The project develops and takes care of the application of the rights of low income people regarding energy poverty.
Tags: Energy Efficiency, Citizen Participation, Social Cohesion
The economic crisis showed that energy poverty was a common thread that was spread along Europe, and particularly in the Mediterranean Region. The key reasons can be these issues: 1) low income of people, 2) high energy prices – affordability, and 3) poor energy efficiency of houses and kinds of use. These problems can be better faced from a subsidiary point of view. Following an Act approved in 2015 Barcelona Municipality organised a decentralized service in the city, whose main functions are to support the citizens and prevent these problems.
The service gives advice to citizens in energy issues, the energy efficiency of their electrical devices, of their houses. The protection of low income consumers in disconnection processes is one of their major tasks as well as the preparation and management of the paperwork to be done to receive the “social bonus” established by the law. This bonus applies for low power meter consumptions when the income doesn’t reach a level. The bonus implies a rebate of the electricity bill. It’s a 40% or 25% depending on the income (from 5.000€/year to 12.000€/year per household without children. This minimal amount increases when the family has children, and with other family situations).
Besides electricity, other utilities are included in the scope and action of the service: gas supply, water supply, and waste management charges.