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Results of the Energy Ambassadors Campaign: Fighting against fuel poverty and raising awareness on energy efficiency and energy savings

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The Energy Ambassadors campaign, an IEE project that has just been completed, was aimed at tackling energy poverty and helping vulnerable groups in managing their water and energy consumptions through the intervention of social workers that were trained on these issues. In this way, social workers have incorporated energy advice in their daily work and the vulnerable population are taught that with simple actions they can reduce their energy consumption significantly. The project had 2 target groups: Social workers that have been trained and the final target group: Families with difficulties. The campaign has run in 9 different EU countries. Thanks to this project, 300 social workers have been trained and have become energy ambassadors. 18000 people have been reached with energy saving advices.

Results:

  • 4500 MWh have been saved through advice on behavioral changes.  This advice has been given by social workers and energy experts to vulnerable groups in order to apply in their own homes. The two different components of domestic energy consumption shown in our online tool are energy savings due to cut-off in the consumption for heating/hot water purposes (51%) and due to the cut-off of electricity consumption (49%) of this 4500Mwh saved.
  • The amount of energy saved also corresponds to 1451.5 tones CO2/year avoided. In order to do the correct calculations, the properties of the fuels used for heating purposes as well as the fuels mix used for the production of electricity in each country had been taken under consideration (in the online tool form of the corresponding "emission factors").
  • Development of intervention sheet as a tool for energy ambassadors during visit or interview on the phone. The intervention sheets are in national languages and are downloadable on the website. An overall of around 700 intervention sheets have already been handled to the partners so far after only 5 months of fieldwork


Further information and contact to the project participants is available at http://www.energyambassadors.eu/

Lessons learned:

  • The Energy Ambassadors Campaign has so far experienced great success in the countries and a great media response could be achieved as crisis time calls for solutions. The importance of partnerships and cooperation between public actors, housing providers the financial and private sector was also clear. Cooperation between several organisations that are working to reach a common goal was fostered through the project. Information and support for target groups is essential to foster energy efficiency.
  • Adapting the experience coming from one country is a very good way to share good practices and experiences in order to create a new idea to each EU participating country. It is possible to have a common template of a project but there is a need to adapt it to the national context. Social workers and final target groups, grant systems, national laws or regulations and priorities are mainly different. The website allows to disseminate the project to other regions and to new organisations.
  • The availability of social workers: partners need to adapt the training and intervention of the social workers in regards to their capacity. Social workers first work on social issues and emergencies of families. Flexibility is needed to implement energy advice as it is outside their normal duty. Many Energy Ambassadors kept on asking for support above all during home visit as they did not feel totally able to deliver the good advice.
  • Each partner has organized at least 2 or 3 EA committees and 2 public seminars together with the social workers. This is the hard part, as social workers do not have lot of time to deal with energy information sessions as their focus is more on emergency and social situation.
  • Around 18000 peole have been reached by home visits, meetings at the office and events. 48 Energy Ambassadors Committee meetings were organised. In the beginning there were 17 members of Energy Ambassadors. Now, there are around 100 members, all of them social workers. 11 seminars for social and private housing associations or owners have been organised with nearly 400 participants in total. 62 public events to raise awareness on energy savings were carried out; 2100 participants were reached.