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Cooltorise Project in Parma: Workshop to Tackle Energy Poverty

On December 6th and 7th, Parma hosted two important workshops dedicated to energy poverty, organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Parma and the city’s social workers. The events, actively involving participants, provided significant insights to address the challenges related to climate change and the daily difficulties faced by people in precarious situations.

Workshop with the Municipality of Parma (December 6th)

The first workshop, held in collaboration with the Municipality of Parma, highlighted the importance of addressing climate change and making significant changes within the city. During the meeting with municipal employees, the need to pay particular attention to heatwaves and implement concrete solutions to improve the energy and environmental situation became apparent.

Facilitators Fausto Richetti and Enzo Bertolotti guided participants through three distinct phases: the presentation of the Cooltorise project, the analysis of the situation in Parma, and training on the Cooltorise project. Participants then had the opportunity to share their observations and ideas, contributing to shaping the future direction of the project.

Workshop with Parma’s Social Workers (December 7th)

The second event, in collaboration with Parma’s social workers, addressed energy poverty from a more practical perspective. Social workers, in daily contact with people in need, committed to providing concrete support to those without water, electricity, and gas.

During the two-hour workshop, facilitators Fausto Richetti and Laura Musetti explored the Cooltorise project and actively engaged participants in discussions. The observations underscored the importance of establishing direct relationships with people in energy poverty, offering them training and support in energy-related matters.

The two events also laid the groundwork for the Clever project, specifically aiming to address the needs of two distinct groups of beneficiaries: families at risk of poverty and families in poverty.

For families at risk of poverty, counseling services are planned for finding fair contracts, information on energy-saving methods, and technical advice to improve property performance. The involvement of projects like Easier and Feasible is considered a significant step.

For families in poverty, immediate economic support is envisaged, along with cultural and technical training on proper energy use, assistance in choosing contracts, and improving living conditions. Additionally, the creation of support funds to address emergencies and bonus recognitions for those in need is suggested.

Observations and Proposals

The observations from the events indicate the need to establish closer relationships with people in energy poverty, educate them on the topic, and energetically assess their homes. Social workers, often overwhelmed with work, require systemic responses to lighten their workload.

Families in difficulty face challenges in choosing supply contracts and verifying changes proposed by providers. Therefore, the creation of fair, transparent, and lasting contracted agreements is proposed. Involving local police in assessing the energy quality of rental properties is also suggested. In conclusion, these two workshops have represented a significant step in addressing energy poverty in Parma. The active involvement of participants and the concrete proposals that emerged will provide a solid foundation for the future development of the Cooltorise and Clever projects, contributing to improving the quality of life for vulnerable individuals in the city.

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