One of the central goals of the STEP project is to not only raise awareness of energy poverty, but to knowledge-share and expand the network of actors working on energy poverty. Recent collaborations with the Horizon 2020 projects PowerPoor and STEP-IN have helped to realise this goal.
PowerPoor is a H2020 project dedicated to “empowering energy poor citizens through joint energy initiatives”. In the spirit of collaboration on energy poverty projects, STEP members were happy to reach out to their regional counterparts to share knowledge, contacts and guidance.
In Latvia, STEP member LPIAA was invited by the regional energy agency of Zemgale to share their experiences and get involved in PowerPoor’s activities. So far, LPIAA has contributed by providing input on the design of pilot energy poverty support programmes and schemes, which will be led by a network of certified energy supporters and mentors. They have also participated in Powerpoor’s “Train the Trainers” event and national trainings, the results of which will be broadly disseminated, and will help to pursue synergies with EU and other global initiatives, such as the European Energy Poverty Advisory Hub and the Covenant of Mayors.
Meanwhile in Portugal, STEP member DECO is collaborating closely with the local PowerPoor project, having offered to partake in a referral process between the two organisations. What’s more, PowerPoor are building an online training course for energy advisers, using the Moodle training that DECO and other STEP members have developed as a basis. DECO participated in the 1st Stakeholder Liaison Group Meeting organized in Portugal by Coopérnico, the Portuguese partner of the PowerPoor project, where it had the opportunity to share some of the knowledge and experience acquired in STEP.
Alongside PowerPoor, Bulgarian member BNAAC and Slovakian member SOS have been collaborating with the H2020 project STEP-IN, learning from on-the-ground experiences in Hungary for how to engage the Roma community on energy poverty issues, highlighting the impact that energy poverty can have on marginalised groups. With such collaboration and sharing of best practices, STEP members are excited to see the widening discourse around energy poverty as it becomes an established and better-understood issue across Europe.