Together towards more comfortable housing 4 - Zajedno do ugodnijeg stanovanja 4

Together towards more comfortable housing 4 - Zajedno do ugodnijeg stanovanja 4

National project

The series of projects "Together for more comfortable housing" are addressing energy poor citizens in Zagreb, Croatia. The project was conducted in 4 iterations over 5 years. The latest iteration, "Together for more comfortable housing 4" was focused on the specific energy needs and housing conditions of people with disabilities.

Accessibility of energy for people with disabilities is sometimes a major challenge. Energy bills are usually higher in households with disabilities. Meeting basic living needs is more expensive for people with disabilities. These are, for example, increased costs for transportation, special food needs, therapies, aids, etc. Higher costs related to disability affect the amount of money that people with disabilities have at their disposal to pay for energy and other basic bills. The 2018 UN report points out that this burden is exacerbated by the fact that people with disabilities often have less funding to be able to pay their energy bills. Similarly, families with children with disabilities are at higher risk of poverty.

The project emphasizes the need for equal opportunities for all citizens of the City of Zagreb by raising the quality of life of vulnerable groups, with a focus on people with disabilities. Based on the results, inclusive local public policies and measures were proposed.

With a budget of less than 5000€ the activities developed include:

  • Preparation of questionnaire.
  • 1 month education of participants about energy poverty and enegry efficiency measures, conversations with vulnerable citizens and data collection.
  • 2 months specification, procurement and delivery of materials for simple energy efficiency measures (LED bulbs, door and window gaskets, extension cord with on/off switch, insulation with reflective layer for installation behind the radiator).
  • 1 month sata analysis and final report with policy recommendations.
  • 1 month visibility and promotionthrough the entire project duration.

The project offered unique perspective into specific energy needs and issues that people with disabilities face. Some of the examples are the need for increased heating and cooling, additional healthcare devices, increased energy use associated with for special needs. With only 10 households involved in the project, personalised set of energy efficiency toolkit was provided to best match actual needs for each household. Going forward, we are planning to adopt a similar approach for projects with higher number of participants by offering several options of equal-value EE measures sets so that end users can choose what they need the most.

The project started in 2020 and is ongoing. It benefits the disabled, energy poor and policy makers and addresses the topics of household appliances, indoor comfort (thermal comfort, housing quality), energy access and consumption, energy audits, energy efficiency, social support, vulnerable consumers.

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

  • Conducted interviews: 10.
  • Number of participants who listened to the lecture about energy poverty: 8.
  • Household receiving personalized energy saving package: 10.
  • Stakeholders participanting in the final meeting: 10

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