At the invitation of the government of the Czech Republic, BEUC and dTest, the Czech consumer organisation, presented STEP’s work at the energy poverty seminar hosted in Prague on 12.12.2019.
The seminar focused on the implications of energy poverty in the Danube Region and beyond.
STEP presented its report surveying over 150 organisations on the obstacles they face when advising consumers in energy poverty in the 9 project countries, many of which in the Danube area. More than 75% considered that low incomes, not enough information and the poor energy performance of buildings are the main causes of consumers facing difficulties to maintain their homes warm.
Most of the project countries have support schemes in place but these are still hard to access by consumers. Consequently, advice and support is needed to help consumers apply successfully to these and here is where the STEP advisors can bridge the gap.
dTest brought in the Czech example, where there is not yet a legal definition of energy poverty nor social energy tariffs for vulnerable groups. Disconnection is very probable for example in the case of the consumers who struggle to pay their energy bills. More information on what to watch out for in terms of energy efficiency and contractual traps is available of dTest’s project page.
Another relevant good example was brought in by Stromspar-Check, a German organisation who trains people who are unemployed to become energy advisors, thus gaining new qualifications and being closer to consumers that are facing energy poverty.