POWER UP - Social energy market players to tackle energy poverty

POWER UP - Social energy market players to tackle energy poverty

European project

The worrying number of 50 million Europeans suffering from energy poverty calls for innovative solutions. The POWER UP project will promote the emergence of local energy market players with a socio-ecological agenda. Why? Because energy services can be provided at the local level while addressing energy poverty. Those social entrepreneurs will engage vulnerable households to co-design new business schemes around renewables production and energy efficiency.

With a budget between 100.000 and 1M€ the POWER UP project supports indebted households to access local, cheap and green energy via energy cooperatives. Six cities across Europe, from Spain to North Macedonia will act as “living labs”: each of them will experiment with innovative social governance and implement novel business models together with households affected by energy poverty.

Project partners will break new ground by bringing energy poor households and local stakeholders on board (municipalities, social organisations, energy utilities, citizen energy communities etc.) for defining and implementing the most suitable social business model. This may involve 55,588 energy poor consumers and lead to at least EUR 2.5 million investment in sustainable energy before the project end.

The supporting partners of the project are: Energy Cities, University of Manchester and SINLOC The POWER UP pilots and in-country experts include:

  • Belgium: Eeklo and Ecopower.
  • The Netherlands: Heerlen.
  • Spain: Valencia, Las Naves and Valencia Climate and Energy Observatory.
  • North Macedonia: AD GES Skopje and Macedonian Anti-Poverty Platform.
  • Czech Republic: SEMMO.
  • Italy: UCSA - San Giuseppe Vesuviano, Palma Campania, San Gennaro Vesuviano, Striano.

Six additional sister organisations (5 cities and one municipal company) will join the pilots and follow their capacity building activities to increase own skills. In the mid and long-term they will be able to replicate the project results. The sister organisations include: KUMANOVO-GAS (Municipal Energy company – Macedonia), Castellammare di Stabia (City – Italy), Breda (City – The Netherlands), Albalat dels Sorells (City – Spain), Leuven (Belgium) and 2 SEMMO members (City – Czech Republic).

The project started in 2021 and is ongoing. It benefits the energy poor and low-income consumers and addresses the topics of financing schemes and vulnerable consumers.

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