SOCIALWATT – Connecting Obligated Parties to adopt innovative schemes towards Energy Poverty Alleviation

SOCIALWATT – Connecting Obligated Parties to adopt innovative schemes towards Energy Poverty Alleviation

The EC Horizon 2020 SOCIALWATT project runs for 36 months and addresses a main challenge in energy poverty alleviation. SocialWatt will develop and provide utilities and energy suppliers with appropriate tools for effectively engaging with their customers and working together towards alleviating energy poverty. SocialWatt will also enable obligated parties under Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive across Europe to develop, adopt, test and spread innovative energy poverty schemes. SocialWatt will contribute to the following three main pillars:
• Supporting utilities and energy suppliers contribute to the fight against energy poverty through the use of decision support tools.
• Bridging the gap between energy companies and social services by promoting collaboration and implementing knowledge transfer and capacity building activities that focus on the development of schemes that invest in Renewable Energy Sources / Energy Efficiency and alleviate energy poverty.
• Implementing and replicating innovative schemes to alleviate energy poverty.

The SocialWatt vision encompasses five clear, measurable, realistic and achievable Objectives (O).

O1: Identify energy poor citizens
The ‘SocialWatt Analyser’ will support utilities and energy suppliers to identify energy poor citizens.

O2: Develop innovative schemes to alleviate energy poverty with an emphasis on RES/EE investments
Decision support tools will be developed to help utilities select energy poverty schemes to implement (‘SocialWatt Plan’) and monitor / evaluate their implementation (‘SocialWatt Check’). Once appropriate schemes have been selected, each participating utility and energy supplier will develop an Energy Poverty Action Plan. The action plan will be the ‘roadmap’ for developing and implementing the selected schemes and will describe in detail all the steps to be followed.

O3: Build the capacity of utilities, energy suppliers and social services
The means and methods for effectively financing and implementing energy poverty schemes in practice will be clearly defined and proper guidelines and training will be provided to energy stakeholders (through capacity building workshops and other relevant activities).

O4: Implement the schemes selected and evaluate their effectiveness
The energy poverty schemes developed will be promoted by the participating utilities and energy suppliers. SocialWatt will actively engage with energy poor consumers in order to change their behaviour and/or implement low cost actions.

O5: Replicate the project’s outcomes and provide policy recommendations
SocialWatt’s replication will significantly increase the project’s impact and ensure that the tools developed are used, even after the project end. As such, an open call will be launched for utilities to express interest. Finally, the project will develop policy recommendations to facilitate policy makers to develop tailored programs for alleviating energy poverty.