Municipality Zagorje ob Savi, Slovenia

Slovenian title: Promocijska kampanja za CSOS v javnih in vecstanovanjskih stavbah




The campaign for CSTS implementation in the area of municipality Zagorje runs in cooperation with municipality administration, the Regional Development Center (RCR) and important local players from the building sector. Main intention is informing of potential investors on available technologies and possible solutions of large solar systems for multi-family and public buildings in municipality.
For this purpose, an information point was founded on RCR, where publications, developed in the frames of SOLARGE and expert support of the Faculty for mechanical engineering, University of Ljubljana co-workers, are available. For all interested, a guided visit of the successfully operating system in Zagorje church is available.



The promotion campaign was carried out in the local community of Zagorje ob Savi. The municipality lies in the heart of Slovenia on 15th meridian east, covers an area of 147 km2 and has more than 17,000 inhabitants. The municipality of Zagorje was interested in large solar systems due to following reasons:

  • the municipality efforts for transition to cleaner energy sources, due to bad experiences with fossil fuels,

  • despite of the hilly countryside, the position of large urbanised areas is adequate for solar energy exploitation,

  • the municipality of Zagorje ob Savi is one of the most polluted areas in Slovenia, measured with air quality; this fact should stimulate the interest for reduction of fossil fuels usage,

  • a large number of multi-family and public buildings in settlements which represent a great potential for CSTS,

  • the biomass district heating in the city of Zagorje operates only in heating season,

  • rather high awareness of local population about usefulness of solar energy use.



The campaign's objectives are

  • to adapt the general promotion campaign concept, developed with SOLARGE partners, and to impact the knowledge and to disseminate CSTS in Slovenia,

  • to inform local players and the general public on possibilities of buildings solar heating and cooling,

  • motivation of local players to, in addition to other technologies for renewable energy exploitation, handle large solar systems as efficient, economically exactable devices for lowering energy use in buildings,

  • with the involvement of local actors and the use of SOLARGE tools, to develop a database of buildings suitable for CSTS installation.



Activities were carried out in following order:

  • Choice of campaign carrier

    After discussion with local actors, as carrier of the campaign the Regional Development Centre (RCR) was suggested and chosen. This organisation has adequate experts and infrastructure for promotion. They are also an important political player, not only in municipality Zagorje, where RCR is settled, but also in whole Zasavje region.

  • Choice of target groups

    Addressing of target groups is taking place from two points: true RCR and municipality Zagorje ob Savi. Last has, with ownership of companies (Stanovanjsko podjetje Zagorje ob Savi, Komunalno podjetje Zagorje) possibility to stimulate C

    STS installation. In addition, it can stimulate development of producers and installers of CSTS through local craft chamber.

  • Education of players

    Education took place as a part of more activities. Some of them are permanent, for example activity 1 and 2, and won’t be limited with project duration, others are occasional and adapted to concrete players demands, for example activity 4: feasibilitystudies.

    We had regular meetings for feed back info acquisition with RCR and municipality representatives.

  • Activity 1: Info point establishment

    Establishment of informational point in RCR premises is an important contribution for achieving goals of SOLARGE project. All tools and publications produced in SOLARGE project can be obtained on this info point. For solving technical questions, a connection between RCR and University of Ljubljana has been established.

  • Activity 2: Example of best case praxis visit

    We agreed with owner of the only CSTS in municipality Zagorje about organised visits of his system installed on church, which operates very well and is used for construction thermal activation. Because this system is also presented in the SOLARGE best cases database, this will increase potential investor’s interest.

  • Activity 3: campaign presentation in media

    Regional radio station KUM and television ETV are most important regional media players, therefore a 45 minutes television show was produced in the SOLARGE project frame. It was advertised on radio KUM and ETV.

  • Activity 4: Feasibility studies

    In the frames of promotion campaign, three feasibility studies were produced for buildings suggested from University of Ljubljana and confirmed from interested player (KOP). Two multifamily buildings were selected, and both are heated with district heating on wood biomass. »Polje« building already has central system for hot sanitary water preparation, but it is heated with electricity in the summer time. In »Ulica talcev« building, residents use local electrical boilers. In both cases we substitute high exergy systems with low exergy ones. Third study was made for future youth centre which will be, after architectural and energy renovation, a passive building. Solar system will be used for sanitary water heating, but building will be heated by thermally activated construction with geothermal water from abandoned mine. Detailed studies are presented on SOLARGE website under Tools for professionals.


Financial resources and partners

Less successful part of promotion campaign. Because this is a relatively small local community, all investments are planned in advance and included in yearly budgets. Political will exists for ensuring financial support for CSTS builders, but local community conditions it with national subsidy scheme existence. Local community supported its own activities in 2007 in the frame of promotion campaign, which is estimated to be 2,000 €. In the 2008 budget proposal, they have foreseen 10,000 € for preparation of documentation for projects execution.



As most important campaign result, we can regard increased interest of local politicians, significant economy players and general public about possibilities to harvest solar energy with large solar heating systems. All actors were actively involved in the campaign and local community earmarked means for solar energy exploitation in its budget for the first time. On the basis ob feasibility studies, carried out in the frame of SOLARGE project, local community acquired European funding of two CSTS, which are supposed to be build in 2009.

Although almost all partners are municipality owned, their actions were not harmonised. We can count among successes of the campaign that we managed to link and establish cooperation between important local players, so they will work together on other efficient energy use projects in the future.

Another important achievement is active involvement of Regional Development Centre. Up to now, it was not engaged in the field of sustainable energy, but now it became active on this field also. Field of activities will be focused on efficient use of energy as well as on renewable energy sources, and that stresses SOLARGE project multiplicative effects. One can say, that on the local level RCR is a player, who will most effectively connect local players interests, who were not connected and were virtually competitive to each other. Due to the fact, that RCR operates regionally, we can expect further dissemination of knowledge about CSTS on wither area of its competence.

First results of these dissemination were already achieved with presentation of SOLARGE project to consultant of development energy activities of Trbovlje Hrastnik mine, which was carried out by University of Ljubljana representatives. We expect that in the future RCR will be coordinator of these activities.

Municipality Zagorje together with University of Ljubljana will carry out education of it’s employees about new European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which will be accepted in Slovenian law order in 2008 and new regulations about efficient use of energy in buildings. These regulations will also include judgement of CSTS installation. New regulation is, despite of Ministry for environment and special planning representatives assurance not yet published, so there was some shift of activities (most probably in first half of the year 2008). These activities will be co-financed from local community.

Side product of SOLARGE project is local community intention to open local energy office. It is aware, that public awareness is important and that political decisions for stimulating financial measures can be made on that basis.

We established local media interest and encourage them to more systematic approach in public awareness rising about efficient use of energy and renewable energy sources.


Lessons learnt and repeatability 

It was found out, that awareness of local community political actors is a key issue, and that the lack of technical knowledge is only one of the obstacles for CSTS implementation. Local community’s annual budgets are passed for year or two in advance, which means, that implementation of new, unknown technologies is a lasting process.

To achieve successfulness of such campaigns, subsidy schemes are essential. In the case of selected community, these didn’t exist in, nor did local decision makers think of them. Re-establishment of subsidy scheme on the national level would definitely help in shaping similar measures on local level. One can expect that realisation of goals defined in National position paper for Slovenia will have multiple effects.

We learned, that campaign carrier selection is very important and that it must be selected among local partners in order to have greater impact.


Contact for more information

Prepared by
Ciril Arkar
Sašo Medved
Jure Vetršek
Suzana Domjan

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Center for Energy and Environmental Technologies
Askerceva 6
1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Tel: +386 1 4771421
Fax: +386 1 2518567



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