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European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article5 November 2021

Energy price hikes: how H2020 projects are supporting vulnerable citizens

H2020 projects supporting vulnerable citizens

Energy price hikes are pushing more households across Europe into energy poverty. Vulnerable consumers in inefficient housing and on low incomes are being hit especially hard and will continue to struggle to maintain a decent standard of living in the coming months, with an increasing number of households also now at risk of slipping off into energy poverty.


Find below some important projects, funded under Horizon 2020, that are at the forefront of delivering innovative and effective direct advice and support to vulnerable households across Europe and that are supporting public authorities and NGOs in alleviating energy poverty.

Consumer and frontline organisations in nine countries have teamed up in the STEP project to provide advice to consumers on how to save energy and money while improving their well-being. STEP has developed innovative online training modules in national languages to guide frontline workers on how to engage with consumers, but also videos and modules that advise consumers directly on issues such as energy bills or contracts.


As some vulnerable households are not able to access digital advisory services, the Cypriot and Portuguese project partners have opened Energy Support Offices to ensure access to information and advice for all citizens. In Slovakia, the project partner has trained particularly vulnerable groups such as elderly people and single parents, which helped those in energy poverty to acknowledge the reality of their own situation.


The POWERPOOR project aims to support energy poor citizens in eleven countries to implement energy efficiency measures and participate in joint initiatives, encouraging the establishment of energy communities. The project has already trained close to 400 Energy Supporters and Mentors. It is supporting the development of new energy communities involving vulnerable consumers and the set-up of Local Energy Poverty Alleviation Offices to provide advice to vulnerable citizens.


In Greece, the project achieved recently a key success when the Greek Government announced to support the construction of photovoltaic stations by municipal energy communities through the European Recovery and Resilience Fund. The electricity produced in those stations is planned to be provided to vulnerable households at virtually no cost. The extensive promotion of the POWERPOOR concept in the Greek media has directly contributed to this achievement.
In addition to helping vulnerable consumers through support schemes such as thermal renovation measures, training and advice, or prepaid metering, the ENPOR project is also supporting public authorities to improve local and national policies in the private rented sector. The project is helping to improve the understanding of the sector and its underlying structural factors, and has recently launched a new, dynamic online Energy Poverty Dashboard to map relevant policies and their impacts in alleviating energy poverty.


Successful case studies are presented at the launch event of the new Energy Poverty Advisory Hub on 22-23 November, which will become the central platform of energy poverty expertise in Europe.


The LIFE Clean Energy Transition Call for Proposals 2021 supports specific project ideas (95% co-funding rate) on Addressing building related interventions for vulnerable districts. Discover all 18 topics under the Call. Apply until 12 January 2022!  

 

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Publication date
5 November 2021