12 organisations from 6 countries and one European association (Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, Belgium and Finland), has begun working on the three-year project ASSIST, “Support Network for Household Energy Saving”, designed to fight energy poverty in Europe. This project, funded by the European Commission under the H2020 program, will address both energy and social issues, as energy poverty is not only an energy concern nor can it be tackled in isolation of the bigger issue of poverty.
In recent years, energy users have gained more rights with the transposition of relevant European energy legislation. There is nevertheless the recognition that consumers’ rights (with special reference to vulnerable consumers and energy poor) need to be further strengthened, and that the increasing market complexity needs to be addressed through concrete solutions to improve levels of empowerment and engagement.
ASSIST offers a two-way approach to the problem: active engaging of consumers in the energy market as well as a positive change of behaviour in relation to energy consumption, and influencing the design of policy at all levels to tackle energy poverty issues. It will do so by:
Creating unique and specialized services for the vulnerable communities through a network of trained active Home Energy Advisors (HEA).
Increasing the knowledge of political stakeholders on consumers’ vulnerability and energy poverty so as to promote the design-take up of policies to tackle the phenomena.
The starting point of the project, launched on May 1, is the generation of in depth knowledge on consumer vulnerability and more specifically on energy poverty, as there is still no clear and unique definition for the identification and measuring of energy poverty as well as low knowledge on the phenomena and on possible solutions to tackle it. ASSIST’s common methodology has been discussed and agreed by all partners during the kick-off meeting, held in Rome on May 15-16.
The project’s website and social network profiles will be launched soon. More info is available at the European Commission website:
http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/209995_en.html. Stay tuned on twitter.
Project Number: 754051
Start date: May 1st 2017