Potential topics for the forum (brainstorm)

Hi all,

Before we start using the forum widely with our users (energy managers, general staff, financial people, etc.), it may be worth to have some brainstorming about the different topics we think could be attractive / engaging for normal people (general staff) and/or perhaps more technical for energy managers.

If you already have some topics in your site forums please share it with us. Where possible, please indicate the target user.

Here is my first suggested topic for general staff:

  • Tips to save energy in the office / at work (it could be electricity or heating in separate threads). One first post could be: turning off the computer monitors and provide some facts and figures

Please also let us know when the discussion forum will be “live” for users in your PPA. This may help WP and task leaders to follow up issues of WP3 (tasks 3.3 & 3,4).

Please post topics ideas, the more we have the better.

Best wishes,

This is an important issue, we need to think about what the forum is for and how we want to operate it.

I have some additional questions:

  • Who are the first wave of people we will invite to join the community?
  • On what basis will we ‘sell’ the concept of the forum to these people?
  • What kind of content do we want to create in preparation for these people joining?

For the second question (what is the value of the forum to new users) two things come to mind immediately.

###The forum is a place to get things done
It is an effective communication platform and we are beginning to demonstrate that with our own use of the forum. If you need to track an issue it can be far better than using email, especially if there are keen, well informed colleagues using the system (you) who are ready and willing to help and advise.

###The forum is a place where you can find answers and help people
We will presumably be inviting a wide range of energy professionals to join our community. There is great value in allowing them (us) to share our (their) experiences, ask/answer questions and discuss/compare the approaches we (they) have taken in our (their) cities. Learning from the experiences of partners is a great benefit.

###Stories which demonstrate the opportunities and challenges of energy in buildings.

I propose a topic asking for anecdotes describing the worst energy wastage and best energy savings we have achieved or heard about.

For example, at a conference a few years ago I heard about a Canadian householder who had huge and inexplicable electricity bills since they moved into the house several years previously. They eventually discovered that it was due to a heater installed under the driveway where their car was parked intended to melt snow/ice in the winter. The heater was running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year but nobody told them when they moved into the house. All that was required was a label on a switch.

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Thank you Graeme for both, the topic and the example!

Best, Leticia

Reporting energy/water problems in the building(s)

In several cases, staff do not know to whom, how and where they can report energy problems in their buildings, for example, being too hot or too cold, water leakages in toilet taps, unnecessary use of display screens when there is nobody, etc.

Energy or facilities managers could start a thread/topic for their building. As the creator of their thread, they will receive updates via email. I am not sure about the frequency you receive the alerts/updates, but perhaps it is better than “never”.
If issues can be fixed locally, managers could explain how to do it to the person raising the issue. In the cases where managers may not be able to fix the problem, surely they will know (better than the staff) the right person to contact.

Please keep adding more topics or let us know which ones you have used in your PPA forum and how it works.

Information exchange of energy saving initiatives

Energy managers and non-technical staff could describe ideas or already implemented energy efficiency initiatives. Both on building level or on a broader level.
E.g. Nuremberg has an initiative for schools (Keep Energy in Mind): teachers who are the project-PoC for their school could use the forum as a discussion platform as well.

I fully agree, this should be part of it. I would call it @BuildingManager - xxxBuildingName.

Also, the link to this topic could be printed as QR-Codes and put up at key locations in the venue.

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Do we need topics or do we need categories? A topic is like this page, a single thread of conversation. A category is a collection of threads. Categories can be organised in two tiers so it is possible to create one level of sub-categories.

If we want to allow more than one conversation in an area then we need categories. But we should be wary of creating too many categories too soon. The advice from the community is to allow topics to be created naturally and then add categories to organise them. Topics can be moved between categories easily.

One category for specific building discussions would be enough. Whatever new topic emerges outside of the existing posts can be moved in the category.

The motivation for an a priori created topic is, that the link can be printed on QR and put out in the world. It reduces one step to note something if you already know where to go. It is like the hashtag of the week pushed by any show host if he/she wants people to comment on the show…

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Will there be an "European energy professionals" topic - just working on an introductary presentation to EDI-Net and this is one point I came up with.

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@georg.vogt Yes I agreee that a European energy professionals topic would be very useful. We could also put the Country Specific Guidance and other information of relevance to energy mangers within ithis topic.