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.
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.
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.
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.