Due to high energy prices in the last years, many households are facing the problem of energy poverty. Although many regions in Croatia acknowledge this socio-economic situation and its negative impact on health and social isolation, a small number of initiatives dealing with alleviation of energy poverty were launched. The energy poverty as a problem received special attention in Medjimurje region and the Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. (MENEA) has been implementing project CO-EMEP which is particularly oriented towards this phenomenon.
The main goal of this initiative is to raise awareness of all interested stakeholders and general public about the problem of energy poverty as well as its negative consequences. This especially goes for vulnerable groups of citizens and tackling this problem on local and regional governmental level, since they should be the front runners in alleviating energy poverty.
During the implementation of the project, the partners realised that the term “energy poverty” needs to be separated from general poverty. Thus, in the very definition, in addition to the criterion of household income and energy costs, the energy characteristics of buildings was also included. One of the most effective measures to help those households is to increase energy efficiency of their homes.
In order to promote this important measure, partners implemented energy audits and energy certification of 10 family houses – 5 in Medjimurje county, Croatia and 5 in Zala county, Hungary. Energy certification ensures collection of transparent data on energy consumption and recognises energy efficiency as a sign of quality, encourages new innovative concepts and technologies and the use of alternative energy supply systems in buildings which ultimately results in reduction of energy consumption.
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.