The EU-funded REVERTER project will contribute to improving the quality of life of citizens in Europe by increasing the energy efficiency of buildings
A successful start-up meeting in Athens has launched a project that will provide energy poverty reduction solutions in Europe, drawing up 9 different action plans and working closely with final consumers in 4 pilot countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Latvia and Portugal. The project and its results are extremely topical because energy poverty is a crucial socio-economic challenge for today's society, which lowers the basic standard of living and quality of the population.
The latest Eurostat and other data on energy poverty in Europe show that around 7% of European citizens have not been able to afford adequate heating of housing, 6.4% reported on public service debt, over 16% spent a large part of their income on energy, while low incomes led to an unusually low energy spending of 14.6%. Energy poverty is mainly linked to high energy prices, low family income and energy efficient buildings and appliances. Due to the energy crisis in Europe, the importance of these factors has increased. Eurostat data show a sharp rise in prices in the first half of 2022.
"Energy poverty is a relatively new term, and it is still not sufficiently understood in society or in public institutions. Energy poverty in Europe is defined as living conditions where a relatively high proportion of income is due to be channelled to energy consumption bills, or energy consumption needs to be reduced to such a level that it starts to have a negative impact on health and living conditions. On the other hand, the criteria for identifying energy poverty set out in the Energy Law require a household to be low-income and to receive financial support to cover housing-related costs. There is a mismatch between the definition of energy poverty at national level and the nature of this term. By nature, energy poverty can be exposed to a significantly higher population than could be determined on the basis of criteria defined in the Energy Act alone. I would say that the risk of energy poverty could be exposed to a large proportion of households living in multi-apartment houses: these buildings are with great losses of heat, their maintenance is only becoming more expensive in time, the well-being of each individual household depends directly on the ability of neighbours to maintain their property. Consequently, even if households are not directly affected by the conditions of energy poverty, there is a very strong possibility that these households are indirectly affected by the negative consequences of energy poverty,» – Ekodoma Ltd. project manager, energoauditor Kristaps Kašs.
The REVERTER project, funded by the European Union's LIFE Programme, aims to develop 9 action plans to solve the problem of poor energy efficiency in housing. Action plans will be drawn up in line with the characteristics of the housing fund, the specificities of vulnerable families and the climatic conditions, covering a sufficiently uniform group of situations that will allow for the development and repetition of the proposed actions. Action plans will be first developed for homes with the worst performance (the “worst first” principle), will solve shared incentive dilemmas and address market, informational and action gaps by creating universal contact points that will involve vulnerable families in subsidized energy efficiency improvement programmes for buildings by default. Project participants will examine action plans by setting up a pilot network in four European cities (Brezova (Bulgaria), Athens (Greece), Riga (Latvia) and Koimbra (Portugal)) covering different climatic areas and socio-economic conditions as regards the age and size of buildings, owner-occupied housing ratio, multi-apartment and single-family homes. percentage of houses, income, values and beliefs of occupiers, etc.
The implementation of the project is co-financed by the European Union's “Life” programme, project ID 101076277.