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European Sustainable Energy Week

Project lifting households out of energy poverty announced as a finalist in the European Sustainable Energy Awards

ComAct is addressing energy poor communities by introducing energy-efficiency measures in apartment buildings in five Central and Eastern European countries

In Eastern European countries, there are people of different socio-economic backgrounds who own and live in multi-family apartment buildings. People in the region live in big spaces, but they are not able to cover the cost of heating or cooling for their homes.

Liljana Alceva, Deputy Director - Programme HFHM

Due to growing energy prices and poor energy efficiency of the buildings, heating systems and household appliances, countries in Central and Eastern Europe are home to the most energy-poor people in Europe. The EU-funded ComAct project is helping the residents and co-owners of over 20 multi-family residential buildings at pilot sites in Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Republic of North Macedonia and Ukraine to better pay their energy bills in the future, as a result of energy-efficient renovations. These buildings serve as pilots to kickstart a domino effect affecting more than 100 buildings in the coming years. The project is enabling these renovations by providing community support, access to financing and technical advice, helping the owners who otherwise would not be able to implement them.

 

Most of the building stock is not energy efficient. We need to approach energy poverty systemically and motivate homeowners to be responsible in the maintenance and renovation of the building. We have developed a methodology to identify energy poor households and provide tools to engage the community in the project, give financial support advice and technical knowledge on how to save energy through retrofitting and behavioral change.

Elena Milanovska, Assistant Director - Housing Systems HFH EME (Europe, Middle East)

To support access to financing, ComAct has developed an online toolbox of the different types of financing schemes and case studies from the pilot countries and the broader region. ComAct has also produced an inventory of technical energy efficiency measures for energy-poor households. To multiply the impact of these tools, the team has set up Resource Centers on site to act as community touchpoints, where building residents and owners can get advice on the renovation of their building or connect with other stakeholders.

To address the complex roots of energy poverty, there is the need for a systemic approach to make interventions affordable and accessible in the regions.

Elena Milanovska

In supporting energy-efficient renovations in energy poor communities, ComAct is contributing to the European Commission’s Clean energy for all Europeans package and delivering on the European Green Deal. Establishing citizen-led renewable energy projects through energy communities is crucial to the EU’s renewable energy directive and is also supporting the REPowerEU Plan to accelerate the clean energy transition and increase Europe’s energy independence.

Com'Act
Com'Act
Com'Act
Com'Act

Global change through local action

ComAct is one of three finalists shortlisted for the European Sustainable Energy Awards 2022 in the Local Energy Action category. The award recognises an implemented sustainable energy action, driven by a group of citizens or consumers, which contributes to the clean energy transition at the community or local level. The other finalists in the Local Energy Action category are C-Track 50 and Minoan Energy Community.  

C-Track 50 is a project that supported local authorities with long-term energy and climate planning across 11 European countries. Minoan Energy Community is an energy community in Crete triggering renewable energy projects to bring clean and free energy to the island.