PEER - Porto Energy ElevatoR

PEER - Porto Energy ElevatoR

National project

PEER aims to support the most economically vulnerable population in the region, and possibly even more so given the current pandemic, by reducing their exposure to energy poverty, with the improvement of living conditions (thermal comfort and health), associating such improvements also to decentralized energy production. This will be done by addressing identified barriers by developing a set of innovative tools relating to technical, financial and legal aspects.

Under the framework of PEER, the Porto Energy Hub was created, acting as a one-stop-shop that provides support in the implementation of measures to mitigate energy poverty, through the identified business models, innovative financial schemes and contractual models.

The project aims to implement mechanisms that contribute to the implementation of actions in the axes of energy efficiency and renewable energies, connected to the housing sector ranging from improvement of housing conditions through energy rehabilitation interventions, namely envelope insulation and improved efficiency of glazed areas, and replacement of lighting by LEDs to the reduction of the energy bill through the use of renewable energy sources by implementing renewable energy communities or self-consumption systems.

Alongside these mobilizing axes, PEER will develop communication and dissemination initiatives, aiming at engaging homeowners and relevant stakeholders and also at being a national and European show case, for replication in other territories.

With a budget between 100.000 and 1M€, the PEER methodology is developed along the following axes which, complementing each other, aim to reduce energy poverty:

Delivering energy efficiency to improve housing conditions:

  • Standardized project preparation procedures able to increase the project to the investment readiness level.
  • Focus on the interventions on reducing building energy needs, such as envelope insulation, efficient windows and doors, lighting, efficient heating and cooling systems, etc., as a mean to mitigate the impact of energy poverty.

Include renewable energy as an add-on to energy efficiency:

  • Promotion of energy bill reduction using decentralised renewable energy sources (e.g., PV, solar thermal or biomass).
  • Development of energy communities that allow the development of production units for self-consumption and the use and implementation of other technologies, such as electric mobility infrastructure and energy storage.

Mobilise alternative financial schemes and business models:

  • Exploration of innovative financial schemes and coupling them with more traditional solutions to ensure that investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy are possible and attractive. The objective of the implementation of such incentives, that may include a mix of grants, fiscal incentives and debt products, is that project costs may be lower due to the provider retaining the tax incentives and passing the benefit on to the property owner as a lower lease or services payment. This measure, while combined with other incentives, can support a higher success rate in replication areas.

Testing of the viability of the use of certification schemes, such as white certificates (linked to energy savings) and guarantees of origin (linked to renewable energy), and the combination of different technologies (e.g., include storage in energy communities) in order to improve financial indicators and business case.

These main financial axes will be supported by parallel activities which will allow for a better engagement with the relevant stakeholders and training and dissemination activities. The project will be supported by an intensive capacity building programme open to the various stakeholders, namely low-income homeowners, public and private building owners, project developers, ESCOs and financial institutions.

Additionally, PEER guarantees the sustainability of the project by creating the regional energy hub that will pursue the replication of the project in the region and even extend it to other regions. This hub will act as a one-stop-shop to public and private building owners to develop and adapt the renovation of their buildings and combine them with alternative financial schemes and legal models, providing support to the whole customer journey. I

The consortium will also develop an action plan to link the social component of the project and its drivers with energy efficiency and, by doing this, guarantee the maximisation of the results. Throughout the project implementation, the processes and studies performed, will be supported by a legal team which will review and create procedures in line with the Portuguese legislation. Additionally, the project will have throughout its duration the support of an advisory board.

The advisory board will be composed of local and national personalities with an outstanding technical, scientific and academic recognition on the topics of energy efficiency, renewable energy, social housing, business models and sustainable finance.

Some concrete key performance indicators (KPIs) of the project include:

  • Number of renovated dwellings: 3000.
  • Installed renewable systems: 12 MWp.
  • Investment in Sustainable Energy: 27 €.

The project started in 2021 and will run until 2024.

Main beneficiaries: the energy poor, low income, national/local authorities and policy makers
It addresses the topics of: health, heating and cooling system, household appliances, climate change, indoor comfort, information and awareness, insulation, quality of dwelling, emissions trading, renewable energy, energy access and consumption, energy audits, energy efficiency, financing schemes and vulnerable consumers.

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