Czech consumer organisation and STEP partner dTest has been busy with many aspects of the STEP project in recent times. With all of the work ongoing, communication of the project has also been key.

One way in which dTEst has promoted the project has been through their monthly consumer rights magazine of the same name. “We sell around 50,000 magazines every month,” commented Eduarda Hekšová, CEO of dTest, “most of which are read by several people, so it really is one of the best ways we have to promote a project like STEP.”

To further communicate about STEP, it has been included in dTest’s online newsletter, which goes to several hundred thousand readers. Meanwhile, they are also preparing promotion of the project through the online chatbot on their website, so that visitors to the site can learn about the project immediately.

In the spring of 2021, dTest promoted energy saving measures from the STEP project on hospital screens in a large number of Czech hospitals, while in September, a campaign took place on the Signal radio station, aimed at older listeners. In November and December, energy saving measures from the STEP project will be shown on screens in public buses in selected regional cities.

dTest are currently working intensively receiving calls to their dedicated energy advice line, which has attracted a great deal of attention since its inception, especially given the increased cost of energy bills across Europe, with consumers looking for advice on how to reduce their bills and asking if they should change energy providers.

The STEP team members have direct meetings with consumers, especially with groups of older consumers, trapped by on one side by modest pensions and on the other side by a huge rise of energy bills caused by the recent collapse of several Czech energy suppliers.

“The importance of working with consumers at risk of energy poverty has become very clear,” commented Ms Hekšová. “Due to the extreme rise in prices, a significantly larger number of people are at risk than we could have imagined half a year ago.  Unfortunately, it can also apply to the middle class.”

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The STEP project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 847080.