Endesa, the Red Cross and Ecodes have reached an agreement that will enable them to work together the fight against energy poverty in Spain. The Chairman of Endesa, Borja Prado, the Chairman of the Spanish Red Cross, Javier Senent and the Director of Ecodes, Víctor Viñuales, have signed an alliance today at Endesa’s headquarters in Madrid that contains three lines of action: two concerning energy poverty and a third for advising. The agreement was reached within the framework of the European Energy Poverty Week held from 19 to 24 February.
1. With the first line of action, Endesa is committed to avoid cutting the energy (electricity and gas) supply to customers in vulnerable situations and who have been identified by the Red Cross. In addition, help will be given by the NGO to cover the non-payment of invoices. Thanks to this agreement, Endesa is fully able to provide protection to 100% of its most vulnerable customers.
Endesa has been a forerunner in signing these types of agreements with local/regional administrations and tertiary sector entities as a means of offering a response to this social issue. To date, the company has 261 agreements in place, 6 of which are with Autonomous Regions and the others, with city councils and associations.
2. The second line of action concerns the Energy Volunteering programme, which the Endesa Foundation and the Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo (Ecodes) have been implementing since 2015. This year, the Red Cross will become the general coordinator of the third edition of the programme, which, in its first two editions, was able to help 167 families in situations of energy vulnerability.
The addition of the Red Cross represents an important quantitative leap in the development and extension of the programme: more than 200 volunteers are expected to participate - Endesa employees and former employees in early retirement, along with Red Cross volunteers. It will take place in 14 cities, compared with 5 in the second edition and it will be able to help up to 3,000 disadvantaged families, almost 18 times more than last year. Therefore, the number of beneficiaries could reach up to 7,500 individuals.
The “Energy Volunteering” programme has the following goals:
• To help mitigate the energy poverty and vulnerability in households through three types of intervention:
(1) Training for families through workshops on efficient consumption and billing optimisation, as well as on implementing energy micro-efficiency measures (home improvement kits will be handed out), with the aim of improving the insulation of homes.
(2) Customised guidance to optimise contracts and manage procedures.
(3) Application of savings and security measures in homes, which will mean improvements in electrical installations to prevent risk situations due to their deterioration and with a personalised attention to families with greater degree of dependency.
• To promote energy efficiency through training initiatives.
• To expand the programme, to achieve an increasingly greater penetration.
The cities in which the project will take place are: Zaragoza, Huesca, Barcelona, Tarragona, Lerida, Gerona, Alcudia-Inca, Seville, Malaga, Badajoz, As Pontes, Candelaria (Tenerife), Puerto del Rosario (Fuerteventura) and Lanzarote.
The most recent edition achieved highly positive results:
• An average savings of 21% in energy consumption, which reached up to 49% in one home.
• Eighty-one percent of the families met the requirements to benefit from the social rebate, but just 38% had done so. Through this programme, they were all informed of this right and how to make use of it.
• Thirty-six percent of the families had contracted service capacity beyond their needs, and they were informed about and advised on how to adjust their situation.
• An analysis of the hourly consumption profile of each family led to recommendations to 64 families to change to a time-based pricing scheme, which was more beneficial to them financially, and also in terms of energy use.
• After implementing the energy efficiency measures, an additional 10% savings in the power bill is estimated.
• The average financial savings was € 121.69 per year and household.
3. The final line of action is based on energy advice from Endesa experts to Red Cross staff to improve the management of the contracting of electricity supply at 8 of its offices, as well as the modifications that the Red Cross decides to carry out.