[17.08.21] Stakeholders Improve National Policies Together to Fight Energy Poverty in the European Private Rented Sector

ENPOR supports the design and implementation of ten policies that contribute to fight energy poverty in the Private Rented Sector (PRS). The method to do so is based on the idea of REACT Groups, that consider the needs of tenants and property owners and integrate them into broader policy contexts. REACT Groups engage different stakeholders in all ENPOR countries involved in the project, working together to co-create targeted and practical policies, to promote the exchange of information and to build a network. A Stakeholder Engagement Strategy was developed to guide this process, a strategy that is currently being implemented further tailored to the specific circumstances of each country. 

 The members in REACT groups are organisations involved in the energy efficiency value chain, who are in the position to provide solutions to problems related to energy poverty issues in various countries. A unique opportunity with ENPOR is that all relevant stakeholder groups are represented during the co-creation process: Landlords / co-owners’ associations, Charitable and social work associations, Energy agencies / energy consultants, Municipality / regional / national policymakers, Citizens groups / NGOs and Utilities. 

The role of these stakeholders are detailed in ENPOR’s Engagement strategy, and the relevance of each kind type of stakeholder for the development and implementation of the policies selected by the project to be validated/improved is outlined in the table below: 

Stakeholder Role 
Landlords/ Co-owners’ associations To validate the feasibility of policies from the owners’ perspective and help them to renovate their stock and identify tenants at risk of energy poverty 
Charitable and social work associations Experience how to identify and communicate with energy poor households, support landlords in making their stock more energy efficiency (e.g. following the social rented agencies type of model) 
Energy Agency/ Energy consultants To provide insights on how to improve energy consulting and realise effective policy implementation. 
Municipality/regional/national policymakers To give feedbacks on proposed policy design, help replicability and provide legislative and policy support and infrastructure 
Citizens groups/NGOs To demonstrate the needs, types of support they require, provide information on acceptability of the support scheme, provide bottom up insights 
Utilities As main actors in rolling out social tariffs, discounts and various other energy poverty alleviating schemes, utilities can give feedback on their viability 

The 10 pilot policies pre-selected that constitute the object of the REACT Group work are clustered in a) grants for building renovations, including fuel switch and small-scale renewables; b) training & information, soft measures; c) programme support action, including guidelines to better identify energy poverty; and d) Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme:  

Policy typePilot policy in ENPOR / Name of scheme Country 
Grant for renovation Thermal renovation measures for energy poverty  AT 
Grant for renovation National reconstruction grant  EE 
Grant for renovation Energy upgrade of buildings  GR 
Grant for renovation National Programme for Renovation of Buildings  HR 
Training and information Low-threshold, target group specific consulting  AT 
Training and information Heating related energy advice  DE 
Training and information Pre-paid metering app DE 
Training and information Training and Information Campaign  IT 
Programme support Energy Box  NL 
EEOEnergy Efficiency Obligation Scheme  GR 

The main challenges of the selected policies have been identified via questionnaires in the proposal phase with policy experts and now are being examined by the REACT Groups: 

  • Selection criteria & data availability: selection/identification of energy poor households; increase coverage / participation of energy poor households; sufficient data concerning income components (including average rental price) and household energy consumption 
  • Financing: defining the source of financing; attraction of sponsors; ensuring financing sources including the creditworthiness for landlords; inability of residents to provide necessary supplementary funding 
  • Guarantees: ensuring the payback of investments, increasing awareness and acceptance, addressing difficulty to reach energy poverty groups through conventional communication tools; 
  • Information & awareness: awareness and acceptance; difficulty in reaching energy poor households through conventional communication tools; ensure proactive and effective behavioural change. 

The needs for the authorities to support the design and implementation of these policies:  

  • Capacity building: training and information material; supporting coordinating authority to identify energy poor households; educational workshops; 
  • Technical assistance: identification of energy poor households in need; advice for the implementation of the most effective energy efficiency measures; technical consultancy and engineering advice; support in the implementation of the defined measures 
  • Legal assistance: to the coordinating authority (concerning: regulatory barriers, tender procedure, development of policies, privacy issues); to the involved financial institutions; to energy poor households; clarification of the responsibilities of the donor and the beneficiary 
  • Tools: conduction of energy audits; identification of energy efficiency interventions; involvement of target groups; full consultancy level; tools for marketing & communication; and collection of technical data on energy consumption