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ENERGY POVERTY HANDBOOK

energypovertyhandbook-online

HOW TO TACKLE

HOW TO TACKLE ENERGY POVERTY − GOOD PRACTICES AT A LOCAL LEVEL anna bajomi introduction This chapter focuses on the view that local interventions, if they are well planned, can offer long-term solutions for households dealing with energy poverty. By presenting good practices that effectively decrease energy poverty, we would like to provide inspiration for decision makers and practitioners. The following pages are based on the collection of projects which aim to tackle energy poverty by using diverse and suitable responses - delivered by different actors - to the multiple causes of the problem. The cases were implemented in different regions of Europe, so they cover both diverse climatic and political environments and situations. The described cases include: EU-funded international co-operations managed by organisations, programmes that were part of national anti-energy-poverty schemes and projects managed by NGOs. We provide examples for four main types of interventions: 1. Physical interventions that improve the energy performance of the housing stock; 2. Soft and/or small scale interventions that offer energy advice and low-cost energy-efficiency measures, with advocacy programs for vulnerable consumers also presented; 3. Subsidies for vulnerable consumers; 4. Bottom-up interventions of NGOs offering complex solutions for energy poverty and ensuring to actively involve the affected individuals themselves. Each sub-chapter briefly summarises the main characteristics of each intervention, with one or more case-studies being presented in each section. Lessons learnt from the projects are also listed, with the aim to help future project managers have even better designed projects. In its closing statements this chapter suggests a set of recommendations for optimal project planning. HOW TO TACKLE ENERGY POVERTY − GOOD PRACTICES AT A LOCAL LEVEL 169

Here, we would like to thank all the organisations who provided their case studies, especially the European Antipoverty Network, which collected cases from its members.1 a competitive bid to DECC for its ‘Central Heating Fund’ designed to deliver first time central heating systems to fuel poor households. (Warm Up North) energy efficient renovations Physical interventions on the housing block, from deep energy-efficient retrofits to partial interventions, such as the application of renewable energy or modern heating systems, have a very effective role to play in reducing energy poverty by improving the energy performance and the comfort of the housing stocks. Indeed, general national and/or EU schemes do exist in the majority of the EU countries for financing such projects. However, subsidies may only partially cover the costs and can usually be only transferred once work is completed, with administrative work and technical capacities needed throughout the application and planning. Such factors can result in vulnerable groups having no access to funding, which is why regional or local programmes were established to direct a higher level of funds to struggling households. CASE STUDY 1: WARM UP NORTH The ‘Warm Up North’ (WUN) project began as a pioneering initiative to implement a large scale housing retrofit scheme, taking advantage of the UK Government’s Green Deal and ECO proposals under The Energy Act 2011. WUN is a public-private partnership of nine local authorities in the North East of England (UK) and British Gas (the procured delivery partner). “In 2015 the UK Government announced (…) no further funding to the Green Deal Finance Company so the Green Deal scheme to insulate homes was effectively axed and closed with immediate effect” (Warm Up North). Even though this had a serious effect on the achievement of the WUN project’s primary goals, as of July 2015, more than 4,000 homes with fuel poor residents have had new boiler systems installed and seen improvements, 25,000 tonnes of CO2 is saved annually and €21m has been invested. The presence of a strong partnership with such a delivery partner and the flexible contracting have been major advantages to the region and this is likely to continue as the WUN project is in contract with British Gas for at least a further three years (June 2018) with the option to extend beyond to June 2021. Additionally, in July 2015, WUN was successful with CASE STUDY 2: RESIDENTIAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS (REELIH) REELIH is a five-year initiative launched in 2012 by Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI). Regionally, REELIH works to improve the environment for residential energy efficiency investments across Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Nationally, REELIH works in Armenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to develop and test replicable financial models to facilitate these investments. REELIH forges partnerships between a wide range of stakeholders, including homeowners’ associations, governments and financial institutions. Through pilot projects, REELIH demonstrates why and how all these actors should work together to retrofit apartment buildings for energy efficiency. The project also stimulates the development of financial services and products for low-income households in markets where the renovation of residential units is considered to be nearly impossible. REELIH is promoting viable and sustainable financial models, such as loan products, rebate schemes, and guarantee funds which will outlast this project. Results: To date, REELIH has completed retrofits in four buildings in Bosnia, and eight in Armenia, directly benefiting over 2,300 people with up to 50% in energy savings. Results from these pilot projects fuel advocacy activities to influence public policy and the energy efficiency sector. Costs: $1.5m from USAID for five years. Habitat is shouldering a cost share of over $500,000 and has already leveraged around $100,000 of private and public capital from private financial institutions and governments (REELIH). CASE STUDY 3: SUPPORTING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN SAINT-JOSSE, BRUSSELS The project Guichet Primes promotes the renovation of private buildings (predominantly apartments) through subsidies or loans with low rates (using regional and municipal public aids) in order to allow low income families to improve their comfort and the energy performance of their homes. 170 HOW TO TACKLE ENERGY POVERTY − GOOD PRACTICES AT A LOCAL LEVEL HOW TO TACKLE ENERGY POVERTY − GOOD PRACTICES AT A LOCAL LEVEL 171

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