, and the kindergarten todays uses agricultural waste, particularly, the large quantities of grapevine leftovers available in the Municipality. The use of biomass annually saves hundreds of thousands of kilowatt-hours of energy and cuts the costs by 60%.
The EU gave the municipality two tractors for collecting and processing vineyard pruning residues to be used for biomass-operated heaters, thus helping to create a renewable energy supply chain. The main advantage vineyard pruning residues biomass is its combustion temperature that is 1.5-2 times higher than that of firewood, so that a ton of the biomass can replace approximately 3.6 m³ of firewood or 550 m³ of natural gas.
The director of Ikalto Kindergarten, Nino Botkoveli believes that “all the conditions have been created in the kindergarten for the children to spend the whole day in a calm, clean and comfortable environment. Achieved comfort – heating of the whole building, hot water and ventilation, especially during the winter time, will help to reduce the seasonal illness of children.”
Apart from replacing firewood with biomass, the project replaced lighting and ventilation systems to ensure energy efficiency of the building. Since the installation of energy efficient LED lights, electricity costs have decreased 5 times. A ventilation system has been provided to supply fresh air to the rooms without the need to open the windows. The solar water heater installed in the kindergarten daily provides 200 litres of water.
The project supported by the EU has been implemented by an NGO, the Energy Efficiency Centre – Georgia, in partnership with the Telavi Municipality. Alongside with creating a healthy and comfortable environment for children and the staff and reducing energy costs, such initiatives are significant in terms of the country’s energy independence.
A signatory to the Covenant of Mayors, Telavi has committed to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030, so the project is particularly important.
The EU supports the Georgian signatories of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. The project aims to help local authorities improve energy security and the quality of life, and to make them less dependent on fuel imports and greenhouse gas emissions.
Apart from the Ikalto Kindergarten, rehabilitation of Telavi #1 Kindergarten, to become the second energy efficient municipal building in the municipality is underway.