What is energy poverty?
Adequate warmth, cooling, lighting, and energy to power appliances are essential services needed to guarantee energy-efficient homes and a decent standard of living, thermal comfort, and citizens' health. Energy poor households experience inadequate levels of these essential energy services. Increased access to these energy services empowers European citizens to fulfil their potential in the energy transition and enhances social inclusion.
According to the European Energy Poverty Observatory, energy poverty occurs when energy bills represent a high percentage of consumers' income, affecting their capacity to cover other expenses. It can also occur when consumers are forced to reduce the energy consumption of their households, and consequently, this affects their physical and mental health and well-being. Additionally, low household incomes, inefficient buildings and appliances, and specific household energy needs contribute to the challenge. It is estimated that over 34 million people in the European Union are experiencing energy poverty to various degrees, with the most vulnerable demographic groups being the most affected.
What are the objectives of the POWEPOOR project?
The main aim of POWERPOOR is to develop support programmes for citizens experiencing energy poverty effects and to encourage the use of alternative financing schemes (e.g., establishing energy communities or cooperatives, or leveraging crowdfunding).
POWERPOOR will facilitate experience and knowledge sharing, as well as the implementation of small-scale energy efficiency interventions and the installation of renewable energy sources, increasing the active participation of citizens.
Within the course of the project, pilot energy poverty support programmes/schemes will be designed, developed, and implemented in eight different countries across Europe, namely Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal, and Spain, led by a network of trained and certified Energy Supporters and Mentors. Citizens experiencing energy poverty will be supported through various planned activities, as well through the establishment of Energy Poverty Alleviation Offices, and through the uptake of ICT-driven tools included in the Energy Poverty Mitigation Toolkit.
More specifically, the POWERPOOR vision will be accomplished through the following objectives:
- Engage with energy poor citizens and groups for ensuring the citizens’ long-term participation in the POWERPOOR activities
- Increase the overall uptake of energy efficiency measures and joint energy initiatives to reduce energy poverty, through the use of ICT and other tools
- Build a network of Energy Supporters and Energy Mentors that will support energy poor citizens
- Design and implement energy poor support programmes to alleviate energy poverty
- Replicate the POWERPOOR pilot energy poor support programmes
- Develop policy recommendations for mitigating energy poverty
How can the POWERPOOR toolkit help me?
The POWERPOOR Energy Poverty Mitigation Toolkit aims at providing an integrated solution to users and supporting them at identifying whether they experience energy poverty. In case they do, the tool can propose behavioural changes or low-cost energy efficiency interventions that they can take, in order to improve their well-being.
Finally, the tool can propose customised solutions regarding their involvement in funding, proposing innovative funding schemes such as crowdfunding or participation in energy cooperatives, that can help them to alleviate energy poverty.
For more information about the POWERPOOR toolkit, visit https://powerpoor.epu.ntua.gr/powerpoor-toolkit.
What is the POWER-TARGET about?
The POWER TARGET tool follows a data-driven approach aiming at supporting local and regional authorities to identify citizens suffering from energy poverty as well as groups or communities suffering from the phenomenon. The users take an assessment survey through the tool, which uses qualitative and quantitative indicators, such as energy-related data, building characteristics and other sociodemographic data, providing the citizens with a specific “score”.
The POWER-TARGET score is a metric used to identify households suffering from energy poverty. It is based on the 10% indicator and it is adjusted including more variables that resulted from a concise literature review of the various metrics, tools, and indicators currently employed to measure the phenomenon across Europe.
For more information about POWER-TARGET, visit https://powerpoor.epu.ntua.gr/powerpoor-toolkit/target/.
What is the POWER-ACT about?
The POWER-ACT tool is a citizen centred application, utilised by citizens to facilitate behaviour change and support them in implementing energy efficiency measures.
More specifically, POWER-ACT will empower the energy poor citizens to understand their energy use and the benefits from implementing small scale energy efficiency measures and installing renewable energy, by providing them with a list of proposed behavioural changes, in order to improve their energy efficiency and lowering their energy expenses.
For more information about POWER-ACT, visit https://powerpoor.epu.ntua.gr/powerpoor-toolkit/act/.
What is the POWER-FUND about?
POWER-FUND is a web-based tool that helps energy poor citizens across Europe to identify and learn about Collective Innovative Actions to tackle energy poverty and take direct action.
POWER-FUND provides the users with an Online marketplace for Collective Energy Initiatives, such as energy communities and cooperatives, as well as an open space where to learn about innovative financial instruments like crowdfunding, and how to use the potential of Collective Finance to overcome the economic and financial barriers hindering energy poor citizens from taking part in the energy transition.
For more information about POWER-FUND, visit https://www.powerfund.eu.
Do I need to register to all tools, or can I choose in which one I want to register?
All the POWERPOOR tools are accessible via the POWERPOOR website or via the POWERPOOR Energy Mitigation Toolkit. In order to use the tools, the users are requested to create an account to the POWERPOOR Toolkit.
During the registration process the users add their email and select their preferred language for the tool’s interface. The tool supports the 8 national languages of the pilot countries namely: Greek, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Croatian, Spanish, Portuguese, Estonian, Latvian as well as Basque, to better accommodate the potential users’ needs. Users should also add the country and city they currently reside in the form fields: country and city.
Is the use of the tools free or should I pay a monthly/annual fee?
The use of the tools is completely free. The tools can also be accessed several times. For example, the users can retake the assessments to evaluate whether their scores have improved after for instance they have implemented the proposed behaviour changes and/or implemented (small or large scale) energy efficiency interventions.
What info does the Energy Poverty Guidebook provide?
The Energy Poverty Guidebook is a guidebook that will be developed to support national, regional, and local authorities that are interested in integrating actions for mitigating energy poverty in Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs) and Urban Development Planning processes. More specifically, it will provide guidelines for identifying energy poor citizens/communities/areas/districts depending on data availability and for incorporating pioneer actions to alleviate energy poverty.
The guidebook will include best practices identified during the capacity building activities and pilot programmes. The guidebook will be translated in all project languages and will be adjusted if needed to address specific needs in pilot countries.
How can the municipalities benefit from the POWERPOOR project?
In the POWERPOOR project, various municipalities across Europe participate. The municipalities engaged through the POWERPOOR project are going to be the pioneers that will incorporate the POWERPOOR solution within their main activities. They are going to be part of the POWERPOOR network and from their experiences, best practices and conclusions are going to be drawn and shared across Europe. The project will support them in developing, implementing and monitoring actions for mitigating energy poverty in Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs) and Urban Development Planning processes as well as for the establishment of the Energy Poverty Alleviation Offices.
What services are offered through the Energy Poverty Alleviation Offices?
In the Energy Poverty Alleviation Offices, the citizens can find information about energy poverty, identify whether they suffer from the phenomenon, find Energy Supporters or Mentors to advise them on low-cost energy efficiency measures and on behavioural changes that can enhance their energy efficiency. There, they can also find out information on how to be part of innovative funding schemes such as cooperatives or energy communities. These offices are a one-stop-shop for individuals to go to for any energy poverty related issue.
I am interested in becoming an Energy Supporter/Mentor. What should I do?
Energy Supporters and Mentors are the focal points among the POWERPOOR approach and the energy poor households or interested municipalities. Their relevant experience and motivation are going to make them the trusted advisors aiming at alleviating energy poverty in a local level.
If you are interested in becoming an Energy Supporter or Mentor, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our online helpdesk at https://powerpoor.epu.ntua.gr/powerpoor-toolkit/contact/.
The first Energy Supporters and Mentors are already working on alleviating energy poverty. You can find a list of the certified Energy Supporters and Mentors in all the POWERPOOR countries here.
What are the benefits of becoming an energy supporter/mentor?
Energy Supporters will engage energy poor citizens enabling them to recognise the issue and providing them with advice on behaviour changes or low cost no regret measures. They will help energy poor citizens plan, secure funding and implement energy efficiency interventions. Energy Mentors will provide support and expertise in a municipality level working on all the key areas associated with the operation and/or creation of an energy community/cooperative, comprised of energy poor citizens or the set-up of a crowdfunding campaign.
When becoming an Energy Supporter of Mentor, you are part of a strong European Network of experts. You get to be part of the POWERPOOR approach aspiring to alleviate energy poverty in a local, national, and European level.
Find out more about the POWERPOOR certification scheme here.
Is there any online learning material I can have access to?
In order to serve as a pool of resources that can be used to build the capacity of the Energy Supporters and Mentors, in supporting energy poor citizens and local actors on the field, but also the general public, POWERPOOR created the Online Trainer Library. This library aspires to address knowledge gaps with regard to energy poverty policies, alleviation practices and innovative financing at local, national, and European levels. Especially, the role of innovative financing schemes as a means to mitigate energy poverty will be highlighted.
The Online Trainer Library can be accessed either through the shortcut on the homepage of the POWERPOOR website or via the navigation bar on the top. Through the drop-down menu on the top, or via the corresponding buttons users can access:
A search functionality with search filters is set up to assist users in navigating through this pool of training resources. The library is a dynamic element of the POWERPOOR website and will be regularly updated with deliverables, training and other interesting material and relevant publications.