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Energy Poverty Advisory Hub


International project

SocialWatt aimed 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. The appropriate tools developed within the framework of SocialWatt aimed 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. The ‘SocialWatt Analyser’ tool combined 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.

With a budget of over 1 million €, the goals were to:

  • Develop innovative schemes to alleviate energy poverty: The ‘SocialWatt Plan’ decision support tool aimed to help energy companies across Europe identify and develop appropriate schemes to alleviate energy poverty.
  • Build the capacity of utilities, energy suppliers and social services: 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 were significantly strengthened. Within the framework of SocialWatt, stakeholders had 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.
  • Implement the schemes to alleviate energy poverty. Participating utilities and energy suppliers implemented innovative schemes to alleviate energy poverty in Croatia, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Spain. These served 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 aimed to support the monitoring and evaluation of implemented schemes. Thus, ‘SocialWatt Check’ was used to monitor and assess the SocialWatt schemes developed and implemented.
  • Replicate the project’s outcomes and provide policy recommendations. The SocialWatt replication activities, combined with the fact that SocialWatt energy companies operate in 26 European countries, ensured that the project outputs and tools were used more widely across Europe. An open call was launched for utilities to express interest to replicate SocialWatt activities. Furthermore, policy briefs were developed to facilitate policymakers to develop tailored programmes for alleviating energy poverty. 

Main beneficiaries: practitioners.

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