Energy suppliers take their responsibilities towards their customers very seriously. People having difficulty paying their energy bills and/or adequately heating/cooling their homes are of concern for companies (beyond the fact that the cost of arrears borne by companies can amount to millions of euros) and it is in their interest to find effective solutions to alleviate energy poverty within their Energy Efficiency Obligations.
SocialWatt aims to enable obligated parties under Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive across Europe to develop, adopt, test and spread innovative schemes to alleviate energy poverty.
Besides planned capacity building activities, SocialWatt is developing appropriate tools to help utilities and energy suppliers effectively identify energy poor households as well as develop and monitor schemes that focus on increasing the energy efficiency of these houses.
Energy efficiency interventions at the household level are being facilitated and the increased use of renewable energy (RES/EE investments) is being fostered, by promoting innovative financing options.
In this way, SocialWatt supports utilities and energy suppliers to fulfil energy efficiency obligations, as well as improve public relations, enhance Corporate Social Responsibility strategies, reduce debt and overhead in managing debt and enhance public image.
SocialWatt has five clear, measurable, realistic and achievable Objectives
Utilities and energy suppliers have at their disposal key data to identify energy poor households (for example energy consumption data, payment frequency, payment arrangements, debt profile and the location of the property). The ‘SocialWatt Analyser’ tool combines such data with other available data (national, regional and local statistical data, data from social services etc.) to support utilities and energy suppliers identify energy poor citizens.
Within the framework of SocialWatt, each participating utility and energy supplier will use ‘SocialWatt Analyser’ and identify energy poor households.
The ‘SocialWatt Plan’ decision support tool aims to help energy companies across Europe identify and develop appropriate schemes to alleviate energy poverty.
Within the framework of SocialWatt, each participating utility and energy supplier will use ‘SocialWatt Plan’ and also develop an Energy Poverty Action Plan, which will be the ‘roadmap’ for developing and implementing selected schemes that will trigger investments in energy efficiency/renewable energy.
By promoting collaboration and facilitating knowledge transfer, the capacity of energy companies to develop schemes that trigger investments in energy efficiency/renewable energy and alleviate energy poverty is significantly strengthened.
Within the framework of SocialWatt, stakeholders will have the opportunity to participate in numerous capacity building activities organised in eleven EU countries, including capacity building workshops, national training seminars and a European conference.
Participating utilities and energy suppliers will implement innovative schemes to alleviate energy poverty in Croatia, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Spain. These will serve as pilot cases that represent a large and diverse part of the EU energy market (mainly the electricity and gas market), with different socioeconomic and climate conditions.
The ‘SocialWatt Check’ tool aims to support the monitoring and evaluation of implemented schemes. Thus, ‘SocialWatt Check’ will be used to monitor and assess the SocialWatt schemes developed and implemented.
The SocialWatt replication activities, combined with the fact that SocialWatt energy companies operate in 26 European countries, will ensure that the project outputs and tools are used more widely across Europe. An open call will be launched for utilities to express interest to replicate SocialWatt activities. Furthermore, policy briefs will be developed to facilitate policy makers develop tailored programs for alleviating energy poverty.