One of the key tasks of the STEP project is to bring attention to energy poverty and create national networks of diverse actors to tackle the issue. Recent examples from Slovakia have highlighted some successes in that area.
Based on the outcome of the specialized workshop for representatives of the Slovak energy regulator, Slovak consumer organisation and STEP member SOS activated the national regulator to become a leader in the national discussion about the possible solutions to energy poverty.
A working platform has been created by the energy regulator, where representatives of selected consumer organisations can share their views with the regulator, meeting on a regular basis. There were two such online meetings already.
Further collaboration with the energy regulator should lead to the establishment of an online ombudsman to strengthen communication between the regulator and consumers. As the regulator has limited capacity, SOS have agreed to deal with energy-related consumer disputes, which will be shared with them.
SOS have been busy reaching out to state actors, having co-organised an online consultation between the Energy Department of the Ministry of Economy, the Academy of Science and the Slovak Climate Initiative NGO. Following this meeting, the Ministry approached the Academy of Science to launch a survey on energy poverty for further information-gathering on the topic.
In the meantime, SOS organized three workshops on energy poverty for different audiences – consumer and environmental organisations, state authorities and associations working with vulnerable consumers and citizens.