Towards a fair energy transition: enabling vulnerable consumers to take part in energy communities

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By bringing policymakers, NGOs, academia and businesses together, the panel discussion will discuss how to connect energy community and energy poverty initiatives, point out obstacles, but also highlight best practices and results of research projects and other initiatives to engage consumers and link those to current policy debates, including the transposition of the Clean Energy Package, the Green Deal and recovery plan. Their implementation can benefit from raised awareness on the interrelatedness of energy policies with other policy areas, such as social welfare, in a truly sustainable move.

To keep the session as interactive as possible, we will try to channel your questions during the discussion and will ask some survey questions. A first block will focus on the convergence between energy communities and the fight against energy poverty. The second will focus on the green recovery and other recent policy initiatives.

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The biggest challenge of the energy transition is not just to decarbonise our economies, engage consumers and mitigate energy poverty in parallel efforts but to link these issues. Self-admittingly most current forms of fighting energy poverty focus on behavioural change and welfare transfers but do not tackle structural factors in a long-term perspective. The Clean Energy for all Europeans Package (CEP) allows for the active participation of vulnerable consumers and low-income households in self-consumption and energy communities schemes. It has the potential to tackle inequalities, which are further exacerbated by the current COVID-19 crisis. But many uncertainties remain on how to concretise this provision. 

Even when solutions exist to engage consumers financially and in decision-making, they can face a wall. For example, a commonly overlooked problem is the “welfare dilemma” keeping recipients of means-tested social benefits from investing in RE installations. Indeed, recipients such as the unemployed, have to liquidate all assets to become eligible and/or assets, and their income is set off against social transfers. This represents a major barrier to the inclusion of vulnerable consumers in the opportunities of the energy transition.

Register, listen and ask questions during our event! Take part in a fair transition!

 

Speakers

Chair
European Union Energy Poverty Observatory
Elected Member
European Parliament
Advocacy Officer
REScoop.eu
Regional coordinator Stromspar-Check
Caritas Germany
Policy officer
European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN)