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It’s ice-cold, though. A small elementary school in Stropones, Euboea, that looks like millions of buildings in Greece… an old building, really drafty, with its heating oil requirements above its annual budget. Heating oil is not the only thing they can’t afford; they are also short in money for covering other basic needs, like stationery. Children between the ages of 4-12 most of the days keep their coats on in class, as well as at home: heating oil has turned into some kind of luxury in their village.
That’s the Greek reality
Expensive oil, lack in money and an “oil-heating allowance” from tax-paying citizens that can hardly help those in need. Measures that fail to solve the problem, and even spread energy poverty across the country. There are households that have to give out as much as 70% of their income for heating this year. Inevitably, 4 out of 10 households can’t get enough money for heating oil! And how could they, since, amidst the financial depression, they are asked to heat houses with no proper insulation, with two or three times higher energy requirements than the average north-European house.
Austerity or (sustainable) development?
While there is increasing rumour that Greece will have to receive a new aid package, the Greek government is currently misusing the precious few available funds it gets from Europe in non-sustainable or irrelevant investments, such as opening up new highways and planning to build new lignite and mazout (!) power plants. We believe that in these difficult times for the Greek people, external funds (bail-out money and/or European structural funds) should be used in investments that maximise the added value for the economy and the society.
The right to heating
In every crisis there is an opportunity. The solution to this problem is energy upgrading these flimsy buildings. It is feasible, makes economic sense and PERMANENT. The Greek citizens, by retrofitting their house, they improve their life quality (they stop suffering from cold during the winter and from heat during the summer). In the meantime, they reduce their enormous energy expenses. And it’s not just that: the country saves money, since oil import is reduced, and it attracts local investments while new jobs are created.
Why is this project so important?
Because this school will set an example; and with your help we’ll show the Greek government the solution that should be applied immediately. We will start its energy upgrading. TOGETHER we will overstep political deficiency. Some of our basic interventions in that school will be:
- Heat insulation
- Replacement of frames and glass panes
- Replacement of the oil boiler with a new, state of the art, biomass pellet boiler
- Conducting an energy audit before and afterwards; issuing an energy certificate
We only have 1 month and we need you
You can choose on the right the amount you can offer in order to help us make the interventions in the school a reality. All work should be completed within the following month, before the winter and the snow arrive. Its urgency makes any amount equally important and essential for the completion of this operation in time.