Großschönau, a rather small but very well-known rural municipality in Waldviertel, Lower Austria, has been since decades pushing towards sustainable and environmentally friendly ways of living. Großschönau is rated an e5-municipality, was winning the European Energy Award in Gold for its achievements in energy efficiency, and has with the fair BIOEM and the permanent exhibition SONNENWELT two nationwide known showcase projects of sustainable thinking and acting.

In the municipality, about 1 kWp of photovoltaic is already installed per capita, bringing the municipality into the Top10 in this measure in the state of Lower Austria. Within the region, Großschönau aims to be energy-neutral by the year 2030, and is proactively working towards this aim, in line with its slogan “Spür the Energie”, in English “Feel the Energy”.

Within Großschönau an energy data measuring network is in place for all public buildings, and step-by-step also private houses are being connected. There are several public charging stations for electrical cars, privately and commercially used battery storages in addition to the before mentioned PV-installations, and also heat pumps are available and accessible in order to increase the flexibility of a potential energy community.

With national and international research projects like cFlex, Flex+, Urban Energy Cells, BEYOND or InBetween, the municipality has already achieved notable fundaments, which will now by extended by the knowledge created by INTERACT.