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A TRANSVERSAL NETWORK AGAINST ENERGY POVERTY

The COOOLTORISE project prompted us to pay attention to the hitherto little-investigated phenomenon of energy poverty and to collect data for a better understanding of it and to rationalise the resources to be devoted to it. Being a cross-sectoral phenomenon, we realised that it is necessary to establish a network between different actors.  A permanent table within the municipality and a table extended to civil society stakeholders were therefore set up.

SURPRISING BUT FRUITFUL COLLABORATIONS

Promoters and main actors of the network against energy poverty are the Ecological Transition sector and the Social Services sector which, although they seem seem to be different and distant realities, but have found areas of common interest and excellent ways of collaboration. In fact, reducing energy poverty energy poverty produces an immediate reduction in emissions.


THE FIGHT AGAINST ENERGY POVERTY AS A MOMENT OF ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP OF LIVING

The comparison with operational figures from different areas, which came about thanks to the Cooltorise project, leads us to believe that among the beneficiaries of policies to combat energy poverty there is sometimes no clear perception of the correct use of energy and market conditions when choosing energy supply contracts. This limitation is also found in the correct use of water resources, proper waste management and the importance of proper maintenance of boilers. Therefore, when talking about training as a way of combating energy poverty, one can think of offering agile training modules on all these topics.

THE SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS

After having quantitatively and qualitatively framed the phenomenon of energy poverty thanks to the Cooltorise project, we asked ourselves which interventions could mitigate it. At this still embryonic stage of the survey, it seems that the most suitable response to the needs that have emerged is to set up a help desk that can give concrete advice to citizens, particularly vulnerable ones, on saving energy and water, reading bills, finding supply contracts with the best conditions and switching to another supplier. Applying the principle that no-one should be left behind, the desk also wants to be able to provide in-depth advice on how to become efficient, on costs, on the possibility of accessing financing or subsidies, on the authorization process, etc.

FAMILIES AT RISK OF POVERTY

The team that followed the development of the Cooltorise project is made up of people who, in different capacities, work in the social sector. This led us to focus our attention on traditional poverty groups. Thanks to the data from the questionnaires collected, we realised that even the so-called middle class, made up of small office workers, experiences situations typical of energy poverty (in particular the difficulty of cooling the house sufficiently in summer). We are therefore making an effort to understand how to intercept this slide towards energy poverty and attempt to stem it.

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