Tackling energy poverty has now become a central policy priority for the EU and is addressed through the Clean Energy for all Europeans package that features numerous policies and measures to monitor and address energy poverty. Within this framework, the Union of Cyprus Communities and the Cyprus Energy Agency participate in the project “Tackle Energy Poverty in Households with Disabled People and Support Social Integration”, aiming to fight energy poverty at national level with a particular focus in households with disabled people, contribute to the green transition, and empower just transition.
There is a clear need for developing tailored activities and measures that target households that are concurrently disabled and energy poor. Disabled people have a greater demand for energy because of the longer periods of time spent at home, the use of assistive technologies, and their increased needs for cooling and heating due to specific health conditions. They are also at a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion as they face significant barriers to quality education and accessing the labour market.
Counting on their expertise, knowledge, networks and with a budget of €1.2 million co-funded by the Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF), the two partners aim to set-up a financial scheme to subsidise the implementation of small-scale energy renovations, such as thermal insulation in 240-300 energy poor and disabled households in Cyprus; set a taskforce with stakeholders to identify tailored interventions and solutions, such as energy efficient equipment/appliances. Other than these, the two partners will offer personalised counselling services for energy guidance, that will actively alleviate the incidence of energy poverty in disabled households and tackle social exclusion. The project will have a significant impact on the amelioration of energy poverty in these households, as it will increase their thermal comfort and enhance their energy efficiency, which will in turn, reduce dramatically energy consumption over the long-term. More precisely, energy consumption is expected to fall by at least 35% per year until 2026 – equivalent to 1,193 tonnes CO2.
The biggest challenges according to the two partners, are the fact that people with disability are not a single homogeneous group, but have highly varied needs that require unique approach, and the co-funding (20%) of the actions by the households with disabled people.
This best practice is issued from our publication Sustainable Regions in Action 2022. Read it now to discover many more best practices from FEDARENE members as well as an overview of our activities.