This session will focus on the synergies that exist between energy efficiency and energy poverty. It will highlight how tackling social issues can also lead to engaging people on energy and climate change issues at the same time. By mitigating energy poverty and its consequences, the presented activities not only contribute to a socially-fair transition but also to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in a cost-efficient manner. Thus they represent a valuable investment and an important contribution to achieving the EU goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
To stimulate discussion, the concrete aspects of various measures will be showcased, for example through videos presenting testimonies of beneficiaries of face to face visits as well as examples of local actions such as a bus supporting residents in small DIY improvements of their homes. It will focus on the interplay between energy, health, social ties and neighbourhoods’ renewal that can be achieved through energy poverty actions.
The example of Brest (FR) will be showcased, as the city has been taking action against energy poverty for 8 years, with additional support from an EU-funded project over the past 3 years. Brest has committed itself to a 20% reduction in energy consumption by 2020 and to a 20% increase of the share of renewable energies in energy consumption. All the prevention and awareness-raising actions for residents on energy savings and the fight against energy poverty, undertaken since 2011, contribute to these objectives. Thanks to the European funding secured in 2017, the action has been multiplied, and the most fragile districts have actively participated in the sustainable reduction of the city's energy footprint. As a result, 35 400 kg of CO² have been saved every year of the project, and each beneficiary household has saved 170€ (on electricity and water) and 28m₃ of water on average.