Today, Endesa, Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo [Ecology and Development Foundation] (ECODES) and the Municipal Government of Calatayud today have signed a cooperation agreement to set a pilot project in motion that promotes efficient energy consumption in vulnerable families, through a prepaid electricity system. Additionally, this system could be converted into an optimisation mechanism in the management of aid for the payment of electricity that the municipal governments, regional governments or NGOs, among others, grant.
ECODES has developed different projects to cope with energy poverty in which it has concluded that a substantial number of the households covered by the electrical supply do not put efficient consumption habits into operation because they do not know how, or have incorrect, preconceived ideas. To address this problem, ECODES and Endesa will develop a prepaid electric power pilot project that promotes efficiency in consumption of vulnerable families and that may be converted into a mechanism to know and control their spending in real time, which can enable them to make decisions.
The initiative will be developed in Calatayud (Zaragoza), in cooperation with the municipal government, which seeks, in addition to responding to the social problem of energy poverty, to provide the municipality a tool to be able to distribute aid more efficiently for the payment of electricity. The involvement of Social Services in the project is fundamental to carry out the selection process and follow-up on the participating families.
The pilot project will be carried out on 20 families residing in the municipality of Calatayud, who will periodically have information related to their energy consumption, their economic spending and the monetary balance provided and available by the end of the month. The system will provide a warning when the balance is getting low, and will also send a notification in the event a high rate of consumption is detected.
Prior to the start of the project's operations, training will be done for the families and the social agents in regard to the efficient use of energy in households and the prepaid system. During the twelve months that the project will last, analysis and personalised monitoring of the consumption of each family will enable advising and providing recommendations on saving and improving consumption habits.
Since 2013, the ECODES Not One Home without Power programme has set different projects in motion to help families in a situation of energy vulnerability such as the Volunteer Network against Energy Poverty - Fuel Poverty Group in Zaragoza and Seville, where training workshops, points of service and home visits, and corporate volunteering projects throughout Spain are developed, with companies such as Endesa, Leroy Merlin or Mapfre, as well as information campaigns with points of service and home visits with the support of the Municipal Government of Zaragoza, the Municipal Government of San Fernando de Henares or the Government of Aragón. All thanks to a large number of co-workers from the third sector, companies, foundations or municipal governments that have enabled reaching vulnerable families, financing projects or that have donated micro-efficiency energy materials.
ECODES has assisted almost 900 families in 23 Spanish cities, with average annual savings of 151 euros per family and a social and environmental return on the investment higher than 3 euros for each euro invested. Additionally, the on-line platform www.niunhogarsinergia.org enables filling out the Questionnaire “I Want to Save” with information on the status and characteristics of the dwelling, from which 3 personalised reports are automatically returned on: consumption habits, micro-efficiency energy measures and optimisation of the energy contracts. Also, an interactive map is available to locate aid or initiatives related to energy poverty in their city or region.
Endesa against Energy Poverty
Endesa is aware of the serious problem, which entails energy poverty in many Spanish households. For that reason, the company has been working with local and autonomic administrators and third sector agencies since the year 2014 so that no customer in a vulnerable situation is deprived of the energy supply.
With this objective in mind, Endesa has a total of 261 agreements in force, 6 of them with Autonomous Communities, and the rest with municipal governments and associations. Thanks to them, Endesa already has covered the possibility of providing protection to 100% of its most vulnerable clients.
In addition to agreements to avoid power cuts, Endesa develops other courses of action, such as the “Energy Volunteering” programme that the company, jointly with the Endesa Foundation and ECODES, has in operation since 2015. In the first two editions of the programme, 167 families have been helped, thanks to the support of a total of 149 volunteer employees of Endesa.
This same year Endesa has signed an agreement with the Red Cross, which includes 3 courses of action: Endesa is committed to avoid power supply cuts (electricity and gas) to its customers, if these have been identified by the Red Cross as clients in a situation of vulnerability; The Red Cross is added to the volunteering project started with ECODES; and also, Endesa will provide energy consulting to the Red Cross.