VRHNIKA

Vrhnika is Slovenian municipality. It is situated near capital cityLjubljana, at the border between theLjubljanamarshes and the rocky Karst.

Vrhnika was settled already in prehistoric times. There can still be found the wooden remains of the lake pile dwelling culture and the defensive walls, built by the Romans. The settlement developed into important traffic point where merchandise shipped on the river Sava and Ljubljana was reloaded on wagons. There is ancient legend of Argonauts which also inspired the coat of arms of the town Vrhnika: an ancient Greek ship against a blue background. Along ancient trade route from the Black Sea, along rivers Danube, Sava and Ljubljana, and then with the ship on the shoulders down to the Adriatic Sea, where old Greek hero Jason was supposed to sail with Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece. Nowadays Vrhnika has a population of 16.417 and it stretches on the area of 115 km2.

Municipality started to work on sustainable energy policies systematically in the year 2008, when there was adopted the Local energy concept. It includes analysis of existent condition in the field of energy use and supply (which emphasizes the public buildings), possibilities of use of local renewable sources. It also includes the goals of the community in the energy field and the action plan.

Additionally were prepared extended energy audits (examinations) for main public buildings with precise analysis of buildings, using thermo vision camera etc., making inventory of elements, lightings and their rated power, electronic devices and their rated power and heating elements. With regard to condition of examined building, audits suggested the measures for reduction of energy use for all used energy sources.

According to the findings of the local energy concept and extended energy audits the municipality started with measures that do not demand any financial investment (organizational measures) and measures that were listed as the most efficient with regard to cost. Old boiler rooms, which used fuel oil, were replaced with new, using gas and solar energy; insulation was added, windows and street lights were replaced etc. The municipality carried out some actions with the aim of raising public awareness, including offering free expert counseling about energy efficient construction and renovation of buildings.

In the year 2010 Vrhnika was awarded as the most energy efficient middle sized municipality in Slovenia.