Tuesday, June 14th 2022 marked the start of the first face-to-face partner meeting of the RED WoLF project since the Covid pandemic. The project has been progressing slowly during this time, with significant delays, so it was great to reunite with the other partners and hear about the exciting progress that has been made recently.
The project partners, including CHA's RED WoLF project manager, Ana Ospina, arrived at 9am on Day 1 at the Science Campus of the University of Lorraine, where they were greeted warmly by the French hosts with coffee and pastries. Introductory words were first spoken by Thierry Divoux, CRAN Associate Director, and Eric Rondeau, of University of Lorraine. The hosts extended a warm welcome to all project partners and were visibly pleased to come together. This was followed by a presentation from project leader Giuseppe Colantuono, of Leeds Becket University. He described the growing momentum of the project and introduced all the newcomers. Giuseppe then passed the floor to the speakers from the pilot sites. Brian Cassidy from Cork City Council reported on the progress of the pilots in Ireland. Ana Ospina from CHA added to the discussion, stating that many tenants are now under pressure from energy poverty and would rather not heat at all than think about installing a smart control system. It became clear that there are still some hurdles to be addressed in the project. The idea of holding information sessions for the residents of the RED WoLF houses was discussed, and specifically the possibility of CHA collaborating with Cork City Council to deliver sessions at the new Home Energy Upgrade Office (HEUGO) on Grand Parade, Cork. The day continued with progress updates from UK pilot partners Oldham Council (OMBC) and First Choice Homes, as well as French pilot partners, EDF. These were followed by an interactive session from Kerstin Köhler, communications manager for the project. After lunch at the University canteen, there was a presentation from Inge Keymeulen, the Interreg NWE representative. After a short presentation of the "Mini-Pilot", the scientific part of the meeting continued with the discussion on "Research results and future initiatives", led by Sylvain Kubler of University of Lorraine. Day 2 consisted of a presentation from Michelle Hemmingfield of SOS regarding the second RED WoLF Summer School and was followed by a stakeholder event at the Nancy Palais de Congres. CHA hopes to get its own pilot up and running in 4 of its houses in the next couple of weeks. Watch this space for more updates coming soon!